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Classic Tetris World Championship Update!

2016 Classic Tetris World Championships
2016 Classic Tetris World Championships

The Classic Tetris World Championship finals will be streamed via Twitch on Sunday, October 23, LIVE from the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in the Oregon Convention Center!

Follow the CTWC Twitch stream at Twitch.TV/ClassicTetris.

Watch the Classic Tetris World Championship preview stream from October 9, 2016.

For history of the tournament, video of competitions and tournament rules, visit

Portland Retro Gaming Expo T-Shirts

Introducing our official PRGE 2016 T-shirts, available in a variety of sizes! In addition to the new 2016 designs, we have several of our "greatest hits" shirt designs available. If you're attending PRGE this year you will want one of these must-have pieces of apparel.

All PRGE t-shirts are $20. Shirts will be available at the PRGE booth in the arcade on Friday and at booth #130 in the exhibitor hall on Saturday and Sunday. The following designs are available. Click the images for a closer look.

PRGE shirt - 2016
2016 - Design 1
PRGE shirt - 2016
2016 - Design 2
PRGE shirt - 2015
PRGE shirt - 2014
PRGE shirt - 2013
PRGE shirt - 2012

The Droid You're Looking For is at PRGE

Scott Boothby's R2-D2

Back at the Expo this year is Scott Boothby with his full-scale and fully automated R2 unit. This is no simple movie prop - his R2-D2 moves and sounds just like one in the Star Wars films. Scott is a member of the R2-D2 Builder's Club and has the only 100% operational R2 unit in the Pacific Northwest.

Scott spent some time at Tosche Station picking up some power converters so R2 has a longer range and faster charging time.

When Scott and R2 are not cruising the exhibition hall throughout the day, they can be found at booth number 521. Thanks for sharing your incredible hobby, Scott!

Visit Scott Boothby's r2 web site »

See Kirby Krackle, Sergio Elisondo & Jason Heine Live!

Kirby Krackle
Kirby Krackle

On Saturday night, Auditorium A turns into a live concert venue featuring three talented musical acts. And it's FREE with your PRGE admission!

Kirby Krackle

Kirby Krackle is an internationally touring nerd-rock artist featuring the music of songwriter and performer Kyle Stevens. Pioneering the genre in 2009, Kirby Krackle is known the world over as the go-to band for heartfelt songs dedicated to the best in comic books, video games, pop and geek-culture with YouTube videos totaling over 3.5 million views and has been featured on MTV, iO9, Boing Boing, Gizmodo and more. Hailing from Seattle, Kyle and his band are representing the Northwest in this concert that is sure to blow you away.

With a reputation for putting on high-energy and empowering live shows, Kirby Krackle has served a headlining performer at all the major comic cons and pop-culture after-hours events over the past six years including San Diego Comic Con, as well as 8 international tours across Canada and Australia. In 2013, Kirby Krackle became the only act to ever open for Weird Al Yankovic as part of his spring tour.

Learn more about Kirby Krackle at their web site,

Sergio Elisondo

Sergio Elisondo

Sergio Elisondo makes multi-instrumental arrangements of video game music and other types of songs/themes. He writes and produces his own work/compositions while still maintaining his diverse musicianship, being proficient on drums, piano, guitar, bass, and voice. He is currently a full time music instructor/performer/composer/studio musician. You can hear his music on his YouTube channel or on Facebook.

Jason Heine

Jason Heine

Jason Heine is a musician and sound designer who produces a wide range of entertainment, from video game audio to original musical scores and soundtracks. Jason travels the convention scene to speak about retro video games, and to perform live video game drum cover songs. He's also known for his popular "Thrift Store Hopping" video series on YouTube and is co-host and producer of the pioneering video game podcast "All Gen Gamers."

The concert starts at 9:00 PM in Auditorium A.

Learn more about PRGE's live concert »

See The Oregon Trail at Portland's Armory

PRGE's Year of Retro Gaming Books

Retro gaming book authors to speak at PRGE
Retro gaming book authors to speak at PRGE

2016 is a big year for books on retro gaming and PRGE has the authors of four of the biggest in attendance this year. Have a look at these excellent titles.

The Complete SNES: Collector's Book & Ultimate Guide

by Jeffrey Wittenhagen

The Complete SNES is the first ever comprehensive full-color 500 page Super Nintendo collector's book to be published. It covers every game released for the 16-bit powerhouse and includes complimentary artwork, information about each game and a short synopsis to get an idea what every game is about, without overwhelming readers. The book covers a lot of what made the Super Nintendo amazing, from licensed, unlicensed, PAL exclusives, unreleased, holy grails and even SNES homebrews.

The Art of Atari

by Tim Lapetino

In 1972, Atari pioneered video game technology which revolutionized entertainment and birthed the modern gaming industry. The company created a host of iconic games and consoles that captivated millions, creating instant classics like Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command and Yars' Revenge, among others.

To bridge the gap between imagination and this new era of video games, Atari employed an array of talented artists and designers to help the worlds of these new games. The design and illustration used to promote and market these games became an integral part of the game experience, transcending the simple graphics and gameplay. These illustrated sci-fi, sports and adventure worlds help elevate Atari and drew on the creative talents of many unsung creative people. In Art of Atari, Lapetino sought to highlight and illuminate the amazing artisans and creatives who were often overlooked when the history of video games has been told. Their stories and work are a crucial part of pop culture and gaming history. The art and design elements have been sourced from museums and private collections worldwide, spanning more than four decades of incredible creativity.

Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life

by Chris Kohler

Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life explores the video game market in Japan and the history of video games in both Japan and North America. Kohler argues that Japan's role in the history of video games in America is undervalued. It includes personal interviews with many influential figures, such as Shigeru Miyamoto, most of them translated from Japanese.

The book includes explanations on why Japanese video games are unique and why they resonate so well with young American players. Kohler provides fresh insight into classic Japanese video games and the elements that made them so different from American games, the origin of Nintendo, Japan's oldest and largest video game producer, Japanese Role-Playing Games, and much more.

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library

by Pat Contri

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library 1985-1995 is an expansive and thorough look at one of the greatest video game libraries of all time - the Nintendo Entertainment System. This 450 page book covers all licensed and unlicensed games released during the system's lifespan, and features information and reviews on hundreds of classic (and not so classic) 8-bit games.

The NES had nearly 800 unique game cartridges released during its lifetime. While almost every video game fan has played or at least heard of the more famous titles, there were many games that weren't as popular or well-known. This book features all of them with detailed information such as the release date, developer, publisher, genre, availability, and more, as well as a review and rating for each title.

Video Game Wizards

Take a walk through video game history

PRGE Video Game Museum
Atari Home Computer retail kiosk

For the first time ever, the 2016 Portland Retro Gaming Expo will feature a Museum area, in which you can walk through the halls of gaming history. Yes, we know that strolling through our massive exhibitor area can feel like being in a museum, but this exclusive area of the show will feature the rarest of the rare, the one-of-a-kind, the Holy Grails of video game collecting and history.

But that's not all.

Inside our Museum, you'll find museum curators John Hancock, Chris Kohler, and James Randell. These gaming experts will be there to walk you through the Museum's exhibits and answer your questions about the display, and video game history in general. (And they'll be setting up their own tables inside the Museum where they'll be selling their collectibles -- so be sure to stop in as you're doing your shopping run!)

We're also devoting a corner of the Museum to the ongoing preservation of gaming history. Historian Frank Cifaldi will be educating Museum visitors about the real-life work of archiving and preservation live on site! He'll be in the Museum scanning rare documents, working with game prototypes, and hunting down history to be saved from obscurity and shared with the world. If you want to learn about how we can preserve gaming history, or if you have any rare items that you want to make sure aren't lost forever, stop by the Museum and talk with Frank.

The museum is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday.

Here are some of the rare and incredible exhibits you'll find:

  • The recently-discovered "Nintendo PlayStation," a prototype of a proposed team-up between Nintendo and Sony that added a CD-ROM drive to the Super Nintendo
  • An extensive collection of rare complete-in-box Atari 2600 games
  • A massive collection of store kiosks used to display and demo vintage game consoles
  • The only known example of a United States model of the Nintendo 64DD
  • And much more!

Classic Tetris World Championship Returns to PRGE

2016 Classic Tetris World Championships
2016 Classic Tetris World Championships

After 6 years of Classic Tetris World Championships, the competition is stronger than ever! Inspired by the historic 1990 Nintendo World Championships, the tournament has brought the love of classic Tetris into the 21st century.

The CTWC format is spreading with players traveling from all over the North America, Europe and Asia to compete in the 2016 finals event right here at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. This year we are excited to welcome Southern Qualifier Winner Jake Stein, European Champion Jani Herlevi, and Japanese Tetris Grand Master Koryan to the CTWC!

Looking to the future, we anticipate another exciting contest on October 22nd and 23rd in our "Tetris Arena". We hope to see returning champions Jonas Neubauer and Harry Hong along with many other players featured in the award-winning Tetris documentary Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters.

The tournament will take place our main show hall on Saturday and Sunday of the Expo. It's open to the public and a modest entry fee (in addition to your paid Expo admission) allows you to make as many qualifying attempts as you are willing to wait in line for.

For history of the tournament, video of competitions and tournament rules, visit

PRGE Panel: The Art of Atari

Art of Atari
Art of Atari

In the late 1970's and early 1980's, millions of people were indelibly exposed to some of the most imaginative and intricate artwork to ever grace a video game package. Atari was famous for the covers of their game boxes and cartridges that invoke fantasy worlds inside the small shells of plastic and silicon. Additionally, Atari set the bar for industrial design putting millions of the ever-familiar, wood grain-accented 2600 VCS consoles into homes across the world. Atari also owned the arcades in the 80's with iconic coin-op game artwork for titles such as Asteroids.

PRGE is proud to welcome Tim Lapetino, author of the new book Art of Atari from Dynamite Press as he moderates a panel looking back at the inside stories behind these famous designs from the dawn of the video game era. Joining Tim on the panel are Steve Hendricks and Barney Huang.

Designer and artist Steve Hendricks started with Atari in 1977 and worked in the Coin-Op group. There he designed entire game cabinet graphics for memorable games like Asteroids. He then moved into the Consumer group where he created cartridge box illustrations for games like Golf, Checkers, Steeple Chase, Night Driver, Haunted Mansion, Othello, Defender, Pole Position, and Warlords to name a few. His last year with Atari was in the Advanced Products group, (one of three such groups at the time), where he designed on a unique retail product demo cabinet for 2600 games.

Industrial designer Barney Huang spent 9 years working for Atari in both the coin-op and consumer divisions. He is probably best known there for his well-recognized industrial design of the Atari 7800 game console.

PRGE welcomes the PIGSquad Game-Making Workshop

Portland Indie Game Squad
The Portland Indie Game Squad

The Portland Indie Game Squad hosts events, gaming marathons, and game making meetups to connect students, hobbyists, and professionals in their quest to make games. In the past year, they've collaborated with game making events for Cartoon Network, offered free workshops in person and online for Unity and tabletop games, and connected hundreds of people wanting to make projects together!

PIGSquad will be joining us for the 5th year in a row to introduce you to game making tools and skills, showcase modern virtual reality technology, stream a live horror game marathon, and more!

The PIGSquad events are available to PRGE attendees in rooms E147 and E148 (across from Auditoriums A and B).

Saturday, October 22nd

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Panel: How Retro Games Influence Modern Indies
From the remaster of System Shock to referencing pixel art in Steam games in 2016, how do we see our nostalgic retro titles influencing game developers today? Join panelists Stephen Kick (System Shock Remastered), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home, Tacoma), Mo Cohen (Queer Quest), Cullen Dwyer (Handsome Mr. Frog, Sgt. Saturn), and Kate Thomas (Smooth Operator, Motokata) as we discuss these classics' influence on game developers today.

2:30pm - 4:00pm: 8-Bit Generation Film Screening
When Jack Tramiel invented Commodore in the 1970's, he envisioned computing for the masses and not just the upper classes. Spearheading the personal technology revolution and combatting giants like Apple and IBM, Commodore became a household name by changing the way in which we interact, create and play with computers. From the advent of the groundbreaking Atari and Tetris games to the evolution of contemporary technological design, 8 Bit Generation dives into the home computer explosion and explores Commodore's key role in shaping the future in which we now live.

5:00pm - 11:00pm: Stream & Scream: Horror Game Marathon
We're ready for Halloween: are you? Join us to witness the scariest experiences in gaming today, including Resident Evil: Beginning Hour, Silent Hills P.T., and Witch's House. Some games are rated M for Mature!

Sunday, October 23rd

10:30am - 12:30am: All Ages Game Making Workshop
Ever wanted to design your own game? Work with Pixel Arts Game Education to begin your journey into turning your stories and characters into a game to play with your friends!

2:00pm - 5:00pm: Virtual Reality Lounge
Play games and experiences in some of the most immersive technology to date with Oculus, PlayStation VR, and more! Virtual reality companies recommend against use by children under 12 years of age.

WIRED Games editor Chris Kohler to speak at PRGE

Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life
Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life

WIRED's Games Editor Chris Kohler will be at the 2016 Portland Retro Gaming Expo, along with the new edition of his classic book Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life. To be released October 19, this definitive edition of Kohler's 2004 look at the history and culture of Japanese video games contains an all-new chapter, as well as a new foreword from Sony's Shuhei Yoshida.

WIRED's Games Editor Chris Kohler
WIRED's Games Editor Chris Kohler.

Chris will be in the PRGE Museum on both Saturday and Sunday, selling and signing copies of the new Power-Up. (Or, he says, anything you want him to sign.) In addition, you can also catch his panel Retrogame Roadshow with Frank Cifaldi and Steve Lin, and see him at the Retronauts 10th Anniversary Extravaganza.

Since founding WIRED's Webby-nominated Game|Life section in 2005, Chris has covered the video game industry extensively over the past decade. He is also the co-host of the Stitcher Award-winning trivia podcast Good Job, Brain!

See the "Nintendo-Playstation" Prototype

Terry and Dan Diebold
Terry and Dan Diebold next to the Nintendo-Playstation prototype.

Back in 1988, Sony and Nintendo signed a contract agreeing to work together to create a CD-ROM add-on for the Super Nintendo. This got as far as the prototyping stage with hardware and SNES-CD titles being demoed at the Consumer Electronics Show. Eventually, and to the surprise of Sony, Nintendo announced a partnership with Philips Electronics for a CD add-on and the Sony deal fell apart.

Fast-forward to 2009 when Dan Diebold read about the failed Sony-Nintendo relationship and remembered a strange game console his father, Terry Diebold, had purchased at a bankruptcy auction. Dan recently located the console in Terry's attic and, despite some initial skepticism, were able to get it authenticated as the only known remaining prototype of the SNES-CD system that Sony created as part of their contract with Nintendo.

Since then, the rare console has traveled widely (along with Dan and Terry), as far away as Hong Kong where the unit was tested and even x-rayed. Dan and Terry even brought the system to well-known game modder, Ben Heckendorn, who was able to carefully disassemble the console and determine the cause for the failed CD unit inside. Although he did not have the parts on hand to repair the CD drive, he was able to repair the console to where it is able to consistently play Super Nintendo (actually Super Famicom) game cartridges.

Nintendo-Playstation prototype console
The Nintendo-Playstation prototype console.

Dan and Terry will be bringing the "Nintendo Playstation" to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo which will be available for viewing in the PRGE video game museum. Further, Ben Heckendorn will be at PRGE where he will be attempting to repair the broken CD drive with some recently-sourced parts. Ben, Dan and Terry will be speaking about the unit at Ben's console modding panel and it is their goal to show off the fixed and fully operational console at this panel should their repairs be successful. Fingers are crossed!

You can read more about the story behind this amazing piece of video game history at these links:

Ben's panel is scheduled for 5:00 PM on Saturday in Auditorium B.

The New 8-Bit Heroes Screening at PRGE

As a child did you ever sketch awesome video game worlds onto the margins of your notebooks? Have you ever wondered how your favorite Nintendo games were turned from an idea to the classic titles we know today? What would it take to transform a child's video game vision to reality on a game platform that peaked 25 years ago? This is the premise of Joe Granato's documentary film, The New 8-Bit Heroes, which will screen on Saturday evening at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo.

"When I was eight years old I spent the majority of my summer days hypnotized by a fifteen inch cathode ray tube in the family room of my parents' Central New York home. My recreation of choice was the solitary saving of fantastic worlds with a now archaic gamepad. And when I was eight, I would sketch. I would doodle. I would draw with sidewalk chalk and propose in prose my own fantastic world that borrowed heavily from those games that inspired me. I wasn't ever very good at that part of it, but in my defense I was also eight.

"A childhood friend and I spent the last part of our school year designing a game. From mapping out the treacherous dungeons to naming, designing, and giving attributes to the monsters, to even creating a soundtrack on an old Casio keyboard. Like so many ambitious kids our age, we sent a letter including the plans for this masterpiece to Nintendo of America."

"I spent the majority of that summer watching for the delivery truck. I was certain that some space-aged computer system would arrive any day. So certain, in fact, that I designed a game manual, and created a cartridge box complete with custom artwork on white construction paper. After all, I wanted to be ready to see this vision realized."

"We finally received our response in August just before summer vacation ended. In just a few heartbreaking sentences, Nintendo officially apologized that they could not send me the equipment to make my own game nor could they take unsolicited ideas from outside the corporation. I was crushed. In a storage box out in the tool shed of my parents' suburban home, the vision was tucked neatly away along with the notebook of juvenile pre-production work. That world was dormant and all but forgotten forgotten. I grew up. I moved on. I left that particular childhood vision to die on the proverbial vine."

      Joe Granato

The New 8-Bit Heroes follows Joe and a group of modern creatives as they retrofit their skills in an attempt to defy the limitations and build a compelling, cartridge based game experience for the 30-year-old, 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System.

The film will play in PRGE's Classic Tetris World Championship arena on Saturday evening starting at 7:00 PM and the director will answer questions after.

James Rolfe: Angry Video Game Nerd!

The Angry Video Game Nerd
Join the Angry Video Game Nerd at PRGE 2016!

For the first time ever we welcome James Rolfe, the Angry Video Game Nerd, to the 2016 Portland Retro Gaming Expo! James will be hosting his own panel on Saturday and another again on Sunday, as well as an autograph session for a limited time in the main lobby on Saturday. Panel and autograph times will be announced closer to the event.

James Rolfe is a filmmaker, director, producer, and writer from New Jersey who is best known for his internet production of The Angry Video Game Nerd. Rolfe gained mainstream attention when the first four episodes of AVGN went viral on the internet after his best friend Mike Matei persuaded him to publish them on YouTube in 2006.

Since then, James has published hundreds of videos and even a feature length film featuring the Nerd character. The "nerd van" from this movie will be on display at PRGE along with AVGN merchandise for sale.

Volunteer Your Time at the Retro Gaming Expo

Volunteer at PRGE!
PRGE runs on volunteers and we need your help!

Do you love classic video games? Would you like to hang out with hundreds of like-minded classic gaming fans? Would you like to touch real-live video game nerds? Get all this plus free admission to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo!

PRGE is a 501(c)4, 100% non-profit and volunteer-operated convention. Our continued growth and improvement depends on fans like you to volunteer your time and skills. If you will be in the Portland, OR area on October 18-23, 2016 we can use your help. There are many postions available. Each volunteer gets free admission to the Expo for the entire weekend and special volunteer PRGE t-shirt.

Go to the PRGE volunteer page for more information and to complete the volunteer application.

Activity Schedule for PRGE 2016

For the first time in 11 years, PRGE will be open on Friday! We have created this graphic to help explain what you can do on each day of the event and when you can do it. Questions? Email us at

2016 PRGE activity schedule

PRGE 2015 Highlights

PRGE 2015 is over, but not forgotten! Here are some links to reviews, photos and videos from the Expo.

PRGE Panels




Join Our Mailing List for the latest Expo News

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PRGE Countdown Clock:
Buy Tickets! Click Here!
2016 Show Hours: Friday, October 21
Arcade: 3:00 PM to midnight
Saturday, October 22
Exhibitor Hall: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM (9:00 AM early entry for presale pass holders)
Arcade: 10:00 AM to midnight
Sunday, October 23
Exhibitor Hall: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Arcade: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Detailed show schedule »


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