2016 PRGE Panel Descriptions

Metal Jesus Rocks at PRGE 2015
John Hancock, Reggie Williams, Kinsey Burke and Jason Lindsey at the Metal Jesus Rocks panel in 2015.

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All Gen Gamers

Speakers: Gamester81, Jason Heine and Pete Dorr
Description: Join Gamester81, Jason Heine and Pete Dorr for this panel and Q&A on their popular All Gen Gamers podcast. All Gen Gamers is a podcast for video game fans of all generations featuring Pete Dorr, John (Gamester81), Jason Heine (TheEMUreview), and Sexy Ben.

Panel may contain mature language and subject matter. Attendee discretion is advised.

Angry Video Game Nerd (two sessions!)

Speaker: James Rolfe, The Angry Video Game Nerd
Description: PRGE is proud to welcome James Rolfe for his first ever appearance in Portland! Join him for an hour of AVGN stories, Q & A, and there might even be a special Halloween treat!

There will be two opportunities to see James on stage (one on Saturday and one on Sunday) and an autograph session in the main lobby on Saturday. Exact times will be posted on the show schedule.

Panel may contain mature language and subject matter. Attendee discretion is advised.

Arcade Game Repair Clinic from the Portland Arcade Collectors

Speaker: Ian Eure
Description: Ian Eure of the Portland Arcade Collectors and Coin Rejects Podcast will share his tips and advice for maintaining classic coin-operated arcade games. Everything from game cosmetics to monitor repair will be covered. If you want to gut a vintage arcade game and turn it into a MAME system, this probably is not the panel for you. But if you want to keep your classic game safe, functional, and looking good then Ian can help!

The Art of Atari

Speakers: Tim Lapetino, Steve Hendricks and Barney Huang
Description: 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, woodgrain-accented 2600 VCS consoles into homes across the world. And Atari also owned the arcades in the 80's with iconic coin-op game artwork for titles such as Asteroids.

Steve Hendricks was the artist behind many of Atari's iconic package designs including Atari 2600 Defender.

Barney Huang is an industrial designer who worked for Atari in the 1980's, creating the well regarded Atari 7800 Pro System console design.

Tim Lapetino is the author of the new book Art of Atari from Dynamite Press.

Atari Programmer Tod Frye

Speaker: Tod Frye
Description:Tod Frye is a former Atari programmer best known for developing the home adaptation of Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 video computer system. Securing the home license for Pac-Man from Namco was a coup for Atari, but it left little time for the game to be developed before the 1981 holiday season.

Join Tod for this and other fascinating stories of this pivotal time in the history of home console gaming.

Atari Programmers Bob Smith, Rob Zydbel, Ed Rotberg and Brad Stewart

Speakers: Bob Smith, Rob Zdybel, Ed Rotberg and Brad Stewart
Description: In 1981, programmer Bob Smith left Atari and, along with several others from Atari and Mattel, formed Imagic. Imagic developed games for the Atari 2600, Intellivision and other video game consoles and was known for their distinctive silver packaging. Its best-selling titles included Atlantis, Cosmic Ark, Demon Attack, and billiards game Trick Shot.

Rob Zdybel has been a developer of console games since the early days of Atari where he made games for both the 2600 and the Atari 800 computer. He made several games under the Atari and Sega labels before moving on to work for 3DO.

Ed Rotberg was a key member of Atari's coin-op division, back when the staples of action gaming were introduced with each new Atari arcade game: "Missile Command," "Asteroids," "Centipede," "Tempest"; the list goes on. During his first stint at Atari in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Ed was the primary force behind the 3-D tank game, "Battlezone." He worked for Atari Games again a few years later, having a guiding hand in "Blasteroids" (a 1987 update to "Asteroids"), "S.T.U.N. Runner," and, with Ed Logg, "Steel Talons."

Brad joined Atari in May of 1977. During his time there he was responsible for programming seminal Atari 2600 titles such as Asteroids and Breakout. In 1981 he moved to Imagic where he wrote Fire Fighter and Sky Patrol.

Join Bob, Rob, Ed and Brad as they share these and other stories and answer your questions about the early days of Atari game development.

The Bit Wars - Demystifying the 8-bit to 64-bit Eras

Speakers: Joey "Roo" DeSena and Norman "The Gaming Historian" Caruso
Description: This panel will examine what it means when a game console is described as "something"-bit (8-bit, 16-bit, etc.), why it matters, and why no one talks about it anymore. In addition, we'll explore the heyday of the Bit Wars of the 80's and 90's, when video game marketing revolved around which systems had more bits, and companies figured out inventive (and sometimes fabricated) ways to become the new king of the bit mountain - taking perplexed kids and parents along for the ride. If you've ever looked at an Atari Jaguar, TurboGrafx-16, or Nintendo 64 and "did the math", then this panel is for you.

The Atari 7800 ProSystem with Steve Golson

Speakers: Steve Golson
Description: Steve Golson, the experienced designer and engineer best known in the game industry for designing arcade game enhancement kits at General Computer of Cambridge, will be delivering a Classic Postmortem of his influential '80s arcade game Ms. Pac-Man at PRGE. In his time at General Computer, Golson worked on a variety of notable projects, from the Super Missile Attack arcade enhancement kit to the Atari 7800 ProSystem's Maria graphics chip to Atari games like Food Fight. His remarkable work as part of the team developing the Pac-Man arcade enhancement kit Crazy Otto drove Midway to license the game and release it as Ms. Pac-Man, which became one of the best-selling and most influential arcade games in U.S. history.

Join Steve for a look back at the history of the Atari 7800 ProSystem.

The Coin Rejects Classic Arcade Podcast

Speakers: Brandon Coleman, Ian Eure, Jordan Barth and Brian Middleton
Description: Join the hosts of Portland's own Coin Rejects Classic Arcade Podcast as they share their passion for arcade and pinball machines. You'll hear about the challenges and rewards of this space-consuming hobby as well as some insight into the community and culture of classic arcade collectors. If you have questions about where to buy arcade machines, how to repair them, their history or you just want some tips for high scores you won't want to miss this panel.

Panel may contain mature language and subject matter. Attendee discretion is advised.

90's Gaming Nostalgia with Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Speakers: Jeffrey Wittenhagen
Description: Join this panel for a discussion of the best moments of 90's video games. From Super Mario Bros 3 to the introduction of polygons, nothing is off limits! There will be some special guests from the gaming community, but you will have to show up to see what's in store!

Jeffrey Wittenhagen is the author of the recently released book The Complete NES, a comprehensive Nintendo Collector's Book & NES RPG Indie game with professional NES-themed artwork. Join him as he discusses the book and shares stories from the history of the NES.

Completely Unnecessary Podcast LIVE!

Speakers:Pat "The NES Punk" Contri and Ian Ferguson

Description: Join Pat "The NES Punk" Contri and Ian Ferguson as they host a live presentation of their popular Completely Unnecessary Podcast, covering gaming, movies, comics, and the latest geek topics!

The Completionist

Speaker: Jirard Khalil
Description: The Completionist web series follows Jirard Khalil as he completes a new game every week, ranging from casual games to hardcore games. Join Jirard for his second PRGE panel as he talks about Completionist episodes, video games and whatever strikes his fancy.

Joe Decuir: History of the Amiga

Speaker: Joe Decuir
Description: Joe Decuir was one of the original engineers at Atari, who helped design, build, and produce the Atari 2600. He also wrote the game Video Olympics, a Pong collection that launched with the system. He later went on to help develop the Amiga, and the USB architecture. Join Joe as he looks back at the history of the Amiga computer platform and shares stories from his time as an Amiga hardware architect.

Game Collecting with Metal Jesus Rocks

Speakers: Jason "Metal Jesus Rocks" Lindsey, Kinsey Burke, "Radical" Reggie Williams, Kelsey Lewin and "The Immortal" John Hancock
Description: Join the Metal Jesus along with super-collectors John Hancock, Kinsey Burke, Kelsey Lewin and "Radical" Reggie Williams as they discuss the current state of video game collecting. They will share their best tips for collecting in a environment of rising prices and increasing numbers of gamers entering the hobby. Jason will also be sharing his advice for running a successful YouTube channel. This is an interactive panel so please bring your questions!

Panel may contain mature language and subject matter. Attendee discretion is advised.

Game Collecting Down Under

Speakers: Wood Hawker and Alli "8-Bit Alli" Flanagan
Description: Join Aussies Wood Hawker and Alli "8 Bit Alli" Flanagan as they share the trials and tribulations of game collecting in Australia, the land down under!

Panel may contain mature language and subject matter. Attendee discretion is advised.

Game Designers Rebecca Heineman and Jannell Jaquays

Speakers: Rebecca Heineman and Jannell Jaquays
Description: Rebecca and Jannell recount their experiences in the video game industry from the 1980's through today.

Rebecca is a long-time veteran of the computer game industry. She was a founding member of Interplay Productions, Logicware, Contraband Entertainment and has also been affiliated at various times with Barking Lizards Technologies, Electronic Arts, Bloomberg, Microsoft, MacPlay and Ubisoft. In the mid-1980s, Heineman programmed the cult classic graphic adventure games Tass Times in Tonetown and The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate. Heineman also programmed the Macintosh, Super Nintendo and Apple IIGS ports of Another World, as well as some other lesser-known games, such as Mindshadow, Borrowed Time, Battle Chess, and The Tracer Sanction.

Jennell is a game designer and artist of table-top role-playing games (RPGs) and video games. Some of her works include the Dungeons & Dragons modules "Dark Tower" and "Caverns of Thracia" for Judges Guild; development and design of conversions on games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong for Coleco's home arcade video game system; and more recent design work for various video games, including the Age of Empires series, Quake 2, and Quake III Arena. The most renowned of her many works as a fantasy artist is the cover illustration for TSR's Dragon Mountain game.

Game ROM Hacking with John Riggs

Speaker: John Riggs
Description: Come see NES super-fan, John Riggs, edit an NES game LIVE! Learn how the artwork can be changed into something new and custom aspects added to classic NES games. John edits NES games as a hobby, but you may have seen him making repros, eating breakfast cereal, attending gaming conventions and more.

The Gaming Historian

Speaker: Norman "The Gaming Historian" Caruso
Description: Join Norman Caruso as he presents a live episode of his show. The topic is a mystery, but you are sure to learn something new. There will also be a round of Jeopardy!, where members of the audience get a chance to show off their knowledge and win prizes. The panel concludes with a Q&A session.

The History of Imagic

Speakers: Bob Smith and Denis Koble
Description: Imagic was a short-lived American video game developer and publisher that created games initially for the Atari 2600 and later for other consoles. Imagic released games for the Mattel Intellivision, ColecoVision, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, IBM PCjr, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64 and Magnavox Odyssey2. Their best-selling titles were Atlantis, Cosmic Ark, and Demon Attack

Bob and Dennis were founders of Imagic in 1981, both having formerly worked at Atari. Join them as they tell the story of the rise and fall of Imagic and their legacy of gaming classics.

Now You're Playing With Prototypes! with Patrick Scott Patterson

Speaker: Patrick Scott Patterson
Description: During a recent attic raid, Video Game Advocate Patrick Scott Patterson found unreleased prototypes of Akira for the Nintendo Game Boy and Mallrats for the Sega Genesis. Join PSP and friends as they do a live Let's Play session of these never-before-seen games, with footage of the prototypes on display for all to see.

How it works: 8-Bit Graphics and Sound with the 8-Bit Guy

Speakers: David Murray
Description: Join David Murray, also known as The 8-Bit Guy as he demonstrates the amazing things programmers could do with graphics and sound on older 8-bit computer and gaming systems.

Inti Creates

Speakers: Inti Creates CEO Takuya Aizu and International Affairs Coordinator Matt Papa
Description: Inti Creates Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game development company formed by ex-Capcom staff in May 1996, best known for the creation of the Mega Man Zero series and Mega Man ZX series. They have also published several music albums composed and arranged by III, whose members are Ippo Yamada, Ryo Kawakami, Luna Umegaki, Tsutomu Kurihara, and Masaki Suzuki, amongst others. On August 29, 2014, they released their first self-published games Azure Striker Gunvolt and Mighty Gunvolt.

Join CEO Takuya Aizu and International Affairs Coordinator Matt Papa will discuss their current projects such as Gunvolt, Bloodstained and Gal*Gun, followed by a Q & A session.

It's Alive! A Story of Classic Arcade Game Resurrection with Ed Fries

Speaker: Ed Fries
Description: In early 2015 Ed Fries acquired a rare yellow Computer Space cabinet, a game created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in their pre-Atari partnership as Syzygy Engineering. He spent the next few months troubleshooting and ultimately repairing the motherboard and vintage black-and-white television the game used as a monitor. Then in early 2016 Ed found what is thought to be a rare color prototype board for the Atari coin-op game, Gotcha. Since then he conducted some serious research and restoration work, including correspondence with Nolan Bushnell himself.

In his panel Ed tells the story of how he brought these rare games back from the brink of destruction. You can expect to learn something about the inner workings of the first arcade video games and some advice on performing your own vintage game "rescues". You can learn more about Ed's work on these historic games on his blog.

"It's Just Emulation!" - The Challenge of Selling Old Games

Speaker: Frank Cifaldi
Description: Keeping classic games in print is a surprisingly risky and difficult business. This talk from Digital Eclipse's Frank Cifaldi showcases the approach taken for Capcom's Mega Man Legacy Collection to discuss how and why old games should and will become sellable again.

Frank operates The Video Game Preservation Dump, a blog that highlights all of the work being done around the world to make sure video game history isn’t being lost.

Let's Get Physical: The Resurgence of Physical Game Media

Speakers: Douglas Bogart and Kelsey Lewin
Description: The games industry is changing, but are all of these changes a good thing? Digital games have brought convenience to many gamers - but at what cost? Find out why owning your game in a physical format is still a great option and how physical games will stand the test of time. With digital-only licensing, popular games like Scott Pilgrim & P.T. have been de-listed and are now forever gone for new fans. Douglas Bogart, founder of Limited Run Games and Kelsey Lewin, collector and game store owner, will discuss the current boom in retro game collecting and how physical media is making a comeback.

Let's Play! with PBG, BrutalMoose, SpaceHamster and ProJared

Speakers: Peanut Butter Gamer, BrutalMoose, SpaceHamster and ProJared
Description: What? All these guys in one panel? Oh yeah. PBG and ProJared from NormalBoots.com and BrutalMoose and SpaceHamster from HiddenBlock.com will discuss their respective projects and answer questions from their fans. Seating will fill up fast to get to this one early. Autograph session to follow the panel.

Mastering the Claw: The Secrets of Prize and Redemption Games with Matt3756

Speaker: Matt "Matt3756" Magnone
Description: Join Matt Magnone as he shares his tip and tricks for getting the most out of claw games, coin pushers and other games that issue prizes. Expect some special tips and tricks to help you win more often at arcade games!

Learn more about Matt on his popular YouTube channel, Matt3756, where he hits up every Dave and Busters, Chuck E Cheese, ESPN Arcade and penny arcade he can find to play games and have fun. Whether it’s a penny, quarter or nickel, he's in it for the JACKPOT!

Building and Hacking Pinball with Ben Heckendorn

Speaker: Benjamin Heckendorn
Description: Join Ben Heckendorn as he shares tips and tricks for hacking pinball machines and creating your own. You'll learn about his PinHeck pinball system and some behind-the-scenes details on the design and creation of the America's Most Haunted pinball machine.

Film Screening: The New 8-Bit Heroes

Speaker: Joe Granato
Description: The New 8-Bit Heroes is a film that follows the story of a group of modern creatives building a new "homebrew" NES game based on designs penned by an 8 year old in 1988, and through it examines the process, the community, and serves as a compelling look at the importance of those ambitions we leave in our youth.

Creator, Joe Granato, will be on hand to introduce this compelling film and to take questions afterwards. The New 8-Bit Heroes will be screened on Saturday evening in the Tetris World Championship arena located in the Arcade on the main show floor.

Pat the NES Punk Panel & The Play the Punk Challenge

Speaker: Pat "the NES Punk" Contri
Description: The man behind Pat the NES Punk, the #CUPodcast, and Flea Market Madness is here! Join Pat Contri as he talks about his current and future projects, discusses his new book, Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library, his NES mobile app, and shows off a video! Then stick around for the wacky and famous Play the Punk Challenge! Are you ready?

Panel may contain mature language and subject matter. Attendee discretion is advised.

PRGE Live Video Game Collectibles Auction

Auction Hosts: Chuck Van Pelt, Rick Weis, Toby Wickwire and Jake Bichler
Description: For the eighth year, PRGE is proud to host a live video game collectibles auction. Taking place on Saturday evening, the auction has become one of the highlights of the Expo and has enjoyed a full house every time. While the auction has run up to 3 hours in past years, we are keeping it strictly to 2 hours in 2016! Visit the PRGE Auction page for more information.

Panel may contain mature language and subject matter. Attendee discretion is advised.

PRGE's Annual Cosplay Contest

Description: All attendees are invited to come to PRGE in costume and enter the Cosplay Contest. Costumes do not have to be video game-related. No need to register - just show up!


Speaker: Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer
Description: Join Jared for a Q & A session centered on his experiences with video gaming. Jared produces retro reviews, videos on the newest releases, comedic playthroughs and spotlights on overlooked indie games on his ProJared channel. His articulate monologues and professional editing make him one of the top gaming entertainers on YouTube.

Question Block Trivia

Host: Nathan Martin
Description: The Question Block is a multi-media video game themed quiz, featuring graphic rounds, audio, and video questions from casual to hardcore games, lore and the industry. Host Nathan Martin will present a special version of the Question Block quiz at PRGE. All are welcome to play and there will be valuable prizes on the line!

Until then, you can join Nathan and Kinsey on the last Tuesday of every month in Kirkland, WA as teams compete for cash, prizes, and a chance to compete for the championship at the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo! More information about The Question Block Video Game Pub Quiz can be found at TheQuestionBlock.com.

"Nintendo Playstation" Update with Ben Heck

Speakers: Benjamin Heckendorn, Dan Diebold and Terry Diebold
Description: Ben has been analyzing and modifying classic game consoles since well before 2005 when he released his popular book, Hacking Video Game Consoles: Turn your old video game systems into awesome new portables. Earlier this year, Ben got his hands on the one-of-a-kind "Nintendo Playstation" prototype console that recently surfaced. Ben was able to do a teardown of the system and restore functionality of the Super Nintendo component.

Dan and Terry Diebold, the owners of the "Nintendo Playstation" prototype console, are bringing it to PRGE where Ben will attempt to repair the CD-ROM drive and make the system fully-functional for the first time since it was built. Will he succeed? Come to the panel and find out!

The panel will conclude with a Q & A where Ben, Dan and Terry will answer your questions about the Nintendo Playstation and some of Ben's amazing and ambitious modified video game consoles. Expect some tips and tricks for making your own game console mods! Do not miss it!

Retro Games Roadshow

Speakers: Chris Kohler, Steve Lin and Frank Cifaldi
Description: Old games can be worth big money, but in this age of counterfeits and inflated prices, it’s tough to know what’s collectible gold and what’s just fools’ gold. Our panel of experts will evaluate your items, telling you why they’re rare (or not!) and guess at a price.

Have something you want to profile on the Roadshow?
If you’d like to have your items showcased on stage you can bring them to Chris Kohler in the PRGE Museum on Saturday to be evaluated for the Roadshow. Or you can opt to show up at the panel and find Chris, Frank or Steve before it starts to let them know you have an item. Attend the panel and they'll call you up on stage, time permitting!

The Retronauts 10th Anniversary Extravaganza

Speakers: Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish and Chris Kohler
Description: The Retronauts celebrate 10 years of their classic gaming podcast with returning guests, and discuss how retro game appreciation has changed over the passing decade. A question and answer session will follow.

Pamela Smith

Speaker: Pamela Smith
Description: Pamela Smith worked for Atari in the Promotion Design department for Consumer Electronics from 1982 - 1984. She designed the holiday packaging for the 5200 game console, and the retail point-of-purchase and sales support materials for the Ms. Pac Man, DigDug, Pengo and Phoenix games. She worked with the team that designed and produced the 1983 sales catalogs, which included the 2600 and 5200 video game consoles and the entire line up of games.

If you grew up with the Atari 2600, you probably remember what an impact their retail marketing materials had on you. Pamela will share what it was like to produce sales support items, including mobiles, easel cards, aisle displays and brochures for the then very young video game industry. Hear the inspiration and stories behind some of the most iconic marketing materials of the late 20th century.

Super Best Friends

Speaker: Matthew Kowalewski, Woolie Madden, and Liam Allen Miller
Description:While the Best Friends have covered games new and old, bad and good...this time let them regail you with some of their fondest old school memories from the games of yore! From Wild Guns and Super Mario RPG to Prince of Persia and Streets of Rage, there's a lot of titles from generations past that hold a lot of nostalgic value. An intimate and thought provoking panel...in concept, but with that distinctive air of unprofessionalism you've come to expect from the Best Friends Zaibatsu!

The Super Best Friends Play have been bumbling and fumbling their way across YouTube for the better part of 5 years, and until they find something better to do there's no need to stop now! From suffering through Ride to Hell Retribution, to basking in the sublime light of Viewtiful Joe this intrepid group of Let's Players will continue to make you laugh and scream in abject frustration!

"That Was A Video Game?" The History of Oddball Game Systems with John Hancock

Speaker: "The Immortal" John Hancock
Description: Join super-collector John Hancock as he give you a tour of several lesser-known video game consoles from the history of gaming. Learn about the origins of these oddball systems and even experience some gameplay, live in the panel!

Video Game Package Design with Marc Ericksen

Speaker: Marc Ericksen
Description: Hear the stories behind the design of some of the most iconic video game packages and labels for classic titles on the NES, Genesis and more. Professional illustrator Marc Ericksen has done illustration for Atari, Activision, Broderbund, Data Age, Data East, Sega, and many others. He will discuss the creative processes that went into that art, and the particulars of his techniques for creating those original pieces of art, and indeed will show a number of originals, as well as examples of the sketches and color roughs from the days that can tenderly be described as the closing days of the hand drawing and hand painting of illustration’s original art.

Howard Scott Warshaw

Speaker: Howard Scott Warshaw
Description: Howard Scott Warshaw is best known for his work for Atari in the 1980's, designing such iconic games as E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Yar's Revenge and Raiders of the Lost Ark for the 2600 platform. Join Howard as he shares his history in the video game industry as well as his many varied life experiences including film making, real estate brokering, robotics engineering, photography and most recently, psychotherapy. This panel would not be complete without hearing Howard recount his experience creating the E.T. game and how he morphed it into a life lesson in overcoming failures, resiliency and positive perspectives.

Watch Out For Fireballs

Speakers: Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross
Description: Watch Out For Fireballs (WOFF) is a well-subscribed retro gaming podcast featuring Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross. Join them for this live podcast from the Expo.