First visit to SC3 Arcade Party
- From: rbernardo@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 19:57:28 -0700
Last Saturday I spent a relaxing night at the SC3 Arcade Party.
The official times of the party were from 6 p.m. to midnight on Sept.
15, but I arrived early at 5:40 p.m., after fighting through
traffic on the Interstate 10 freeway. The venue was at Steve H.'s
in the Los Angeles area. After getting my name badge and checking
off my name on the list of attendees, I headed to the tree-covered,
ivy-trimmed backyard. On the way there, the garage door was open,
and I saw that the garage was filled with stand-up electronic
arcade machines. When I got to the back, more electronic arcade
machines stood under an awning. Wow! In one corner of the yard was
an Intellivision game console, its video beamed through a projector
a screen. Near the back of the garage was a 6-foot table with a SX-64
and 1702 monitor. On the same table was a Super NES playing through
a 1702. To the south of that was another 6-foot table with a Amiga
2000 and 1702. To the south of that, another 6-foot table with a
Vectrex game machine and a Colecovision game console, its video
being played through a 19-inch t.v.. By the house's patio windows
were long tables filled with boxes and bags of games and hardware
for sale and/or trade. In the living room of the house, attendees
could play Nintendo Wii games on the huge television. At the upper
level of the backyard, to the east, there were plenty of tables and
for our dining needs. To the south of that sat the tables for food
plates and the jar for money donations (I threw in $10). On the
nearby were four ice coolers full of sodas and beer. To the north of
the dining area was the movie projection area, a big 4 x 6 foot vinyl
screen held up by PVC pipes. The movies tonight -- 3 hours of
commercials, film clips, t.v. shows, t.v. spots, foreign programming
-- and all related to videogames. It was still relatively early, and
everybody had showed up yet.
Being a newbie at the party, I gravitated toward the Commodore
equipment, but it wasn't long before SC3er Geoff Voigt introduced
himself, welcoming me to the party, introducing me to others at the
show, explaining the layout of goodies in the backyard and what was
going to happen that night. He noticed that I had in my hands a
Vectrex game multicart and the Vectrex version of the C64 game,
Thrust. "I've got to try that (Thrust) out, " he said. He also was
owner of the SX-64.
I exclaimed, "Hey, I brought my SX-64. It's in my car."
"Good!" he replied, "I thought I was the only one with
"I can go to my car and get the SX. Our club member, Andrew
Wiskow, is coming, too. So there will be 3 of us into Commodore."
He happily responded, "O.K., then for the first time, we'll have
two SX's here."
I went to the car, dug out the SX and boxes of game disks and
returned to the backyard. We put them on the table next to the other
SX and SuperNES. Then I went back to the car to get my Nikon SLR
film camera. To my surprise, Andrew had arrived early, too, and was
just signing in at the registration table.
I took Andrew to the back, gave him a quick tour, mentioned to
that there was a BBS guru at the party (Jason Forster of the Color 64
BBS program for Commodore). The food had not really arrived yet, and
so, we sat down and munched on chips and cookies. Soon, pizza was
delivered, and after a day of hardly eating anything, I wolfed down my
share and then washed it down with cans of Pepsi.
To Andrew's and my surprise, Oldergames.com's R.W. Bivins and
Christine Noriega walked into the yard. I had last met them at the
Commodore Vegas Expo v3 (CommVEx v3) back in July and had
mentioned the SC3 Party to them. Well, they remembered!
Immediately, R.W. and Christine sat at our dinner table. His first
to the party, R.W. was there to make contact with the gamers, gather
ideas, and lend support. He was thinking of producing his company's
newly-released Commodore disk game, Silo 64, as a cartridge. I told
him about 8-Bit Designs' Charles Gutman and his plans for a new
production run of Warpspeed v2 utility cartridges and possibly a
music cartridge. R.W. was very interested, said that he could help
Charles in producing the carts, and asked for Charles' contact info,
which I gladly gave. He also asked about the European counterparts
to Oldergames.com, Cronosoft in England and Protovision in Germany;
I also gave the contact information for those companies. Not all the
talk was about business... R.W. talked about starting construction on
a massive, private fishpond in his backyard, the pond to be stocked
with thousands of catfish, bass, and others.
As the night wore on, more and more attendees came. The news
media made a showing -- Jeff von Ward filming a documentary, and
Endgameradio.com filming a video podcast. The official greetings
the SC3 leaders were to have been made between 6 and 8, but nothing
had come yet. R.W., Christine, Andrew, and I went our respective ways
to check out the sales tables, play the console, computer, and arcade
games; and talk with the others.
I bought the MicroLeague Baseball game for the C64, spoke with
SC3er William about the excellent video modifications done to his
Colecovision game console (mods courtesy of Viking Video Games...
I must have those same mods for my Colecovision!), listened to Rob
Welkner from Coin-Op TV who had brought some of his shows'
DVDs for sale (I'm ready to buy season 2), bought two boxed VIC-20
games (Spills & Fills and In The Chips) and a James Bond
Scene-It board/DVD game from Chris (he told me the best Bond
shooter is Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64), and heard SC3er Robert
as he described how he would modify an Atari adapter for the
Colecovision and turn it into a full-fledged Atari 2600 (I never
thought it was even possible).
The night air grew colder, and the crowd huddled around the game
machines, especially those that were in the warm garage or in the
room. The SC3 organizers finally gave their delayed greetings to all
us, and there was enthusiastic applause.
Andrew and I tracked down Jason Forster and listened to his
BBSes and C= BBS programs in the 1980's. Jason had worked on the
Color 64 BBS program and still had all the versions, including the
telnettable one, version 6.2. As Andrew dropped names, Jason would
recollect, "I haven't thought about him in years", or "You're bringing
memories". Jason had also been involved with the Newtek and the
Amiga Video Toaster for 4 years.
I asked, "Do you remember a person who worked for Amiga Video
Toaster? Her name was Kiki Stockhammer."
That look of recognition spread on his face. "I remember Kiki.
haven't heard of her for years."
"Well, she's now a singer for the Star Trek rock 'n roll band,
11. She's up there living in the Sacramento area. Their next concert
is next Saturday in San Francisco."
"She's getting up there in years."
"Oh, she's doing well. Very flexible on stage! One of these
after a concert, I'll have to go and talk with her and ask her if she
still remembers Amiga."
As the night wore on, there was more and more game-playing.
I had my share of gaming. On the Vectrex I tried out Thrust (with
not a bad rendition of the original tune by Rob Hubbard). On the
Colecovision I dabbled a bit with various games on the
Colecovision Multicart. On the Amiga 2000, I looked at the
well-done Pacman clone, Footman (that was the only Amiga
game there!). On the SX-64 I showed off a few disk games (like
Super Mario Bros./Giana Sisters and Afterburner) and investigated
some of Geoff Voigt's carts (dozens, including some of which I
had never heard) thrown in box. Of the 40 or so arcade machines
set on free play, I discovered a new favorite -- the Williams space
shoot 'em up, Blaster (but no Star Trek: Strategic Operations
Simulator nearby). Andrew and I plugged in a PAL C64 DTV into
a 1702, but the monitor and the device were not agreeable with
each other that night.
Though its video was projected on a big screen, the
Intellivision and its Pacman clone game were not put to much
use; perhaps no one wanted to go to the dark corner of the
yard to use it. With the 3-hour festival of gaming videos
finished, some of the SC3ers now started playing games with
the other big projection screen.
R.W. and Christine were the first of my friends to leave.
We agreed to stay in contact with each other, and I reminded
them that their pictures were up at our website under
Commodore Gaming E3 Party. Then it was Andrew's turn to
leave, but not before I had given him a CD of photos and an
Amiga 600 for Charles Gutman.
By the end of the party, the SC3ers were calling me Mr.
Commodore as I answered more and more of their questions
(where to get 1581 disk drives, how to transfer from PC to
Commodore, etc.). If I couldn't answer, I said I'd ask my
The arcade machines were powered down, the consoles
put away, the sales items not sold were boxed. The SC3ers
spoke to each other about coming back 6 hours later in
order to haul away the arcade machines that did not belong
to Steve H.. It had been a long but good night. Everyone
was tired but happy. I told Geoff that I would come back
for the next SC3 Party in 6 months and thanked him for
the comradery, the talk, and the gaming. I thanked Steve
for his and his wife's hospitality. With my bag of Vectrex
goods and newly-bought items, I left... one of the last
attendees to leave at 1:40 a.m.. My plan for the next SC3
Arcade Party... bring more Vectrex carts, bring a VIC-20 or
Amiga CD32 system, and definitely bring more Amiga
Fresno Commodore User Group
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