|The Meet 1.5 attendees were (there are
some missing from here email email@example.com):
Pinballs, space guns, JAMMA PC engines... readon....
Whats the meeting for?
quote Andy Jones on his introductory flyer, at the meet:
of the meeting is to meet the people on the list so we can all
put a face to the email. None of us would have the collections we
have without the help of other collectors and despite the
convenience of the Internet, the Web and Email none of these can
replace face to face contact and discussion with like minded
people. By meeting other collectors hopefully we will all end up
being a bit more helpful, tolerant and generally friendly than
before and everyone will benefit from that.
so we all know why everyone was there - What happened?
meeting was scheduled roughly between 1400 and 1900 hours, so
Andys Mrs and Family wouldnt get too annoyed.
Steadily the people arrived and at around 1430, the road was
looking a little busy. If everyone left at once, you were looking
at a traffic jam.
Once into the house people automatically walked towards Andys
Arcade, as if by intuition, and if not, by curiosity, due to the
zapping noises. Oh yes, Andy has a fine collection (see Meet
Number #1), and it didnt take long for you lot to get stuck
in. Or did it? When I walked in, the room was crowded, but
Defender was not being played. Well you lot might be shy, but Im
not, so I had a couple of goes, seeing that they were all on
7: Karl Doe captivated by Defender Attract Mode
I felt quite happy with my 25,000. (I hear you all scoff, but
even though Im nearly 30, Ive only ever really played
it on MAME, and its a lot easier.) I was sure that I
wasnt a Top Scorer, and I was proved right. After milling
around in the arcade for a while, I accidentally
pointed Dave Langley at the game. After losing a few men, Im
not very good at the start (or words to that effect), he
got into the groove, and I watched the 100,000s clock over, again
and again. It gets harder, he says, once upon a
time I used to get stuck at 500,000 for ages. He then
mentioned what happens when you get to level 255
And a few
hours later, it was de ja vu, all over again, with Chad
Gray doing it as well, among others.
8: Chad Gray watches Greg Mott play Defender
What else was in there? The Asteroids cocktail had a steady
stream of visitors and what a crisp monitor, too. Andys
children were getting a lot of coaching on that one, probably
because they can reach the controls.
9: Asteroids Table-top
10: Marshall Aver plays Robotron
Libble Rabble was over in the corner. Hmm, thats a
strange-looking game, kindly provided by XY-Man. Everyone who
tried that one looked confused. Its a weird sort of Qix/Amidar
type game, where you have to surround walking mushrooms with a
bungee cord around some pegs in the ground. Sounds
easy, but youve two joysticks, one for each end of the
bungee, and when they cross over, boy do your hands get confused.
11: Libble Rabble
Andy, being a Williams collector, had Joust, Robotron
and Sinistar available for use as well. All ofem are in
great condition, and were a pleasure to play. Around the corner
was Star Wars, and that, just like the Williams trio above,
was all played all day long.
Vectrex looks like this
Believe it or not, but even with video games, you can have too
much of a good thing, and so Andys 3 pinball machines were
also put to good use by everyone looking for a bit of a change.
13: Star Wars was a bit of a Favourite
heres a funny thing I would say that half of the
visitors didnt play the games in the Arcade. We must all
have different reasons for owning this stuff, considering how
fragile it can be at times. Matthew Garrett is one case, Im
a gamer, I wouldnt buy a game I didnt enjoy playing.
Myself, other hand, I own a Star Wars, and whilst it is regarded
by many as The Game, I dont I dont really
play it that much. (I much prefer to play Centipede.) In fact,
many of you dont even look the types (too normal?)
who would be interested in arcade games.
its the technology. With a little effort, we can all work
out what a Z80 does, and get our head around all of the other
circuitry, if we want to. We can identify with the one man who
wrote the code in a couple of months, in 1980. Each of the games
exudes character. Perhaps we all love the late 70s. I
could go on and on, but I have digressed enough as it is
food for thought perhaps.
When the sweat and noise in the arcade
became too much, the next stop was the conservatory. This was the
Chill Out Zone (every good arcade should have one). People
mingled here and talked pure gaming.
14: Super Gun put through paces by everyone
wait! There was a portable telly, and someone had bought a JAMMA
rig along. And look! There was Andy Welburn, doing a Try-Before-U-Buy
on a load of boards he had for sale. Here were some more of the
classics, including Ravages Ghouls n Ghosts,
and Paroidus (Far-Eastern version of Gradius). Sure enough, there
was more game playing going on here, lots of faces full of
concentration, and even more looking on. (Didnt sell many
of your fighting games, did you Andy!)
The Living Room (This is a bit like Jet Set Willy, no?)
was where people were relaxing in Andys comfy chairs. It
was relatively quiet in here, and conversations grew from people
putting faces to name on the list. This too, was where most
people were munching on the crisps and Coke that had been so
kindly provided by various members. (You know who you are, but we
dont, so email the Webmaster firstname.lastname@example.org, and lets
see credit where credits due.)
Engine to JAMMA
main attraction of the Living Room was the video player. I
remember seeing the Dragons Lair video playing, that brought back
some memories from childhood. (I never had time for the game, but
the cartoon was good!) Scott Green bought along a video, which
was a copy of an MPEG from a Williams game collection. It
was a load of interviews and history of Williams, and the
people that made it all happen very interesting. A few
other oddities were on show, like the Atari CAT Box, arcade-related
badges and the PC Engine to JAMMA rig.
The Driveway and Garage
your garage starting to look like this? Oh dear...
It took a while, but eventually we ended up with a jumble sale
in the Garage. I guess Andy had strategically placed the tables
in the garage there, and they were soon populated. Wanted EPROMS?
Mike Walden was your man he had 100s. There were
boards for sale and other WHY. P3TE turned up with an estate car,
and made the jumble sale into a jumble sale/car boot very
organised, he even had a list of stuff for sale..
Welburn sells to 'disinterested' buyers, Matthew Rose
& Ivan Mackintosh
As the day progressed towards kicking-out time, we all ended
up on the Driveway. There was a prize as an incentive for filling
in the Questionnaire that Andy had produced the use of a
hammer, garage floor and a sacrificial World Cup 90 PCB. You can
guess what happened next. Ian Davies (Quickcam88) won, lucky man.
Davies grins as he sorts out WC90
who had had enough (or had a long drive home), said their
farewells and cleared off. The rest of us milled around, starving,
and waiting for someone to take the lead, and find us all
somewhere to eat (that could accommodate the sixteen or so that
were left). Fortunately Andy knew the way to the nearest
Harvester (or clone), so we all turned the cars around and we had
a convoy! Not for long though, because the Harvester wasnt
very far away.
four tables, the party continued, still talking raw arcade, just
how we like it. Then, a little later, Matthew Garrett offered to
extend the evening, by opening the back of his parents
house near Bedford, where his personal Arcade lives. A few of us
knew about this beforehand, so it was quite easy to get a quick
consensus, the game was continued, and we had ourselves another
convoy! This time it was a bit more serious, as there was about
20 miles to travel. After a quick petrol and Mars bar stop, the
trek was on. Somehow, the ten or so cars stayed in convoy to
Matthews house without anyone getting lost, and Meet 1.5.1