Retro Gaming Expo takes visitors through videogame history – Newsday

Ben Manu, 41, took his two kids on a trip through his childhood, by way of video games, on Saturday at the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo.

Space Invaders, Asteroids, Donkey Kong — they were all there, in the old-school machines that a generation of young people inserted endless quarters into at the video game arcades that once dotted Long Island and the country.

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“I wanted to get them to relive the history I went through,” Manu said after his daughter, Jordan, 13, played Frogger, the classic 1981 game that was an arcade staple.

The third annual expo, which continues Sunday, features a mix of games, primarily from the 1970s through 1990s, some on arcade machines, others on home consoles.

This year the event moved to a larger space at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City from its previous location at a Hauppauge hotel, after it doubled in size to 2,000 attendees in 2016 from 1,000 in 2015, said Joel Albino, one of the expo organizers.

Some came to play just for fun, others tried to win one of 20 tournaments for individual games. New this year is the multigame, multi-system, two-day Retrothon competition.

Ben Manu, of Mineola, has played some of the new games on son Ryan’s Xbox One. But he’s not a fan.

“To be honest, I’m too old for it,” he said. “Too many buttons. The simplicity of the old stuff is better.”

Ryan, 8, and Jordan said it only took them a few seconds to pick up the point of Frogger: Guide your frog across a busy highway without it getting hit, and then navigate the amphibian down a danger-filled river onto an empty lily pad.

Ryan said it was fun, but he prefers the more complex modern games.


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