Two Guys and a Digital Dream

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PhillyClassic video game expo founders celebrate videogames past and present in Philadelphia expo scheduled for March 2004. Demographic shifts highlight adult gamers and women gamers. What's the ultimate in retro tech? Playing Space Invaders and Tetris on your sleek, micro-size, full-color cell phone! Photo accompanies release.

Philly Classic 5 will focus on the amusement and wonder of gaming, always recognizing that the popular video games being played by our children today will be the classic games of tomorrow. Philly Classic strives to bring together all the elements of our videogame culture, and the Philadelphia area is the ideal location for our show, since 18% of the US population lives within a 4-hour drive.

For Immediate Release - Contact: David Newman - Tel 610.527.5325 - [email protected]

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) September 23 2003--Five months ago, Mark Wolfe would never have dreamed to be doing what he's doing today: managing the largest video game expo on the East Coast.

Wolfe, a resident of West Chester, PA, and West Philadelphia native, runs an Internet services company and is a huge fan of video games both past and present.

That's what brought Philly Classic (http://www.phillyclassic.com), the East Coast's largest gathering of video game fans, to Wolfe's attention. He attended the fourth annual Philly Classic last March. There, he met founder and organizer David Newman of Bryn Mawr, PA.

The two hit it off immediately as Wolfe was producing a documentary on video game culture and the major events around the country dedicated to gamers and the art of gaming.

Wolfe and Newman put their heads together and realized that much of the electronic entertainment of yesterday and today are inextricably linked. Whether playing games on old Ataris in their basements or on Xbox consoles in their living rooms ­their passion has always been "being in the game."

So now the two have decided to meld video games past and present into Philly Classic 5, slated for March 20-21, 2004 at the Valley Forge Convention Center outside Philadelphia. Newman says, "everything old is new again from bell bottoms, lava lamps, and the Mini Cooper to playing Space Invaders and Tetris on your sleek, micro-size, full-color cell phone."

"I guess there's a huge comfort factor in playing the games of yesteryear. Not to mention the fact that these games are just flat-out fun to play, even 15-20 years after they first came out." Compilations and remakes of classic games are consistent best sellers for systems like Nintendo's Gameboy Advance and Sony's PlayStation 2. Newman continues, "Of course, there's a whole new generation of gamers that enjoy the best of today's videogame technology on modern home consoles, online, and using, laptops, cell phones, and PDAs.

"Bringing the best of yesterday and today together is what our show is all about" Newman said. "I was born in 1964, so that means I was 13 in 1977 when the first Atari video game system came out. I was the perfect demographic gamer back then." Today, the demographics have shifted. The Entertainment Software Association (http://www.theesa.com) released their latest demographic survey results at the end of August and found that the average video gamer is 29 years old. Another surprise: almost half of video gamers are female.

Wolfe says, "We've known for a while that female gamers are out there (I happen to be married to one of the most dedicated gamers I know) ­ but they're under-represented, under-marketed to, and generally unheard from... until now, that is." Philly Classic is also addressing this demographic with the inclusion, both online and offline, of a growing community of gaming women. April Mattison-Wolfe is one of the co-founders of Joychix.com, a website dedicated to amplifying the voice of women in gaming ­ specifically involving them in the creation, marketing, and enjoyment of video games.

Mattison-Wolfe says, "By associating ourselves with Philly Classic, Joychix.com is making a powerful statement about gaming today. Philly Classic is about building an inclusive community of people who love video games ­ not just geeks, not just hardcore gamers, and definitely not just men. Philly Classic is geared toward everyone who loves video games, and female gamers are a huge part of that "everyone"." It is a pretty large audience. According to other numbers from the ESA, the video game industry surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue in 2002. This makes video games the world's most popular form of entertainment, even surpassing Hollywood's annual numbers at the box office.

Mark Wolfe concludes, "Philly Classic 5 will focus on the amusement and wonder of gaming, always recognizing that the popular video games being played by our children today will be the classic games of tomorrow. Philly Classic strives to bring together all the elements of our videogame culture, and the Philadelphia area is the ideal location for our show, since 18% of the US population lives within a 4-hour drive."

And what if all of them decide to come to Philly Classic 5 next March? "That's the kind of problem we'll take any day" Wolfe said.

For more information, please visit the Philly Classic website at: http://www.phillyclassic.com
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