Arcade, Video & Game Room Expo 2016 Opens Thursday in Chicago

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The expo will include celebrity appearances, arcade game and air hockey competitions, seminars on video game topics and opportunities to buy arcade machines, parts, publications and DVDs.

The event will feature more than 250 arcade, video and other coin-operated machines set on free play and appearances by some of the best-known gamers.

Final preparations are being made for the three-day Arcade, Video & Game Room Expo, set to begin Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, Ill.

The event will feature more than 250 arcade, video and other coin-operated machines set on free play and appearances by some of the best-known gamers, including Billy Mitchell, considered by some as the greatest arcade and video game player of all time, and Richie Knucklez, world record-holder for the classic game Space Invaders.

Expo organizers noted that a late addition to the event will be a pre-Kong Off hosted by Knucklez, who originated the Donkey Kong competition about five years ago. The actual Kong Off is held once a year in Pittsburgh.

The expo will also include arcade game and air hockey competitions, seminars on video game topics and opportunities to buy arcade machines, parts, publications and DVDs.

“This will be an exciting weekend for video gamers, collectors and fans of classic and new games,” said Rob Berk of Warren, Ohio, lead organizer of the event and also the founder of Pinball Expo, the nation’s first and longest-running vintage pinball exposition, held each year in Chicago.

Other celebrities set to appear at AVGR Expo 2016 include:

  • Joel West, a Berzerk and Frenzy arcade world record holder.
  • Walter Day, founder of Twin Galaxies Arcade in Iowa, and a video game scoring authority and historian.
  • Eugene Jarvis, creator and author of Defender, Stargate, Robotron: 2084 and many other games.
  • Doc Mack, owner of Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Ill., which is billed as the largest arcade in the world. A bus trip to Mack’s arcade is planned for Thursday so event-goers can play some of the more than 500 arcade games at Galloping Ghost.

Pricing and other information for the event is available at its website, http://www.AVGRexpo.com.

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Tony Paglia
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