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Retro Gaming Convention Unites Fans in Poland

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

"Silly Venture 2k12" celebrates everything good about retro gaming.

From the consols and the logos to the graphics and the games.

Event organiser Michal Michalowski says this event is a highlight for fans of retro gaming.

"It is an international event organised for Atari enthusiasts, from the first models to the latest. We have here people from eight different countries. We have met to exchange our experiences, have fun together and participate in contests for best graphics, music, programs and games."

Michalowski says the 2012 event is in tribute to a man known in English as Jack Tramiel.

"The event is dedicated to the memory of Jacek Trzmiel, a Polish man who was born in Lodz and thanks to whom we can enjoy these great computers."

Tramiel was a Polish-born American businessman best known for founding the Commodore International computer company and later the owner of the Atari Corporation.

Tramiel died in April 2012, just before the company turn 40 years old.

A scruffy, young Steve Jobs worked at Atari before he founded Apple.

"Pong," one of the world's first video games, was born there, as was "Centipede," a classic from the era of quarter-guzzling arcade machines. "Call of Duty" creator Activision was started by four of Atari's former game developers.

Michalowski says Atari has really withstood the test of time.

"The first (Atari) VCS (video computer system) console was created in the second half of the (19)70's. It is supported up to this day. New programs are created. Even new consoles are created on its basis. So the console is from 2012 with games from the (19)70's.

Many competitions are held at the event including prizes for best programming, best game and best music.

Event participant Arek Staworzynski says "Silly Venture" is always inspiring.

"The best works will be presented here as the most interesting people will be here. The men who create the most with whom you can exchange ideas, learn from them, show them your work."

Staworzynski says he works hard to help others appreciate the joys of retro gaming.

"Besides meeting here in closed circle, as a part of my hobby we participate in large gaming events like the PGA event in Poznan. There we set up what we call a retro stand. We set up these old computers, a dozen of them with old monitors and we let people play games on them. Crowds of kids come to play as they love it and want us to show them how. Also parents come to show their children how they played 20 years ago. It is fantastic. People are delighted and very thankful we take this hardware. It is like a museum for them. It gives us a lot of pleasure."

And the event provides a great opportunity for people to dust off their gaming kit and have a play, as event participant Maciej Halke explains.

"Life is fast, we don't have much free time so these events are an opportunity to bring our computers, clear them of dust, turn them on, check if everything is working. I don't have time for that at home."

As well as gaming the event gives people a chance to showcase other talents including this 3-D printer built by one enthusiast.

But it is a the love of gaming, specifically Atari gaming, which really unites these fans.


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