North East Retro Gaming event lures more than 2,000 gamers to Gateshead

Thousands of gaming enthusiasts are set to test their wits against classic arcade machines

Trade fair organiser Philip Murphy has laid on a collection of classic arcade games

Thousands of gaming enthusiasts are set to test their wits against classic arcade machines.

For the first time in the North East, more than 2,000 will get the chance to play 150 arcade and pinball machines, consoles and browse a trade fair

Supported by Tyneside-based games developers Ubisoft Reflections and retailer GAME, the North East Retro Gaming (NERG) event will feature everything from PacMan to pinball at Gateshead International Stadium.

The event is the brainchild of pinball and gaming enthusiast turned entrepreneur Philip Murphy from Consett, County Durham, who has secured vast a collection of machines for the show.

He said: “There is a generation of us who grew up playing some of the best video games and pinball machines in amusement arcades or on early home computers and consoles and for many of us the passion and love for these games has stayed with us as video game technology has evolved.

“Young people today are just as passionate about gaming and with all things retro being very much in vogue, and major films like Disney’s Wreck it Ralph capturing people’s imagination, I thought this was the ideal time to host the region’s first event where all your favourite machines and consoles would be under one roof.

“I hope the event will be a chance for many people from across the country to relive their youth or discover classic games for the first time. All our machines are set to ‘free play’ so it’s never game-over.”

Up to 2,000 visitors to the event will get to play on an exclusive pinball machine based on The Matrix movie, and this machine will sit alongside arcades including the 1983 Star Wars game, and many old favourites such as PacMan, Track and Field, Defender, R-Type, Marble Madness and a range of racing games such as Outrun, Pole Position, Indy 500 and Rave Racer.

As well as the arcade and pinball machines, the event will also feature retro consoles from Nintendo, Atari, Sega and Commodore, and a trade fair including old school sweets and Anime toys and collectables. Visitors are also encouraged to attend in fancy dress as their favourite gaming characters.

NERG runs from 10am to 7pm today and 10am to 5pm tomorrow. A limited number of tickets are still available at www.northeastretrogaming.com

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