Nerd Cons in Brum: UK Games Expo 2017

I have ineffably fond memories of last year’s UK Games Expo… if only because it was part of the tail-end of 2016 before Britain lost its fucking mind and fell for complete and utter bullshit. Right, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can get onto the actual convention.

As far as I can recall, there are two things I’ve never done at the Expo: booked in the full three days, and done a full day of roleplaying. The reasons were mostly logistical (it’s a good 40-60 minutes from my place to the NEC by train), but after using up some annual leave and 20 minutes on Trivago, I managed to get a three-day ticket and two nights at the Yardley Travelodge, a mere 20 minutes by bus to my destination. Continue reading

2016: The Dangers of Nostalgia

There’s a magazine I often pick up when I’m waiting for a train at Birmingham New Street station – Retro Gamer. The title pretty much explains it all, but it doesn’t just do retrospectives the timeless classics like Metroid, Warcraft and Tomb Raider, and devices like the smash Christmas hit of the NES Mini, but also looking at the obscure and long-forgotten games and systems e.g. the Acorn Electron. A lot of love goes into this publication, and it’s always fun to read on the long train journey to and from work.

Another reason I buy it is because I had it on good authority that Retro Gamer was one of the lowest-selling titles for Imagine Publishing, and was only three consecutive months of bad sales away from cancellation. I say “was”, only because Imagine was taken over by Future Publishing in October 2016; Retro Gamer has been assured that nothing will change as far as they’re concerned, and they can carry on without the threat of cancellation over their heads.

That’s right… somebody in Britain had a good 2016. Continue reading

Animalympics

Well, the Olympics are winding down as I write this, and once again TV channels in the UK have missed yet another chance to show one of the most entertaining and apposite films they could have broadcast during the whole event. I refer, as you may have already guessed, to Animalympics.

animalympics-poster Continue reading