Upon arriving at the gaming market we walked into the main room in the venue which was full of so many games and memorabilia for almost every console that you can think of, it's always an awesome sight to behold!
Guest Review by @Kingdomofcarts aka Faye Evans
I think everyone is aware that at these gaming markets you are dealing with dealers and so it's harder perhaps to get the kind of bargain that you would for example get in a charity shop or car boot sale (which are our usual haunts) so we approached the gaming market with a different mind set.
In comparison to the last big venture we went on to the Manchester Play Expo where it's just as much about the experience of seeing other gamers enjoying Minecraft, Street Fighter and Tetris (on huge game boys!) watching gaming tournaments and having a few drinks along the way, not to mention the amount of vintage arcade machines that were there. A gaming market is a much more smaller affair.
Whereas at Play Expo, the stalls are part of it, in the London gaming market, the stalls were the main event. So it was perhaps a bit more like going on EBay rather than being part of a community bigger than yourself like at Play Expo.
Whilst we came away with some games and items that we had had our eye for a while, it sort of came across as walking into a retro game supermarket (albeit an awesome one) picking up the stuff you want, paying and leaving.
Expos and cons have a very specific vibe about them with music, cosplay, tournaments that unfortunately it seems that these markets simply don't have quite the same feel, BUT it's still a good atmosphere but as mentioned previously, we had been a bit spoilt as we had just attended the Play Expo in Manchester. That is the place to get it ALL!
I also have 'bigger idea' which we were thinking of how a lot of the gaming events, scratch that, ALL of the gaming events we have been lucky enough to attend over the last 3 years have been in the north of England, and if not, no further south than London. (Note there is GEEK in Margate!)
As we are based in Cardiff, a six hour round trip can be daunting, especially when you are travelling with bags full of games and accessories!
On our travels this time around, we found ourselves talking more than ever about the possibility of some sort of retro-gaming convention maybe based more towards the South of England and Wales so all those who aren't able to easily travel the distance to the North of England can get involved.
Back to the London Gaming Market then....one of the real highlights was walking from vendor to vendor and constantly hearing the 'Ten Hour Tetris' music from Youtube, it's something we tend to put on during our gaming nights in the background as it's such a jaunty, positive tune that it never gets tedious (see also, Bubble Bobble definitely one of my favourite ditties in gaming).
Another tense time was the solid hour that was spent lurking around the Mario DS holder, "should I get it? Is it silly? Do we have room?" The answer of course was, "YES! YES! YES!" and so we ended up travelling home accompanied by an 18 inch plastic , beaming Mario!
We did manage to pick up a few goodies from the London gaming market which include both Bubsy games on the Mega Drive, something which we have wanted for a while now as we strive to complete our Mega Drive PAL collection, a load of PSP games which we have recently started collecting in earnest, a PS1 Pandemonium 2 which seems to be hard to find anywhere and finally and definitely a cool moment for us was picking up Light Crusader on the Mega Drive, we had just completed Landstalker and needed another dose of isometric puzzling action!
In closing, we had a great day and picked up some cool games, it's just a shame that some gaming markets aren't closer to home. Come on Replay Events - make it happen! (Watch this space you never know Faye! GYL).
Guest Review by @Kingdomofcarts - aka Faye Evans