TooManyGames Brings Retro Gaming Back to Life

Held from June 24th to June 26th, 2022, TooManyGames was one of this year's major conventions. There was a wide variety of things to see and do at the expo. This article should recap just some of the things on display at this convention.

TooManyGames Brings Retro Gaming Back to LifeTooManyGames 2022 came and went last month, marking yet another year in this convention’s nearly 20 year history. Much like any other year, it was a packed schedule for all 3 days. Panels, meet and greets, concerts, contests, and more were all heavily featured at this year’s event. It was generally a great, eventful time spent interacting with genuine, kind people.

The Marketplace

Perhaps the most unique trait of TooManyGames is the vendor hall. Located within a large, warehouse-like room at the venue are countless classic (and not so classic) games from all eras. A 450 dollar copy of EarthBound could be sitting on a shelf right next to some obscure bootleg you’ve never heard of. It’s a marvelous showcase of all gaming has to offer, a treasure trove of collector’s items and novelties alike.

Trust me when I say that what's pictured here is only a tiny selection of what was offered in the vendor hall

Trust me when I say that what’s pictured here is only a tiny selection of what was offered in the vendor hall

Not unlike browsing a candy store, the marketplace hosted an abundance of curiosities of all kinds. It wasn’t just games, either. Artists were selling prints, local businesses were moving merchandise. Don’t mistake it for simple self-promotion, it was clear just from walking around that everyone’s hearts were in it. Overall, it was a dazzling assortment of sights and sounds, one in which every corner had something new behind it.

The Guests

Additionally, one of the major features at this convention were the guests, of which there were many this year. Notably among them were various online personalities, including but not limited to Scott the Woz, The Angry Video Game Nerd, and SomecallmeJohnny. There were also a number of voice actors at the event, with Richard Horvitz, Cherami Leigh, and Sonny Strait, just to name a few.

Seeing all of these people from various industries and circles come together really puts a lot into perspective. It’s truly a small world, and the dedication and enthusiasm of the guests is always admirable. One wonders how they’re able to keep up with all the signings, meet and greets, and speeches. At the end of the day, they’re just people who’ve made a job out of their passion.

Mario Bros. and many more retro games like it were available to play in the arcade section of the convention

Mario Bros. and many more retro games like it were available to play in the arcade section of the convention

The Events and Arcade

Also prevalent at TooManyGames this year was the arcade section. An evergreen selection of games new and old, all of varying levels of accessibility were available to play freely. Consoles and arcade cabinets alike littered the convention floor. If you’ve ever been a fan of games, there was something for you to play. Be it groups of friends dueling in Super Smash Bros. Melee or one person doing a speedrun of Super Mario 64, the arcade room was bustling with activity at all times.

There was no shortage of live events, either. Particularly, the cosplay contest shined a light on the hobby with a touch of spectacle. Various concerts also occurred throughout the duration of the event. Several raffles took place as well. All in all, it was a packed show, with never a dull moment to be had.

TooManyGames is held in the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, an unassuming, warehouse-like building

TooManyGames is held in the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, an unassuming, warehouse-like building

Generally, TooManyGames 2022 was a great time. More than that, it felt like it filled up a long-vacant part of my psyche, the ability to appreciate things as they are with no caveats. Sure, it wasn’t the most illustrious venue, but that only added to its charm. At the end of the day, charm takes you much further than shallow distractions.

What really stuck with me about this convention was how genuine it all was. Coming right off the heels of this year’s painfully lackluster summer game announcements, I found myself experiencing something of a lapse in my love for this medium. TooManyGames reinvigorated that same passion from the verge of breaking. It was truly a wonder to see so many people come together out of a shared interest. For that, we should all be grateful that such events exist to begin with.

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