REZtron - Otaku News Event Review - Wednesday 18th September 2013
Date: 2013 September 23rd Monday [16:37] | Posted By: Guest Contributor
Written by Voxie and Franki Webb.
What does a gamer look like? Today this is an impossible question to answer. It's 7:45 pm, and as we walk into REZtron, we see a crowd ranging from 20s to 40s, male and female, from a range of backgrounds. It's clear that a gamer as no specific look.
Tonight marks the second of the monthly Reztron event, situated downstairs at the cool and comfortable Hoxton Pony in Shoreditch, East London. The ceilings are laced with neon pink lights, and the walls are covered in graffiti art. The venue almost feels like a cross between a modern bar and a dark alley out of Blade Runner. Shoreditch is already known as the arty heart of London, so REZtron feels perfectly placed. There is a "SEGA" logo emblazoned across the bar. Having grown up with a Master System II, all the way through to the Dreamcast, we both feel a whoosh of 90s nostalgia.
On our left there is Virtua Fighter 2 projected against the wall - Lau Chan and Sarah Bryant are battling out, just as they had done in the late 90s. Across from that is a shiny glowing table, lade with the original Master Systems, equipped with 3D monitors and glasses. The first Wonderboy game is set up on one - that was a game we could only dream of getting our hands on when we were kids.
On our right there is the biggest crowd, where there is a Dreamcast set up with light guns, House of the Dead and two players battling it out animatedly. The graphics still hold up against modern day arcade games. And next to that is the Sega Saturn with Sega Rally, where a competition is being run for those who hashtag their scores on Twitter #KingoftheDesert.
Finally, behind us there is a Megadrive and another Dreamcast set up on small retro school TVs. We have a quick dandle on Alien Storm - yet another rare game we've only just had the chance to try. We give up within 15 minutes, joking that we are either too drunk or advanced to play too long!
It's "Retrotainment" , the phrase coined by the event's organiser Logan Gunasingham. We speak to him briefly, and he explains that he created the event for people just like us – gamers, who grew up with Sega and want to re-visit their favourite games whilst chilling out with the same niche. He was originally inspired by gaming bars in Japan, which are gaining more and more popularity over there with our Eastern friends.
As a 'kidults' now, we feel as comfortable as we had when holding those controllers in our childhoods. The atmosphere remains relaxed and friendly throughout the night, though there are probably there are more losses than wins as the bars supplies start to run dry. Unlike the usual everyday bars at REZtron, there is no ice to break when you mix with other people - everyone here shares at least one common interest; Sega. With its classic games and infamous history and having not been in the console race for the last 12 years, Sega alone creates a myriad of conversations between sips of cocktails.
REZtron is lots of fun, and a great way to relax with your favourite pastime and some good old nostalgia! We highly recommend any retro Sega fans to come to upcoming events, with or without friends; chances are you find a partner to play Street Fighter with anyway.