A/V Club geeks rejoice, vintage gaming is happening this Thursday night at downtown Mesa's HeatSync Labs.
The Valley's non-profit hackerspace is hosting its first Retro Game Night, and inviting pros and amateurs alike to "step back to the 1980s" with an old school Atari throw down.
That's right, the folks at HeatSync are going back to eight-bit basics and dusting off some of the classics like Defender and Space Invaders.
"Old games are really simple, but hard to master," says Corey Renner. By day, he's an IT and engineering guru; by night, he's HeatSync's resident Atari master.
Renner is co-organizing Thursday's event, and says the appeal of retro gaming is simplicity. "I saw an interview with the guy that founded Atari, and he was saying that his target audience was basically drunk people in bars. The philosophy became, simple to understand, difficult to master."
In preparation for Retro Gaming Night, Renner's been busy getting vintage consoles in working order. He's been fixing keyboards, and performing video game surgery to repair faulty systems. But he's also made time to brush up on his gaming.
"In the last two or three weeks, brushing up and getting ready for Thursday," he says. "I've beaten several of the games I was never able to beat as a kid."
While Renner says he's partial to Atari, he's well versed in every console: "I've got a Commodore in the closet, a T-99... My personal favorite was the Atari eight-bit computer, but I remember when ColecoVision came out, and that kind of blew everything out of the water. That was the first one where all of the games looked exactly as good on your home TV as it did in the arcades."
Retro Gaming Night at HeatSync Labs is Thursday, July 21, and free to the public. Doors open at 7pm.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.