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.
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"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.