Gamers get set to push the button at major expo

Thousands of enthusiasts expected to visit resort for the return of major computer games convention.

Crank up your computers for the wired and the wonderful are getting set to head to Blackpool for the biggest gaming event of the year.

Play Expo Blackpool

Play Expo Blackpool

More than 5,000 video gamers are expected at the Play Expo Blackpool event run by Blackpool entrepreneur Andy Brown starting July 15.

The weekend event at the Norbreck Castle, the sixth of its kind, attracts visitors from all over the UK and beyond along with big names for the world of games design and locals such as 1st Impact Games and Blackpool and The Fylde College.

Fans will be able to get to grips with a wide range of games from the pioneering retro games through the classics to modern games and Virtual Reality.

The Blackpool link to video games origins will be illustrated with a range of arcade machines, and pinball will be available to play.

Andy Brown, from Replay Events, said: “I got into gaming during the summer holidays as a schoolboy playing in the arcades on the Prom.

“They had the pioneering game machines and this year we have got two all time classics at the show.

“We have not one but two large hydraulic sit down cabinets from Sega in addition to eighty other original arcade cabinets at the show this year – Outrun or Afterburner.

“They are incredibly rare and must have cost a fortune at the time they were made. Many would have got some pretty extreme use and so there are not many around now.

“We do 14 shows all over the country a year, but Blackpool was the first and has a special place in my heart.”

As well as the games, there will be stalls, competitions and tournaments, plus of course the Cosplay – where people dress up in often elaborate costumes as characters from fantasy games or shows.

Andy added: “We have also got some stars from the gamer world, including from legendary publisher System 3 which produced pioneering games such as The Last Ninja, Myth, International Karate Constructor and Ferrari Challenge.

“Founder Mark Cale and the team will be doing a questions and answers panel.

“It is going to be a great weekend and it is great for Blackpool to with 5,000 visitors 70 per cent of whom are from outside the area staying in the local hotels.

“We are also going to be raising funds for the Blackpool Carers’ Centre too.”

Other attractions include a Minecraft room, traditional table top games, trading card games and Pacman world record holder Jon Stoodley will be attempting to set a new Pacman World Record on the 20th Anniversary Pacman arcade machine.