And so, after a whirlwind 5 days of pinball, arcade, console and computer gaming across the amazing country of New Zealand, us international visitors (at least most of the Australian crowd) are back in our homes, and back at our day to day lives. I for one feel saddened and somewhat relieved; I miss it already, but I was happy to get some good sleep in my own bed after a very exhausting and fun time.
As always with these events, and especially with the tight community of pinball and arcade enthusiasts, it's the people that make it. The people you already know and get to know a little better, and all the new people you get to meet and share the passion for this amazing hobby. The personal stories and backgrounds of how these 150 odd people decided to get together and mingle for 5 days, share in the exhaustion of little sleep, and play together on some of the best machines around. From the common A-List titles that you see everywhere, to the incredibly obscure that you'll never see again, it was a pleasure for all to enjoy these games together.
There are obviously too many incredible moments to mention. Such as getting to know one of the guys who work on the MAME project and has done so since the beginning. Wandering the devastated streets of Christchurch. Walking into a gameroom of over 100 pinball machines on free play. Chatting with Gary Stern over a healthy number of beverages, and witnessing and sharing in some of the greatest competition play in pinball.
It's all possible thanks to some very dedicated and generous people both in New Zealand and Australia. If you wish to get involved for next year, you best join the wonderful pinball and arcade community over at http://www.aussiearcade.com.au and join the conversation.
I personally can't wait until New Zealand Pincade 10. Only one whole year away!