The Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo returns this year

The Expo is bringing games, live bands, guest speakers, and a costume contest to the gaming community

This year's Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo will be held at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster on June 25. (Submitted)

This year’s Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo will be held at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster on June 25. (Submitted)

The Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo is returning after two long years of absence due to pandemic restrictions. The Expo will be held at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster on June 25, a one-day event packed with activities like games, vendors, live bands, and guest speakers. 

Games will range from retro to modern, including Atari and its compilations, and Virtual Boy, which is a portable video game console created in 1995 by Nintendo. Free-play gaming is available on the third and fourth floor with a wide selection of consoles. 

“The event is definitely recovering from some pandemic changes and shifting in a new direction, and this year is just the beginning,” Brian Hughes, the show director of the Expo, wrote in an email to The Runner

The annual Expo began in 2012 at The Columbia Theatre, moving to the Anvil Centre in 2016 when a larger venue was needed for the popularity of the event. The Expo is run by volunteers, and runs every year in June on one day. 

At the Retro Gaming Expo, there will also be a “Super Smash Bros Experience” where gamers of all ages can experience the evolution of the Super Smash Bros series from N64 and Melee to Ultimate

Tournaments for games like Street Fighter 2, Tetris, and Mario Kart 64 will also be held on the gaming floors.

Retro Gaming Jeopardy, Fandom Trivia, Vancity Video Game Music Trivia, Karaoke, and more will be hosted in the panel rooms on the fourth floor. 

Among this year’s panelists are YouTuber “The Immortal” John Hancock, The Fictionals, chiptune artists, and game developers. 

The main floor of the expo will have vendors selling merchandise ranging from expensive rarities to liquidation tables, Hughes wrote in the email. There will also be artists and independent collectors. 

Some new additions to the Expo this year include Nintendo mascots, so Hughes said to expect to see Mario and “the gang wandering around and posing for photos.” 

Live music performances will be on the third floor, the main theatre area, that will present new artists on the stage that have not performed in previous years. A costume contest of gaming-themed cosplay will take place on this floor as well. 

“We have a few returning acts and some new bands this year …including The Wavebirds, Shane Steward, and The Koopa Troopas,” Hughes wrote in the email. 

The event is planned out to be a great nostalgic gaming experience for all. Tickets are available online for pre-registration, and will also be available at the door after the pre-registration line subsides.