NERG 2023 – Stepping back in time


I recently had the pleasure of attending a gaming event that truly took me back in time to the golden era of arcade gaming— NERG (North East Retro Gaming) up in Gateshead, in the UK. This exciting event celebrates the enduring popularity of pinball machines and provided a nostalgic and thrilling experience for gamers and enthusiasts alike.

Upon entering the venue, I was immediately immersed in a vibrant atmosphere filled with flashing lights, arcade machines roaring and the sound of flippers clacking. The event organizers had done a remarkable job of curating an impressive collection of machines, featuring both classic vintage titles and contemporary favourites. It was a sight to behold, with row upon row of meticulously kept machines, each one a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of arcade gaming.

Repair work being performed on a pinball machine

One of the highlights of the event was the opportunity to meet two legendary figures in the gaming world—Billy Mitchell and Walter Day. Billy Mitchell, renowned for his record-breaking feats in games like Donkey Kong, was a captivating presence, effortlessly sharing his experiences and engaging with the audience. His wealth of knowledge and passion for gaming were evident as he regaled us with anecdotes from his remarkable career. Despite more recent controversies.

Equally fascinating was Walter Day, the founder of Twin Galaxies, the renowned video game scorekeeping organization. His dedication to preserving the history of gaming and recognizing high scores was truly inspiring. Walter shared fascinating insights into the early days of competitive gaming and the impact it has had on the industry as a whole.

The video of the panel can be seen below:

Apart from the celebrity encounters and pinball, there were a number of Arcade Machines from all era’s lined up in the hall alongside vintage gaming consoles and stalls selling a wide variety of gaming related merchandise.

What impressed me most about the NERG was the genuine sense of community and camaraderie among attendees. It was heart warming to see people from different generations bonding over their shared love for pinball and arcade gaming. Whether it was seasoned veterans reminiscing about their favourite machines or younger players discovering the joy of pinball and the arcade for the first time, there was an undeniable sense of enthusiasm and excitement in the air.

The event organizers deserve praise for their attention to detail and the seamless execution of the event. From the well-organized layout of the machines to the knowledgeable staff on hand to offer assistance and insights, everything was thoughtfully arranged to ensure a memorable experience for all.

In conclusion, NERG 2023 was a resounding success, celebrating the enduring appeal of pinball and gaming, providing an unforgettable experience for attendees. With its remarkable collection of machines, the opportunity to meet gaming legends Billy Mitchell and Walter Day, and the welcoming atmosphere, this event truly captured the essence of what makes arcade gaming such a beloved and timeless form of entertainment. Whether you’re a seasoned pinball wizard or arcade hero or simply curious about the magic of these mesmerizing machines, NERG is an event not to be missed and I hope to be back there for the next event!


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