Following up on the December inaugural outing to put a new gaming event on the calendar. James and Alex brought an exciting mix of developers, traders and speakers from the entertainment industry to the city of legends.

Bringing the community together has also been part of the ethos of the team behind the Nottingham Video Games Expo. This was the opportunity to improve on aspects of the first and strive forward with a vision for people to connect, touch and play! The Belgrave Rooms in the centre of the city provided an excellent easily accessible professional venue. Traders from the country were eager to show their wares and trinkets to a passionate base who had prebooked tickets and queued around the block!

Unfortunately for those over at Splendour, great for @NottsVGE! With the rain coming down, the people came into the venue early. Docy93 jammed on stage to Clone Hero with fellow experts on the spiritual open-source successor to Guitar Hero. Bringing an energy that was palpable throughout the day. People got to get hands-on with Antstream Arcade, the new service available across multiple devices inc XBOX, Android, Amazon and more. With hundreds of accessible titles.


Debuq brought an Indie showcase, Wave Game Studios demonstrating the popular Intrepid Izzy, Shadow Gangs and new release Driving Strikers! The first independent Dreamcast (and PC) title, to have online play and have matchmaking at its core. Players flocked to talk to the team and get hands-on! The guys from Debuq were stellar. Indie Developers were keen for feedback and for people play their new games and experiences. Claire Morwood had much to share. The excellent The Train is a new title for the original 4 colour palette Game Boy! by GnomeKing Games. The bright and attractive Walkies from Gaslight Games. Taking control of an adorable pup in an open space free to explore and get up to some classic collectable mischief. Insignia brings back free XBOX LIve functionality to so many games of the OG XBOX, players got to have fun on Outrun 2 and Unreal Championship.

Hundreds of people got to buy and trade retro games, finding some truly excellent titles at a variety of great prices. Some exceptional unique products, rare titles and exclusive imports. Knowledgable traders bringing also merchandise and wares! MBP UK, brings well-crafted original game manuals to games that were released without them! Looking at you Nintendo! Bringing back the authenticity to complete a great game package to include that freshly printed smell when you open the case.  It’s their “labour of love to create the perfect addition, for now, empty physical cases.” Popular Instagram favourite Minimiglets brought gaming-themed craft, to a near sell-out. Laser Tag Nottingham brought the Prime and looking to take bookings for team action.

Community project Get Well Gamers provides support to those in hospitals and in healthcare. One Voice for Animals UK provided a vibrant gaming and pop culture theme raffle. Peacock Catering and Doughnotts brought their signature tastiness.

Traders Dream Consoles, Lizard Retro, Rainyday Gaming, Lightgun Retro Gaming, and Parallel Universe brought large collection of games and merch. Lincolnshire Toy Hunter, Sore Thumb Retro Games and Mobiles Games Exchange were packed with customers throughout the day. Arcade Frames and Monster Joysticks offered their custom wares.

Gamers got to get hands-on with systems from the 70s, 80s, and 90s from the amazing Derby Computer Museum seeing the classic Mac with its dazzlingly sharp monochrome screen, the versatile Amiga to the SEGA Saturn powerhouse running the brilliant Virtua Cop 2! Watching the younger generation enjoy the fun of joysticks and light guns was great fun. Evercade Fans Hub had plenty of issues with their well-produced glossy magazine Evercade Evolution. Events saw bouts of Street Fighter II Turbo tournament, that I really should have entered. Nintendo Nottingham Time trial Mario Kart 8 and Pikmin 4, those clocking the best times on Mario Kart went to the grand final of the day in a 4-way series of races to determine a winner. The roof was raised with hats and babies thrown in the air for a thrilling finish!

Speakers. Events where pioneers of the industry can share their stories and expertise with an enthralled audience are always amazing. From those Wild West days when creative solutions were required to bring the best out of the hardware was the norm, Rare Ltds David Wise, Kev Bayliss and Paul Machacek. Along with Alex Trowers of Bullfrog. Estelle Ellis the voice of Krystal Fox of Starfox Adventures. Take the stage.

Twitter @KyleRhysMarsh

Plenty of vlogs were being recorded and photos were being snapped. Cosplayers who took the time to journey to Nottingham, dress up in custom-made gear to attend the Nottingham Videos Games Expo. People from Germany, The Netherlands, America, Ireland who came.

Behind the scenes were some great people who stepped up to solve challenges. Making sure the set-up was ready. Stage and lighting. Sound. Enough power and extension cables. Some live chaos as the Antstream service only went live moments before the doors opened. Volunteering with the team was a great opportunity to bring some experience and event know-how. The day went smoothly! The role I took up, was more of a brand ambassador post set up. Liaising, and conversing with traders. Ice-breaking and talking to guests. Making sure everyone felt welcomed and part of the experience. Many magic moments connecting people. Started the day, with soaked socks! Trainers flooded from the many puddles. Drying them under the hand dryer lol XD Enjoyed my first DoughNotts! That Biscoff top is to die for! Won twice in the raffle. Aimee at one point became “Dave”. Dan on the door, greeted each of the hundreds who flowed in over the course of the day. I think we were all feeling sore feet by the end of the day. Thankfully without trench foot! Met some wonderful people, and made new friends and contacts. Caught up with friends haven’t seen in a while. Still have not met Kev Bayliss in person to sign some N64 titles lol

Did I buy anything? A few things, nothing major. Though that ZIA & THE GODDESSES OF MAGIC new release for Dreamcast was a very nearly almost from 007 Everything is Nothing. Have noticed a collection I have been gathering in the form of the Bond licensed original games that aren’t movies, this was a missing one. Gifted the Geralt and Ciri pop vinyl, is not something I have any of. Did notice a rather cool, funky Game Boy themed View Master kind. Cheap and fun novelty.

It’s a great success when stallholders and guests comment on how streamlined the process is for them. That they are unhurried, have all they need. They know where they are, what they are doing, and where they are they going. Talking of comments…

Some comments from the day
“So well organized”
“Glad Nottingham has events such as this again”….”Once Gamecity was done that was it.”
“Sumo Digital and Dambuster would be great if they got involved.”
“Definitely (will) come back again, we need more events like this.”
“Nice to talk to some developers. Like Walkies (Gaslight Games) and meeting people behind the games.”
“Now I don’t wanna compare this to OLL… But this was so much better!”
“I’m going to visit the Derby Museum next week, I didn’t know there was one.”
What have you brought? “Oh, I’ve brought games for consoles I don’t even own. Now I’m going to go buy a Dreamcast!”
“I was going home to Dublin from America. But I wanted to come here so flew into East Midlands to spend a day here, then getting a flight home to Dublin later.”
“You can definitely come back again, you had everything in hand. No issues. You didn’t burn the carpet. Makes a huge difference.” Craig – Manager of Belgrave Rooms.

The best of the overheard comments.
“I sooooo need a plush”, “the toilets are near the door.” XD
To Lightgun Games “You have everything. I want to buy it all, but bank account says no.”
“Doesn’t matter if I’ve got the game already. I’ve got it again now physically.”

Thanks to James, Alex, Dan, Aimee, and Mark Wooley, to who Antstream owe a debt of gratitude.

What’s next for the Nottingham Video Games Expo, clearly there is swell of support from the community, a fantastic opportunity for traders, bringing together developers and gamers to have an event of increasing scale in the centre of the country.

Something extra
In the time awaiting the After Party, the bombastic music turned up to 11 at Penny Lane. Crafted a little 30-second blast of clips.