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OVGE 2012 set for June 16 in Tulsa

By: 10 April 2012 No Comment

The Oklahoma Video Game Exhibition (OVGE) debuted in Tulsa in 2003 and it’s set coming again to that city on June 16.

The event, as always, will center on vintage video games, classic computers, standup arcade consoles from the golden age of arcades and even a pinball machine or two. Jesse Hardesty started the OVGE after noticing there were plenty of classic game expos on the East and West coasts and in Las Vegas, but few such gatherings in the southwest. Rather than waiting for someone to start an event dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of video gaming history, Hardesty decided to start his own.

Hardesty said most people attending the event come from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma and turn out to discuss and play systems from such historic companies as Atari, Coleco, Mattel, Nintendo, Sega and others.

Hardesty said around 500 people turned out for last year’s event and he’s hoping for more attendance this year. What attracts people to the OVGE? Hardesty there are some game collectors who turn out to purchase titles from vendors, but most people are drawn to the event because they remember those old games and would like to see them again.

“What I think really brings them and draws them to these events is that it’s a chance for adults to relive a part of their past … and maybe to share them with their children,” he said.

Hardesty said there are more than a few people who come out because they are curious. It’s one thing to read about classic games such as the original Super Mario titles that turned the Nintendo Entertainment System into a 1980s phenomenon, but it’s another to see those games in person and play them. A good number of the franchises that remain popular today had their roots in systems going back to the 1970s through the 1990s, and Hardesty said it’s a real history lesson to see where Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and other popular characters started.

Everyone who attends the event is invited to visit exhibitors, play games, take part in competitions and perhaps win a door prize. The event is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Spirit Bank Event Center at 10441 South Regal Boulevard in Tulsa. Admission is free for people who are younger than eight-years-old and $5 for everyone else. Click here for more information.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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