We are hard at work putting together a lineup of entertaining and informative presenters and special guests for the 2014 Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo. The multimedia auditorium at the Marriott Century Center is a great space for us to feature some fantastic speakers and presentations, and we will be making the most of it! We are still in the planning stages and in negotiations with several potential special guests. Once they are confirmed, special guest speakers will be listed below. Currently all guest speaker slots are full. However, if you wish to be considered for next year’s show, please email us to let us know.
CONFIRMED SPECIAL GUESTS:
Mr. Oursler is a legendary game designer in the pinball industry. In his many years as an employee at Williams Electronics, Barry was responsible for bringing some of the best-selling pinball games in history to market. Just some of his incredible designs and collaborations include Gorgar, Solar Fire, PINBOT, Comet, Dr. Who, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, JunkYard, and more! It is one of his designs, Space Shuttle, that has been credited with bringing excitement and renewed interest back into pinball after the video arcade craze of the early 1980’s nearly crippled the industry. In 2014 we celebrate the 30th-anniversary of this revolutionary game and this titan of pinball design!
Stern Pinball’s newest game designer is no stranger to the industry. Having produced many blockbuster games over the years with numerous manufacturers such as Chicago Coin, Gottlieb/Premier, and Bally Midway/Williams, John Trudeau continues to leave his mark in the coin-op world. With such hits as Creature from the Black Lagoon, Bride of Pinbot, along with fan favorites Congo, Black Rose, Judge Dredd, and TX sector (plus many, many more!), John brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to any game he designs. We look forward to having such a luminary share his stories as our guest at Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo!
Long before David Bishop held the title of Executive Vice President of NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT, INC, he was just a college kid caught up in the video craze of the early 80’s. What started as a part-time job at Barrel of Fun, Inc. in 1981 would take him to Atlanta to spearhead “2001 Entertainment” at the Galleria, eventually becoming the head tech of the company. When Atari Games came knocking, David found himself in Silicon Valley, director of operations for their entire chain of mall arcades. Eventually Mr. Bishop made his way to NAMCO in 1990, and the rest is history. Currently Mr. Bishop is focusing on the development of new business models for what NAMCO sees as the future of destination entertainment, in many ways the spiritual successors of the 1980’s coin-op arcade!
Jerry Buckner is a successful songwriter, producer, artist, and premier voice talent. As part of “Buckner & Garcia,” Jerry co-created a song that some would consider the soundtrack of a generation. “Pac-Man Fever” sold 1.2 Million copies in the U.S. and rose to the #9 spot on the Billboard Top 100 in 1982. As a keyboardist and arranger, Jerry has scored original music for television and motion picture soundtracks along with jingles for a variety of commercial clients including Coke, Papa John’s, Direct TV and Waffle House. In 2012 he co-produced and performed the title track to the hit Disney movie “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Mr. Mitchell is well known among geeks and non-geeks alike. Having achieved success in the early 80’s by setting records on video games, Billy was featured in Life Magazine and even toured the country as member of the U.S. National Video Game Team. Setting himself apart as a fierce competitor, Billy was named “Video Game Player of the Century” at the 1999 Tokyo game show and received a special award presented by Namco founder Masaya Nakamura for the first-ever “perfect” game of Pac-Man. Mr. Mitchell has also starred in the films Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade and King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. To this day, Billy Mitchell continues to score world records and promote gaming for a new generation.
Since 1981, Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day has played an integral part in shaping the landscape for classic and modern-day gaming. What began as a storefront arcade in Ottumwa, Iowa, Twin Galaxies has morphed into the gold-standard for competitive gaming record keeping! Walter has been featured in multiple film, television, and print projects including “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” “Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade,” and as assistant editor for video games in the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Since his retirement from the video game industry in 2010, Walter helped to establish the International Video Game Hall of Fame and continues to develop Twin Galaxies trading cards to honor achievements in gaming.
Marathon runner and triathlete David Cruz applies the same principles of training and focus to athletic competition as he does to competitive gaming. A Florida resident and longtime world record holder on the arcade classic Tron, David played over 16 hours to re-take the record on Tron in 2011 with a whopping score of 11,125,999 points. Mr. Cruz has been a longtime member of Twin Galaxies International and participated in the first-ever “Tron-Off” event in 2010. SFGE gladly welcomes David to our impressive list of “Arcade Legends.”
Owner of two public arcades, host of the web show “Arcade Culture,” Kong-Off organizer, and World Record holder of seven classic arcade games like Space Invaders and Phoenix, Richie Knucklez is a retro gaming legend. In the new documentary feature film “The King of Arcades” From director Sean Tiedeman and Co-Producer Adam F. Goldberg (ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” “Fanboys“), we will see how Richie has earned the crown he so rightly deserves. Be sure to come watch one of the first public screenings of “The King of Arcades” followed immediately by a Q&A session Friday night.
On February 14, 2013, George Leutz set out to break a high score record on the classic arcade game Q*Bert that stood for over 30 years. One quarter and 84 hours later, George would set a new Guiness World Record on February 18, solidifying his status as one of classic gaming’s elite. George’s accomplishment took mainstream media by storm with coverage on Kotaku, NPR’s Morning Edition, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Adding to our list of current and former world record holders in attendance at SFGE, we are pleased to welcome Joel West! Joel is a legend in the classic gaming community, having been featured in the infamous 1982 LIFE magazine photo spread featuring video game superstars. The former record holder for Berzerk has been featured in numerous news articles and in the 2007 documentary feature film, Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
Josh knows games, particularly mobile games. He made his first game when he was 12 years old. After getting his Undergraduate at Georgia Tech, he became Blue Heat Games first employee, where he was solely responsible for Blue Heat’s biggest financial and editorial successes, including Snoop Dogg Boxing, MLB Slam!, NHL 5 on 5, and NBA Basketball 2005, all of which received IGN Editor’s Choice awards. In 2005, he moved to Odessa, Ukraine, where he received an international executive MBA and became Director of Business Development at Iceblick Ltd, the world’s largest producer of noble gases. In 2010 he moved back to the United States to found Drowning Monkeys Games. Drowning Monkey’s released Dungeon Crawler, a #1 iOs RPG.
Jimmy has been playing pinball almost since he could walk. Growing up, he always dreamed of having his own machine instead of spending all of his allowance at the Fun-N-Games. As the years went by, Jimmy started gradually collecting games. One day, Jimmy realized that he could combine another passion, software programming, with his pinball passion. Since then, Jimmy has created a pinball 2000 version of Demolition Man and contributed to multiple other pinball projects such as Multimorphic’s P3, Predator and Cactus Canyon Continued.
Britt has always wanted to create videos games since he was a young boy. He met a couple guys, Matt Gold and Ian Phillpotts, while competing at Global Jam 2011 and has continued to compete and create indie games with the group winning 5 out of 7 of the Jams. One of those winning games was Default Dan, which has already received 10million+ YouTube views from multiple videos of people playing the Alpha. He is continuing to work with the group to complete the final version and release later this year, playing the project manager, marketing, and PR role for the team.
Bursting on the scene in 1980, PAC-MAN™ ate his way into the hearts of people worldwide by consuming ghosts, power pellets, and billions of quarters along the way! PAC-MAN™ has since become a cultural icon with his own lunchboxes, cereal, a television cartoon, and more! PAC-MAN™ is one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, and has the highest brand recognition of any video game characters! Come meet and have your picture taken with the legend himself at the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo! Look for Pac-Man on Friday and Saturday at SFGE.
501st Legion: Vaders Fist
The Georgia Garrison of of the 501st Legion is being deployed to Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo! The Georgia Garrison is a regional chapter of the 501st Legion. The 501st is a world wide Star Wars costuming club, with over 5,000 active members in 21 countries, and six continents, which focuses on the costumes of the “bad guys” from the Star Wars movies such as the Stormtroopers, Tie Pilots, and Darth Vader. The Legion’s aims are to celebrate the Star Wars movies through the wearing of costumes, to promote the quality and improvement of costumes and props, and most importantly to contribute to the local community through charity and volunteer work. They will be onsite to ensure the Star Wars tournaments are not being compromised by rebel scum.
As hosts of the Gameroom Junkies Podcast, Preston and Patrick talk feverishly about a topic they love – gamerooms and the games inside. For well over two years, these guys have recorded monthly episodes of their podcast to talk about their love of the hobby, conduct interviews with enthusiasts and industry experts alike, and answer questions about collecting, repairing, and restoring these classic games from their youth. Preston and his obsession has been featured in news articles, radio spots, and on Discovery Channel’s television show Auction Kings. Together, the Gameroom Junkies have been featured on PodCrash! with Attack of the Show’s Chris Gore and on AVClub.com. When not talking about or playing games, they are busy planning for the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo as part of the organizing team.
Representing the beating heart of an active Louisville, Kentucky classic arcade collecting community, Brent and Whitney from Broken Token share a ‘southern view’ (and some definite drawl) on the vibrant hobby of collecting, restoring and playing the arcade and pinball classics from the late 70′s to today. The guys cover everything from the golden age of arcade gaming to the newest pinball titles currently hitting the streets and everything in between. Their technical and game restoration experience compliment an entertaining catalog of collecting stories, interviews and sit-in guests as well as game room updates, forum news, listener mail and twitter questions (with the occasional live streams).
Arcade Repair Tips
Jonathan Leung is a founder / staff member of the Arcade Repair Tips (http://www.arcaderepairtips.
Coast 2 Coast Pinball
A podcast, a commentary, a man out of quarters. Nate Shivers is a force of nature, recording over 80 episodes of his podcast, “Coast 2 Coast Pinball” in less than a year. Traveling literally coast to coast, Nate regales listeners with trip reports, industry speculation, forum static, passionate pinball talk, and more.