Vintage video game expo RetroWorld coming to CT this weekend

Fans of 1980s and 90s-era video games can relive these nostalgic games in Connecticut this weekend.

The seventh annual RetroWorld Expo, which is themed around vintage video games and all things pop culture, will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on Aug. 27 and 28.

"It's overall a really fun event for kids for all ages," co-founder of Retroworld Expo LLC Kris Krohn said. "If you've ever played video games, you'll love the show, it's a celebration of anything '80s, '90s, pop culture and fun."

Some well-known faces in the video game world will be holding panels and signing autographs, including Carlos Pesina and Daniel Pesina (from "Mortal Kombat,")  Norman Caruso (from "The Gaming Historian" YouTube show,) Jeremy Parish (from the "Retronauts" podcast), Steve Lavigne (from the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,")  Dan Larson (from the YouTube show "Toy Galaxy") and Dan Eardley (from the YouTube show "Pixel Dan").

Guests will be able to compete in e-sports tournaments, where they can win cash and other prizes by battling it out in video games like "Tetris," "Rock Band 4," "Super Smash Bros Ultimate," "Fortnite," "Tekken 7" and "Mortal Kombat," as well as "Ultimate Gamer Challenge," where competitors compete across multiple video game systems. "People come from around the Tri-state area to compete in 'Tetris' on old-school Nintendo. The winner gets $500 and they go out to compete in the world championships," Krohn said.

The expo will imitate games like "Mortal Kombat," which features characters fighting in a ring by bringing in live wrestlers from Blitzkrieg! Pro. Additionally, attendees can enjoy free use of over 60 retro arcade machines throughout the expo, as well as vintage consoles like the N64, Gamecube and Sega Genesis.

Those who are fans of card games also can play Pokémon, Digimon, Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! for prizes like cash, video game systems and trading card boxes. 

"Those [card games] bring a really big crowd. There are some really big prizes," Krohn said. "I think Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon have $1,000 [prizes] for the winner, and we do some case [of cards] giveaways for Digimon. Cases are pretty expensive too," Krohn said. 

On Saturday, the Norwalk Gamer Symphony Orchestra and Lame Genie will be performing renditions of video game music.

Event-goers are allowed to cosplay as their favorite video game, anime or pop culture characters. There will be a contest hosted by Extra Life Charity — that gives cosplayers a chance to win prizes for their outfits, which are judged by "professional cosplayers."

Over 150 vendors will also be setting up shop, giving customers a chance to buy collectibles like Funko Pops, trading cards, figures and video games. Aside from the vendors, rare video games will be auctioned off during the event. Some items sold in previous years include a Jaguar CD, Turbo Duo and Sega Saturn, photos from its website show. 

Advanced tickets online cost $35 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday and $55 for both days, according to its website. Children under 10 are free if they come with someone with a paid ticket. Those who purchase tickets at the box office the day of the event will have to pay an additional $5. Some of the tournaments might also have additional costs to enter.