While it's not directly related to Nintendo, the Retro Computer Museum open day recently took place and we decided it was our duty to pay the event a visit.
If you've not heard of these guys before then listen up: they aim to create a permanent display of retro gaming history where people can not only learn about the systems that have shaped the interactive entertainment landscape over the past few decades but also get their sweaty palms on them as well.
Instead of emulating these machines the museum and its founders want you to actually play the original hardware, hold the original pads and experience a truly original feel. It's a valiant project that is still evolving and one part of keeping the dream alive is acquiring much-needed funds by holding regular open days, like this one.
While the museum itself has a vast archive of machines and games, the majority of the hardware on display here was brought to the event by loyal supporters and friends. Walking around the hall (the event took place in the sleepy UK village of Swannington) was an awe-inspiring experience; BBC Micros rubbed shoulders with Neo-Geo AES consoles and PC Engine CD-ROM setups sat next to ultra-rare Sega SG-1000s. All of the machines were connected to televisions and despite the surprisingly large number of attendees, you could pretty much hop onto any system within a few minutes and get stuck into some real retro brilliance.
Although all of the gaming delights on display were of interest, our natural Nintendo-bias led us to gravitate towards the gorgeous Famicom Twin. This Japan-only fusion of the Famicom hardware (which was of course released as the NES in the west) and the unique (and rather fragile) Famicom disk drive was a real talking point and understandably attracted a lot of interest. Sat next to it was a NES, complete with Duck Hunt and a Zapper. A high-score challenge had been raging for the entire day and predictably there was no shortage of eager trigger-happy gamers waiting to see if they could top the leader board.
All in all, it was a fantastic event and all UK-based retro fans should keep their eyes on the RCM site for future open days. If the dream of a fully-functioning museum for our beloved hobby is going to come to pass we need to support groups like this.