We spoke to Andy Brown. Director at Replay Events Ltd, Owner of Console Passion Retro Games about the vision behind the Play Expo - EventCity, Manchester on 12-13 October 2013 , and his gaming passions and why gaming is so important to us all...
What are your roles Play Expo / Replay Events?
Director, Event Coordinator and glorified stock room boy.
What's it like working for Play Expo / Replay Events?
Last year I quit my job of 17 years to work full time on Replay Events so that should say something about it. Nothing beats getting up every day to do a job I love, I rarely feel like I'm actually working - I genuinely enjoy my working day. All-in-all I'd say I'm pretty lucky.
What motivates you to keep running events like Play Expo?
Multiple reasons really. Each time we do an expo we are looking for ways to improve on what we did at the last show and that is a great motivator - to better our previous event. I get such a buzz at Play Expo; walking around and seeing thousands of people enjoy themselves makes me want to carry on doing this as long as I can. Plus I get to meet lots of video game celebrities.
What do you see for Play Expo in the future?
I see the expo continuing to grow year-on-year. Each show we add new features, increase the number of systems on the show floor, have more exhibitors and as I just said generally improve on the previous year's expo. I personally would like to see more indie games and have some live link up Q&A sessions with industry legends from USA and Japan.
What is the best thing about your job at Play Expo / Replay Events?
See previous answer - doing a job I love!
What video games and arcade games did you grow up with?
I grew up in Blackpool so I spent a lot of my childhood playing arcade games. We had huge amusements on the seafront and one of my fondest memories is playing Space Harrier Deluxe in Mr B's for the first time - £2 seemed like £200 in those days! I played anything and everything from Galaxian to Street Fighter and I’m lucky enough to own several arcade machines these days, Toobin and Operation Wolf being my two favourites. I’m on the lookout for an Outrun at the moment if anyone has one... I had home computers around me from an early age too. I was firmly in the Commodore camp from day one - I had a Vic 20, then C64 and Amiga so I played most of the well known titles on those machines but I was particularly partial to games containing a certain mole. We also flew the Sega flag in our house, my brother had a Master System and I had a Megadrive.
If you could be a videogame character who would it be?
Miner Willy as that must have been some kick ass party he had in Jet Set Willy.
What is gaming all about for you?
Depends on the game/genre/generation. I like losing myself in modern games that have a good storyline - I am currently playing The Last of Us which is incredible. I also like the social aspect introduced by modern consoles - the Wii has some cracking multiplayer games which can really liven up a party. If I'm playing retro it's all about the nostalgia of that game. When I have a short gaming session it's invariably on a retro game that I played when I was a kid and I'm trying to beat my top score. Though I did accept a long time ago that I am actually pretty rubbish at games...
What’s your take on the console market and the arcade market these days as opposed to the beginnings in the 80s and 90s?
Obviously very different, I think arcades are a thing of the past these days which is a shame as it's a very different experience to home gaming. I think the iOS and handheld markets of the past few years have brought about a whole new wave of creativity which we haven't seen for a while. I have nothing against AAA titles but often I am just as impressed by a game that I can download for 69p from the app store. The free rein that small indie games design teams today is very similar to the early days of games creation and that is a good thing IMO.
For more information and to keep up to date with the latest happening for Play Expo click the below to find out more and book your tickets:
GamesYouLoved would like to thank Replay Events for donating the tickets for this prize :)