Southern Fried Gameroom Expo – Pinball Wizard!

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Now that I’m blogging a  bit more, I’d like to post about some of the great conventions I get invited to. I’m at an outstanding one right now –  Southern Fried Gameroom Expo.

The convention’s main focus is pinball and arcade games (I KNOW, RIGHT???), but they’ve started a tabletop gaming tack, sponsored, in part, by Geek Dad. Which is why I’m here.

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Southern Fried Gameroom Expo was kind enough to fly the Lovely and Talented Judith out, with me. They also gave me enough of a stipend that we could afford a ticket for Daughter, Age 7, to come along, as well. I can’t say this enough: doing conventions is great, but doing conventions with my family along, to share the experience, is a thousand times better.

Day One was tremendous. The Moon Pie, Coke, Apple Cake and peach included in the gift bags let guests know they were in Georgia immediately. I only had one talk today, so the treat for me was hanging out in the massive pinball and arcade halls.

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I’ve never been to a show like this, before, and I love it. Five minutes in, and I came face-to-face with my greatest college love: Defender!

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There are four original Defender machines in the halls, which gave me plenty of time to recreate my old college moves and re-blister my old college left index-finger. I’ve only made it past second-level a couple of times, so far, but it’s coming back fast.

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Another discovery: a classic Doctor Who pinball game, which was a blast. One of the finest pinball games I’ve ever encountered.

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Daughter, Age 7, loved it, as well.

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Although Super Mario Bros. was more her speed.

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I’m not sure what Saturday’s crowds will be like, so we spent as much of Friday Classic Arcading while the Classic Arcading was good. An unexpected surprise – though – was running into Kyle Puttkammer in the tabletop gaming area.

Kyle is the author of the delightful all-ages comic book HERO CATS, which Daughter, Age 7, absolutely adores.

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So we bought a Hero Cats hat, and got Kyle to sign a Hero Cats collection. Have I mentioned Hero Cats enough? Check it out. Action Lab Comics has a terrific line of all-ages books (including my pals Steve and Mark’s Ghoul Scouts)that should delight kids and their parents.

There are also some terrific restaurants near the con – nothing Capital “S” Southern that I could find (yet), but we did stumble across a terrific taqueria called Tacos La Villa not five minutes from the con, in a local strip mall.

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I’m having a seriously great time at Southern Fried Gameroom Expo. If you make it over, Saturday – AND YOU SHOULD – I’ve got three more events lined up:

SATURDAY 1 pm – 2 pm (Chancellor Room)
“Out of the Box: John Kovalic”
SATURDAY 2 pm – 2:30 pm
Meet and Greet/Signing (Signing Area)
SATURDAY 9:30 pm-10:30pm (Waverly Room)
Drinking Quest Live (21+ only)

But honestly, I feel like popping into some other panels as well.

Look for me there. Or in front of one of the Defender machines.

John

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