For joystick jockeys who find endless Metal Gear Solid 4 cut scenes about as stimulating as watching Howards End on Xanax, dont fret old-school salvation has arrived in the form of the 7th Annual Houston Area Arcade Expo. The event brings more than 80 arcade games and pinball machines to town (all of them set on free play), and though some of the offerings are relatively recent, a large number are relics from the glory days of the late 70s and early 80s. This fun buffet isnt just for the fogies, though. Its a huge mix. People bring their families, younger teens Its a different experience (than todays gaming), says Keith Christensen, one of the events organizers. Many of the games, which are supplied by enthusiasts, are for sale bring your checkbook, though, as rare titles can fetch upwards of $4,000.
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As an added bonus, of-age gamers will be able to imbibe a cocktail or two between high-score attempts. Talk about the best of both worlds. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. Crowne Plaza Hotel Reliant Park, 2350 South Loop West. For information, visit www.arcadecenter.com. $15 to $25.
Fri., Nov. 7, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat., Nov. 8, 10-2 a.m., 2008