Gamers On

Today, video-game competitions are serious business, with tens of thousands of dollars in prize money at stake, sponsorship deals and all the other trappings of a big-league sport. But there was a time when video game competitions were much simpler – and probably a lot more fun, too. If you have fond memories of the game show Starcade, or the 1989 film/Nintendo commercial The Wizard – or even just of hundreds of afternoons spent perfecting skills on your NES, hoping that someday it would all pay off – today’s Retro Game Championship should push all your buttons (A, B, Start and Select).

Competitors will show their stuff in Nintendo World Championship and Nintendo Campus Challenge, two vintage cartridges released in the early ’90s to capitalize on the popularity of The Wizard. Both games have players complete tasks from other games – collecting coins in variations of Super Mario Bros., scoring high in Pin-Bot, racing in Rad Racer and variations on Tetris and Dr. Mario – in order to get a high score. Winners of each game will get a $200 gift card to JJ Games, which is running the competition, and other prizes including T-shirts and games will be awarded. It starts at 2 p.m. today at JJ Games, 7975 East Harvard Avenue, Suite G; admission is free. For more information, call 303-355-1329 or visit
Sat., July 18, 2-9 p.m., 2009

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato

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