PRGE Vice President Toby Wickwire, who started as a vendor at the inaugural convention in 2006, said the expo is now the largest of its kind in the U.S.
Tens of thousands of gamers come to the Rose City for the three-day event with exhibitors, a cosplay contest, panels, pinball and Tetris tournaments and more.
After two years of pandemic-related cancellations, 2022 was the expo’s first year back in Portland. Along with the in-person festival came the Blockbuster World Video Game Championship, which hadn’t been held since the ‘90s.
The Blockbuster championship will return to the convention center this year. Additionally, staff from Blockbuster’s last location in Bend will recreate the store just for expo attendees.
Another nostalgia-inducing part of the expo is the VHS Swap. For the first time, Portland-based video rental store Movie Madness has selected a group of vendors and collectors who will sell VHS tapes that are hard to find anywhere else. This portion of the event is free to the public, but PRGE pass holders will have early access.
“Who needs luck on Friday the 13th when you’ve got a gaming convention?” event organizers said.