For over a decade I've wanted to go to CGE. This year I finally made it.
Saturday morning I was disappointed at first, thinking I'd spent money and time to go to Vegas for nothing more than a typical videogame expo along the lines of PhillyClassic, East Coast Gaming Expo, or numerous other similar events.
A little after lunchtime I discovered the difference-makers though, and proceeded to enjoy CGE immensely.
KEYNOTES: I attended a couple of talks that included a handful of Activision game creators, and another that included Keith Robinson and other Intellivision game creators. The keynotes were absolutely great. They were interesting and funny, and nothing that is readily available at other gaming get-togethers I've attended.
SATURDAY NIGHT AUCTION: Leading up to the show I'd been told the auction was not-to-be-missed, and the auction itself lived up to the hype. The auction was fun, funny, and astounding to me with regard to the amount of cash being thrown around. The auction was a 3-hour activity, but I wasn't close to ready for it to end after the three hours. I only wish I'd had deep enough pockets to more fully participate, but that's nothing CGE can be criticized for, obviously.
MUSEUM: The museum was very neat as well. VECTREXER's Vectrex display was simply jaw-dropping. At one point while I was in the museum I was walking along next to one of the Intellivision guys (maybe Don Daglow?) and even he was impressed with the Intellivision items on display.
NON-VIDEO, REAL-LIVE PERSON GAMING: I had a great time participating in the Atari Age vs. Digital Press Medieval Mayhem tournament (amazing game, btw). The Family Feud match looked terrific (unfortunately I only saw the very end so I can't fairly comment much on the game), and playing in the Jeopardy game was a lot of fun too. The actual mechanics of making the Jeopardy game board and buzzers were done very, very well. Clearly a huge amount of work went into these activities.
All-in-all I had a terrific time. The things that make CGE a unique event were wonderful and if you have the opportunity to attend next year I highly recommend it. And if you do go, I urge you to take advantage of the bits and pieces that aren't common to all videogame expos.