The third "C" in SC3 stands for "Collectors," which is what we really are, at heart. A bunch of folks who collect videogames – some arcade, some home consoles, mostly classics – and who are always on the lookout for something new to add to our collections. It's the reason SC3 was organized in the first place: to give fellow collectors a place to come together, play games, and swap carts. That spirit is still alive and well at SC3 over 10 years later.
Every meeting, we strongly encourage all collectors to bring their duplicates and extras and put them up for sale or trade. As a result, at every meeting we have an eclectic mix of stuff on the block. Atari 2600 and NES carts, arcade marquees, Pac-Man TV trays, Pong machines, '80s board games based on coin-ops... we've seen just about everything. You never know what's going to turn up next! If you're interested in trading items at SC3, please read our list of Tips for Traders.
While at an SC3 meeting, you can play vintage coin-ops, all manner of classic console games, and wade through piles of trade fodder. But what do you do while chowing down on pizza and other snacks? Watch movies at Uncle Steve's Ghetto Drive-In™ of course! That's our affectionate name for our movie-viewing area, which started out as a 9-foot-fall screen draped on a custom-built frame made out of PVC pipe. (The current screen is commercially made and easy to set up, so the nickname doesn't really fit anymore, but it's become a tradition.) Once the sun goes down, the screen comes alive with the best videogame-related videos ever produced in the 1980s... and sometimes beyond!
Past "drive-in" features have included Tron (aka the greatest movie of all time), the classic nuclear devastation film WarGames, oddball Japanese gaming videos, and even the occasional 9-foot-tall game of MAME or 10-player Saturn Bomberman.
Sure, SC3 is well-known for its arcade parties, but would you believe that in the early 1980s, SC3 ran its own weak-signal UHF television station?? What, you wouldn't believe that? OK, we didn't. But we do enjoy combing through video from that era, searching for videogame content. So occasionally we put a bunch of clips together and call it SC3-TV. SC3-TV might feature original TV commercials for systems like the Atari 2600 and Intellivision, clips from documentaries about the early days of videogaming, trailers for classic films like Tron and Joysticks, and even clips from TV shows like Starcade and the Pac-Man cartoon. Plenty of obscure clips are included too. Where else can you see a Pong tournament advertising Coca-cola, Pac-Man Vitamins, and footage from the Tron ice show all in the same place?
It takes energy to play arcade games for 6-8 hours straight. If you don't think so, then you have never experienced a frantic button-whacking session of Track & Field. To keep SC3 guests ready for the game, we always have food on hand. Pizza is the old standby, delivered fresh several times a night. Other snacks, such as chips and cookies, are usually on hand as well. And to wash it all down, you can help yourself to a cold can of soda, bottle of water, or bottle of beer. While eating, you can chat it up with fellow gamers or watch SC3-TV on the big screen.
A recent introduction to SC3's picnic area is the gaming-themed cake or other kind of dessert. We don't have these at every event, but we try to have fun with them when we do. We've had cakes shaped like Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man, a Custer's Revenge cake (with custard filling, get it?) that was both delicious and disturbing, a 3D Q*bert pyramid made or Rice Krispie treats, and a Portal cake that was a lie, albeit a tasty, chocolaty one.
Of course, no description of food at SC3 would be complete without a mention of wasabi, the spicy Japanese horseradish paste that tastes delicious on many foods, but certainly does not belong on frosted animal cookies. Of course, that's how SC3 organizer Geoff eats it. Why the wasabi-dipped animal cookie has become an SC3 tradition, we may never know – but it is definitely a sight to see.