SC3 Nov 9, 2019: 20th Anniversary Backyard Party!

The neon phosphor glow of the Garage Arcade beckoned players
Food Fight! Eat the cone!

We didn't make a big deal about it, but the November 9, 2019 SC3 event marked our 20th anniversary. In November 1999, a post on the Usenet (for those of you who remember when Usenet was a thing...) group led to the formation of the Southern California Classic Collectors. That early meeting was just a few collectors getting together to swap Atari cartridges and check out that hot new Dreamcast machine. It was so exciting, we were absolutely certain Sega would remain a leader in the console-manufacturing business for years to come! And, though we enjoyed that small event and hoped there would be more, it's unlikely any of those first attendees expected SC3 to be going strong two decades later.

Well, what can we say? Sometimes predictions don't come true. And while we're still bummed that the Sega Dreamcast Mark 5 won't be coming to store shelves in 2019, we're thrilled that people continue to enjoy coming to SC3 events. The most recent took place on November 9, 2019, at the storied "backyard" venue in Claremont. The first backyard party happened in 2006, about a third of the way into SC3's existence. It quickly grew to become our defining event. About 120 attendees streamed into that backyard for 8 hours of arcade games, Super Smash Bros., raffle madess, and chocolate-covered marshmallows... so many chocolate-covered marshmallows.

After twenty years, what can we say about this event that we haven't before? We stocked that backyard with several vintage arcade cabs, some classic computers, and just about every major home console released from 1977 to 2011. Steve, the owner of said backyard, continues to acquire massive tube TVs at an alarming rate. This isn't helping his storage problems, but it's great news for those who want to play Smash Bros. or Mario Kart in the way they were meant to be played: on gigantic glowing cathode-ray picture tubes. It's a good thing for our backs that so many vintage machines look best played on compact Commodore 1702 monitors.

Setup and execution for this event went smoothly. As always, we owe this to all the awesome people who step up and help out. Jay contributed nearly all the raffle goodies and took up ticket-taking and prize-awarding duty. He also kept up the accidental SC3 tradition of having at least one Alf-themed prize at each raffle (we swear, we don't do this intentionally). William D. brought his usual incredible NeoGeo setup. Shawn and Lorraine helped out with setup, teardown, and food service. Lorraine was the heroine of the night, passing out pizza, making chicken tacos and quesadillas on demand, and setting up a real chocolate fountain for people to coat fruit, marshmallows and cookies in cocoa deliciousness. We had some serious haute cuisine this time!

As great as this event was, it comes with some sad news: organizer Geoff, SC3's self-described "heavy lifting and Loud shouting expert" is taking a hiatus from the group to focus on something called "real life", whatever that is. Geoff was the mind behind that momentous Usenet post back in 1999 and has been a fixture at nearly every event these last 20 years. Unfortunately he lives several hours away from the rest of us, and needs a break from all that traveling. But he made it clear that he may be back someday. If there's a functioning C64 at our events, he'll have a hard time staying away. Take care Geoff, we wish you the best!!

The date of the next SC3 event is yet to be announced. Please keep an eye on this site and our Facebook page for announcements. Until then, keep gaming!


Another look at the Garage Arcade
Some attendees milling about during the raffle, while others stay focued on the Dreamcast
Looking down the row of home consoles
The Commodore 64 is a great '80s game machine
Some 2P fighting action on the PS2
Night Stalker on the Intellvision
N64 Mario Kart is older than these players
Dreamcast and NeoGeo
Jay reaches out to collect a ticket from a lucky winner
Smash Bros. gets a lot of play no matter the system
Donkey Kong on the tabletop multicade
Practicing up turkey marksmanship in anticipation of Thanksgiving, no doubt
The back row of consoles, the only place you could ever play Inter-Stellar Laser Fantasy, BurgerTime and a Vectrex after a five-step walk
For all its great games, it's hard to beat good old Mine Storm on the Vectrex
Quit? Never! Always Continue!
A minty Armitron was a raffle prize. Your author included this in the recap photos only because he owned one as a kid and wanted to look at it over and over
Early shot of the raffle table during setup. Admit it, you wish you could have won that RCA Studio II