๐Ÿ•น️ Bristol Gaming Market June 2018 - With Britt & Faye ๐Ÿ•น️ @BrittRecluseuk @ReplayEvents @KingdomOfCarts

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The last time Faye and I went to a gaming market, it was last summer in London and we felt that the six-hour round trip wasn’t quite worth it and so vowed to only attend expos with markets as a part of them as opposed to gaming markets alone.

However, as this was so close to us we felt that we couldn’t miss the opportunity and so once again booked a hotel, packed up the Nintendo Switch (the hotel’s HDMI port was AWKWARD to reach!) and started off on our trip.
Naturally, before we’d even arrived at the hotel Faye had spent a load of cash on PS2 games in CEX, so we were already in the zone for some gaming action. After a day of cocktails, bird-filming and Golf Story (with a dash of Yonder, love that game….apart from the chirping) we sparked out at a sensible time to make an early start for the gaming market.
Having been used to the mega-queues at London, Doncaster and Leeds, it was nice (especially in the heat) to have to only queue for a few minutes, I briefly spoke to one of the organisers, Elliott (who kindly completed an interview with me for Games Freezer, more on that soon) and headed inside with a wallet full of cash and a bag to fill with solid gold.
It was warm in the passenger shed, very warm. Once again I was reminded of the virtues of showering and cleansing one’s teeth before attending any public function, virtues I wish more people in that building held closer to their hearts. Some of the smells that I was introduced to as people leaned across me to pick up a game, breathing freely in my face as they did so are so memorable that I’ll be telling my grand-kids about them, gagging as I do so.
Aside from these more intimate issues, there were a lot of stalls set up and consoles scattered around on free-play mode, alongside a game that was being demoed that was in the Space Harrier genre and controlled by hand movements, very cool. The developer of the game was on-hand letting people try it out and he was Steve, Robbie and Roy, yes….he was KEEN. His narration of the on-screen events and banter definitely kept the energy levels up, the game looked quite nice and controlled quite well, so I hope the launch works out for him (I foolishly forgot to take a picture of the game, whoops and apologies).
It was also great to see how many passers-by were popping in (it was only £2 on the door) to get a nostalgia fix, parents almost treating the market as a museum of sorts, telling their children about certain consoles and games as they wandered around. It’s easy to forget that, for a lot of people gaming isn’t a huge part of their lives and I could see their astonishment at the prices being requested for specific games that they remembered from their childhoods and on several occasions, I heard the classic, “I wish I still had that game now, it’s worth a fortune!”.
Moving on to the gaming stalls themselves, there were the usual sellers and some newer faces, which was a nice change of pace. Whilst I did pick up a few things (I think Faye melted her debit card, she was swiping it so fast with some of her purchases) I couldn’t shake the feeling that the escalating prices were finally putting me off and actually having an impact on my enjoyment. The variation of stock on offer was, as always, exceptional and the sellers were mostly willing to come to a deal on multiple purchases, but some of the prices were eye-watering, not just on rarer items, but in general (although there are always bargains to be had.) I know that there are overheads for independent companies, but it’s difficult to validate the purchase of an item if it can be picked up elsewhere for a noticeably cheaper price.
"I'm looking for a copy of Fly Fishing By J.R Hartley"
In these situations, I’m always reminded of my favourite gaming store, Insane Games in Bridgwater. They purchase / trade at fair prices and then mark up their stock at a few quid cheaper than eBay, and so they are far more likely to sell. Larger and rarer items are kept in-stock for a month so that their regulars and Facebook group members can see it and have a chance to come down and pick it up, then after that month, it’s put on eBay if unsold. This setup ensures a healthy rotation of custom where everyone is treated fairly and I wish it was something that was practised by more vendors. I would easily have spent twice as much as I did at the market if the prices were brought down slightly but seeing a game at a market for £25-30 quid that is half the price in CEX or on Amazon / eBay makes quite the difference. It’s not just the case of a couple of quid, sometimes it can be half the price or more and that’s difficult to justify this, although naturally when you travel distance to specifically purchase games….you won’t leave empty-handed.
The general swift inflation of game prices aside (something that we all, unfortunately, have to deal with), the market itself seemed to be a success with a steady stream of visitors throughout the day, helpful staff and a vibrant atmosphere, although it would be nice to have some old-school gaming music playing to add to the general ambience.
It’s always good to have gaming events south of London, as a lot of them tend to be further up north. In the interview that accompanies this article, Elliott of REPLAY Events states that there are plans to have a lot more events this way which can only be a good thing, for a start the money saved on travelling can be spent on more gaming paraphernalia!
If you have time, Grillstock is well worth a visit, we had an absolutely gorgeous meal post-purchasing, I heartily recommend it!

Right, I’m off to play some games.

Article By Britt

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