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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 26 February 2007

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The Crusade Is On…

LIVERPOOL’S FAB Cafe played host, on Wednesday 21 February 2007, to the launch of an international competition on to find the next generation of retro style arcade machine programmers, called the JT Voyager Crusade. At stake, over £2000.00 worth of equipment and a massive open door into the highly competitive and lucrative computer games industry. TV presenter and owner of the Voyager arcade brand, Jonathan Thompson, together with pop star and TV personality Clint Boon, both hosted the night which was filmed by TV and covered by local, national and international press. Also keeping the crowds entertained was magician Kieron.

Liverpool has been chosen to be the location of the competition, as not only will it be Capital of Culture in 2008 but also if this competition goes well, it could be home ground, by the end of 2008 to mid 2009, to an international tourist attraction. This attraction will take the form of a fully interactive computer and game machine museum, charting the history of the industry.

The competition is open to students and amateur programmers over the age of 18, from all over the world! Their task is to recreate the art of simple computer game play and fun.

“Simple games are no longer of interest to large games companies, yet they are some of the most played and bought games ever made, just look at your mobile phone. The competition is not looking for copycat programs or remakes of classic games. We are after new ideas, with the simple games like Tetras, Pac Man and Space Invaders as glowing examples. We are looking for novel and imaginative ideas that appeal to all ages. It is a very hard concept to take in and will test the programmers’ skills to their limits and we hope will give them an edge in the industry.”
said Jonathan Thompson.

Patrick Trollope who is handling the media for the competition said:- "With the competition being based here on Merseyside, it is a real credit to the area.  The competition is also a good way to help programmers from all over the world to get that extra help into what is a very hard market to brake into.   It is a fantastic opportunity for the people on Merseyside to show  what we have to offer the computer industry.

Not only that, but if we get the museum built on Merseyside, it will put this area well on the world map for technology."

As it is the 30th anniversary of Starwars, this year, and as the film is seen as one of the biggest spring boards for retro computer games it is fitting to note that Darth Vader himself... Dave Prowse will be signing the wining game designers cabinet as one of the many celebrates who will autograph it as the crusade goes on! This is due also in part to Jonathan Thompson being the biggest collector of Starwars Machines in Europe, possibly the world.

As well as all that Joystick Junkies, who are one of the leading retro style designer companies in the world, will be giving donating special T-shirts for the event to the winners. So their will be far more for winners than they think!

For more information or to enter you can log onto The event will finish on 1 August 2007 and a short list issued on 15 August 2007. The final results being announced on the 25 August 2007. But that will not be the end of the event… as on the 3 October 2007, the winners will have a massive party to reveal their games to the arcade and computer industry, press and celebrities.

Good luck to all who enter…

Click on to see more photos!

Page 1 of 2.     Photography by Patrick Trollope.

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