ROM 2016 interview Kieran Hawken


The UK’s longest running retro gaming event is back once again! Same pub, same people and the same great atmosphere that has made this the best community event in the country! Come join us in Oxford for a weekend of mayhem including lots of great systems to play on, charity auction (donations welcome!), curry, tournaments, homebrew competition and late night Rockband!

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Retrovision has been going since 2002, making it official the oldest running retro gaming event in the UK. In 2013 it morphed into ROM as the previous organiser Mark Rayson no longer had time to devote himself to the event and he was such a big figurehead that we felt a name change was needed (ROM originally being an acronym for Retro Oxford Meet as we planned to do events in different places). I myself organised the last ever event to carry the Retrovision name so it was a seamless transition into me taking over as chief organiser anyway. Mark “Markie” Rayson is back involved again from this year onwards so the Retrovision name is more prominent again in the advertising. He is famous for donning green face paint and drinking a lot of Guinness! The original Retrovision event was set up by members of Jeff Minter’s Yak Yak forum and he has always attended the events too. Although I am the main organiser ROM is very much a team event with a lot of people chipping in to help with different things from running tournaments and designing graphics to simply setting up and collecting tickets, I cannot stress this part enough, ROM is very much an event run for the people by the people and lots of people give up their valuable time to make it happen.

Retrovision is unlike many other events in that is 100% focuses on the community aspect. We have no traders or corporate sponsorship of any kind and its run strictly non-profit. All profit made from tickets goes to the nominated charity, which this year is Cancer Research UK. We also hold a charity auction where people donate any unwanted retro stuff and all proceeds from this go the nominated charity, we have raised thousands of pounds in previous years and it always gets pretty crazy with serious bidding wars and lots of banter. There is always a wide range of systems set up to play on in the main room as well as board games and role play games down in the pub. We also do Rockband in the evening and have homebrew competition for budding programmers as well as a cosplay parade, prizes are given for all the winners of these and the many tournaments that we run over the weekend including the famous random fighting game competition.