The Southern Fried Game Expo Experience

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Games aplenty in Atlanta ~

Avery Abernethy, 8 July 2017

The Southern Fried Game Expo (SFGE) is an annual Pinball, Arcade, Console and Board Game convention held annually in Atlanta Georgia. I attended the latest Expo the weekend before the start of Origins on June 9-11, 2017. This is an inexpensive, family friendly and fun event.

Arcade Row

Pinball Row


SFGE devotes most of their floor space to Pinball and Arcade games. This year they had more than 250 machines which were all set on free play.

The newest machines were AC/DC; Wizard of Oz; Houdini, Batman and Ghostbusters which were all released this year or last year. I’m not familiar enough with arcade games to notice new machines versus existing machines.

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The Batman Promo Poster provided eye candy for many.


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The oldest machines were Aloha (1961) and Dixieland (1969).


SFGE has multiple tournaments. They always have a pinball tourney. This year they had a “class of 1982” arcade tournament which includes Defender, Super Pac Man and two other famous 1982 releases. That took me back to my undergraduate days at UNC.


This year the board game area added a Settlers of Catan qualifying tournament for the Nationals held at Origins in 2018.


There is also an exhibition of independent PC computer games, both modern and “ancient” console games, and the Artemis Star Trek Bridge Simulator.


Last year they added board games to the menu. They have a large selection of games for check-out and demos of a number of games. They have a large play space for board games. This hits three of my passions, pinball, board games and arcade games.


The age of attendees runs from five year olds to people in their 60s. Many parents bring their kids. Although there are more males than females, at least 30% of the attendees were female. They also added a Wrestling Match this year with a full ring. There were also two live concerts.

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Advance three day passes are $50 and they also sell passes at the door. It is held at a very large Marriott with ample convention space. It was very family friendly. Wear comfortable shoes, earplugs if arcade noise bothers you, and set your phone on vibrate if you want to catch your calls and enjoy yourself.

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