Atari Party is an event to celebrate old video games. It's a kind of hands-on, living museum, where various game systems and games will be showcased. It's a free event, open to the public, and all games will be available to play for free.
Note: This is not a trading or selling event. All games are from volunteers' personal collections, and are being brought so everyone can play them.
I'm Bill Kendrick, known in Davis as a co-founder of the Linux Users' Group of Davis (LUGOD), and known globally as developer of Tux Paint, the award-winning open source children's art (as well as other open source software).
I grew up with the Atari 2600 and owned and programmed an Atari 1200XL since I was 7 years old. I still own a variety of Atari systems, though I don't consider myself a 'collector'. Really, I just never stopped using and enjoying all this old stuff.
In 2003 I participated in my first Vintage Computer Festival at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. People were bringing Commodore 64 and Apple ][ folks, so I decided to go as an exhibitor to represent Atari 8-bit computers. (I've also gone back and exhibited a number of times since.)
In 2008, having recently moved back to Davis, and with a little space and time to set all my game systems up again, I ended up with an itch to share all the fun with my friends. VCF West never took place in 2008, so the itch was not satisified.
I came up with the idea of an "Atari Party", similar to how people have been having "Wii Parties" — with a pair of paddles and a copy of Warlords, you can have 4-player fun on the Atari, too! Asking all my friends via Facebook if they'd be interested, I had people coming out of the woodwork. (Long lost high school friends saying they'd make the trek to Davis.)
Some photos of my Atari exhibit at Vintage Computer Fesitvals
Kids enjoying games at VCF 6.0
Me (Bill Kendrick) and Robert Bernardo (Commodre 64 guy) at VCF 6.0
People playing Enduro at VCF 7.0
Some photos from Atari Party 2009
Playing on an Atari 800XL
Watching a guest speaker talk
Playing Atari 2600
Some photos from Atari Party 2010
Atari Jaguar, projected
Some photos from Atari Party 2011
Lots of gaming
Insides of an Atari 800