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ACMI’s Retrolympiad: Celebrate the Rio 2016 Olympics with retro video games

CELEBRATE the Olympic spirit in retro gaming fashion at ACMI’s one-night only Retrolympiad! Justin Lim spoke to ACMI producer Emily Siddons to learn more about the unique event.

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With the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro fast approaching, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) have put together a unique event to celebrate the upcoming world sporting event.

The Retrolympiad, which takes place this Saturday July 23, will celebrate the Olympic spirit by way of gaming. Much like its name implies, the event will host a large number of retro video games, inspired by the Olympic games from the 1980s all the way through to the 2000 in Sydney, Australia.

ACMI Producer Emily Siddon, one of the game-loving masterminds behind the Retrolympiad, was excited for visitors to see what she and her team have in store to the public.

“It is about getting into the Olympic spirit, hanging out with friends, being entertained by live game play and epic sporting fails over music, laughs and great food and drinks,” she said.

In conceiving the event, Siddons said she and her team “started throwing around images of retro ’70s Olympic sport stars and [the idea] grew organically from there”.

“We thought what better way to get into the sporting spirit then to have a bit of fun and host our own interpretation of the Olympic Games in a tongue and cheek way that celebrates some of the retro game titles people have grown up with over the years,” she said.

The nostalgia and social qualities that retro games evoke was something Siddons and her team wanted to tap into, and as such they’ve selected an intriguing collection of classic titles.

“The games we have selected are perfect to have a go on the fly without prior knowledge or skill,” she said.

These games include: California Games (1987 and 1993), the Olympic Gold series (1992 and 1996), Track and Field II U.S. (1988) and International Track and Field (2000) and Caveman Games USA, (1988).

In addition to a night of retro gaming action, the Retrolympiad will also be holding other events too. Hosting the event are comedians Andy Matthews and Al Tremblay Brichall, the brains behind the six part sketch series, Australia, Get It Up Ya!, who will guide attendees through the night’s opening ceremony and present and commentate on live game play on stage.

A DJ set from The Midnight Juggernauts with beats inspired by the ’80s will pulsate throughout ACMI and Melbourne artist, Ivan Dixon from Rubber House, will have his pixel artworks on display too.

“This program is for everyone from those who are more comfortable on the sidelines to those who have a competitive spirit and want to take centre stage,” Siddons said.

“It will be a great night out with friends unlike no other!”

The Retrolympiad will take place at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image on July 23 (8.00pm start) and is a one-night only event. For more information, please visit the event page over at ACMI’s website.

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