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press start to joinThe Force Is Strong At Burgess Hill Video Gaming Event
7th December 2015
by Peter Chapman

Gamers descended upon the Martlets Hall on Saturday for the 'Press Start To Join' video game event organised by local residents Dean Hedger and Jon Preece.

This was their second event at the venue after a successful debut in late October where over 100 people came to play on video game systems spanning 5 decades.

Both the Martlets Cafe and Sheldrake suite were filled with equipment as a mixture of challenges, tournaments and free-play were available.

Star Wars Theme
With the release of the 7th Star Wars film just a few weeks away, there were a number of Star Wars games to play including a bank of 8 PCs networked together to play Star Wars games including X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Dark Forces and Jedi Outcast.

The individual challenges were:
Crazy Taxi on the Playstation 2 – Earn the highest dollars in 3 minutes
Jetpac on the Spectrum Vega – Get the highest score
Super Mario World – Complete Yoshi's Island 1 with the most time remaining
Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics – Fastest bobsleigh run on the Wii balance board

A FIFA 16 tournament on the PS3 also took place on a big projector with a team of three youngsters beating out another young pair in the final. There were even trophies for the winners! The more senior players had been despatched by the youngsters in earlier rounds.

The majority of the free play games selected had a multiplayer option to really make this a social affair. These included Micro Machines on the PS1, Mario Tennis on the N64, Streets of Rage 2 on the Megadrive, Mashed on the Xbox, Daytona on the Sega Dreamcast and Tekken on the Playstation to name just a few.

There were also some really old retro consoles available to experience, these were an Atari 2600 which was really popular, especially on Phoenix, a Phillips G700 Videopac running Crazy Chase alongside a NES and Commodore Amiga

We caught up with Dean Hedger at the event and asked for his thoughts on how he feels the first two events have gone and what's to come in the future:

After many years of collecting consoles and attending gaming events myself and Jon felt that we would like to host an event closer to home.

We spoke with Hannah Peacock at the Martlets who was very supportive and saw this as a great opportunity to bring something different to the community.

The reception has been way beyond expectations with over 100 people attending both events, the feedback we received has been all positive.

It’s great to see whole families attending as well as groups of friends, the FIFA tournaments would have you thinking the world cup is in town and the challenges see some fabulous competitive spirit amongst the players. Not forgetting the popularity of the free to play consoles and the many requests of have you got Mario Kart? what about Burnout? any Tekken? And naturally our response is “yes” as we then wander off to the game store to swap the games around.

2016 looks like a great year ahead for Press Start to Join as we have been asked to run parties, corporate events and 4 events in the main Hall at the Martlets Hall through the year.

You can keep up to date with us on Twitter: @pressstart2join or Facebook at Facebook.com/pressstart2join

Next Event

If you like the sound of the Press Start To Join video gaming events, then your next chance to have a play on all the various consoles and to take part in the challenges and tournaments will be on 16th February 2016 at the Martlets Hall from 5 -10pm during the half term holiday.
Event page link: https://www.facebook.com/events/682604008508446/

Spread the word - Burgess Hill now has its very own regular video gaming event!

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below....
Have you attended any of the 'Press Start To Join' video gaming events? What dd you think of them. If not, is this something you would like to attend?

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