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Ok so here's a long ramble of thoughts from the team behind #UPLINK. GET READY....
We talk a real big game. Like #SHAQ big.  For NY's biggest videogame exhibitor, you need to. It's NY after all and it's ONE TOUGH PLACE TO BE.  Luckily we always try to back it up.
But the reality is, we're really just a small group of volunteers who really, really love #videogames. Videogames, PC games, tabletop games...heck probably even the games on cereal boxes. It shaped who we are and our friendships.
But yes, we're just a dedicated, die-hard collective of die hard videogame fans who come together to put on the best damn gaming experiences we can 365 days a year. (Yep all year!) We're kinda like Bon Iver...except not as sad, and more digital than acoustic.
So 7 years ago, a group of us decided, "hey let's do a videogame convention for retrogames because for whatever reason the NYC area lacked one. And wouldn't it be cool to meet others who are into retro games JUST LIKE US!"
But it's really expensive to get a space here in NY. So we set up in a hotel lobby with the humble funding we could get and made due of what we had - scouring the mean streets of Craigslist for people dumping free CRTs.
And lo and behold. People showed up. And not just our moms and dads...but like ACTUAL PEOPLE we never met! Complete strangers came to play, talk, and watch #videogames with us! New friends! A community in the making! Is this real?!?
But we had a mission with all of this. We started realizing that a lot of the games that we loved were going the way of the dodo and would soon be lost to time. Our memories. Our childhoods.
Soon with confusing IP rights, a lot of what we loved would soon be forgotten. Not just the games themselves...but the experience.

Like do you remember the feeling of 9/9/99? #Pokemania? 4 player split screen on a CRT? Or getting headaches from the Virtual Boy?
You just can't replace those experiences...
And so, we wanted to make a gaming convention that wasn't just a convention. We wanted to make it an EXPERIENCE. An experience where you walk in and you just FELT a memory in the making. You felt the nostalgia that you never even had. You felt history before and ahead of you.
We won't say what our secret sauce is...but we think of every detail humanly possible to ensure the best damn gaming experience you'll ever have and that when you leave with a memory you never knew you had.
And so with the help of some lovely folks, we grew as a community every year until eventually we got so big that the nice folks at The Cradle of Aviation, a beautiful MASSIVE museum, rich in history, welcomed us as our new annual home.
And thus @LIRetro was no longer just a "retro gaming convention." It became A MOMENT. Larger than we ever could have imagined. One reviewer once even told us we're like "The Met Gala of Videogames - a spectacle that you feel you're part of something greater." Sorry Anna.
Then we created a sister convention just for tabletop board gaming...and once again, people came in force and another new community was built!
This year's edition of #LIRetro was set to be the best yet. Like stuff LITERALLY A YEAR IN THE MAKING! Things no one has thought of! Unseen things! We don't even know where our time machine went!

And then of course the pandemic hit and everything shut down.
But this small but dedicated group of average Joes and Janes all looked at each other and realized...this wasn't going to be a defeat...but an OPPORTUNITY.
If we could make this work digitally, we could spread our mission of game preservation and videogame history further than we ever could. Not just NY. Not just the Tri State. Not just the US. The whole world. Ambitious, yes.
And we didn't just want to make a "digital con." We wanted to make an EXPERIENCE. Unlike anything else. All the bells and whistles of a physical convention, but new experiences that could only be done digitally and not bound by geography.
We wanted to change the game of what a virtual con can be. It had to be exciting. It had to be engaging. It had to have the DNA of everything we've done up until to this point.

And thus #UPLINK was born.

Not just a "one time" thing. A new concept. A new journey.
But this new venture was not going to be easy. Luckily through the help of some great partners, it's all coming together...
With the help of @ParsecTeam, we're able to offer gaming experiences in a variety of retro titles, many of which never had online play before. A massive effort allowing players to play a multitude of games with others across every generation, all from home
Thanks to the support of @JoviaFinancial, we're able to utilize an assortment of hardware, gear, and other key technical resources to handle the bandwidth and scale of putting on this incredible production. Seriously thank you for coming in to support! Y'all need a videogame!
With @RetroFightersco on our side, we're able to provide gamers an incredible tournament lineup where we can welcome the most competitive players for new and retro games. Seriously - we want to see who is really going to be king of #ShaqFu!
And of course, there's the amazing guest lineup. Over 50 individuals and groups of what we believe is the greatest assembly EVER for a gaming convention.

We're still in awe of everyone that will be speaking or performing at #UPLINK!!!
The best minds, enthusiasts, creators, artists, historians, writers, filmmakers, musicians, modders, developers...thinkers in the world of gaming - modern or retro. Longtime stalwarts of the medium. The biggest names. The best up and coming creators.
The next generation of creators who will carry gaming not just into history but into a work of ART.

Many of whom are doing their first ever appearance despite having already garnered incredible followings but are coming together for #UPLINK in what will be an incredible 2 days
And so here we are. Just a few days away from #UPLINK

On behalf of all the volunteers across the past 7 years. Every past guest speaker. Every one in the community that helped us grow.

We can't wait to show you what happens next.

See you this weekend
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Keep Current with UPLINK this August 8-9

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