Joystick Junkies

Video gamers spend weekend at ginormous arcade.

Guitar Hero rockers and Pac-Man purists alike can get their trigger-happy fingers on the latest games and gadgets this weekend in Strongsville at the first-ever Northeast Ohio Video Gaming Convention & Sale. "It's not just a giant geekfest and definitely not a hyped sales gimmick with nothing else inside," says Dave Duffner, the convention's organizer. "We have something for people ages 8 to 80 years old." Featuring more than 50 booths, the show gives conventioneers a chance to try out the latest editions of Halo, Call of Duty, Team Fortress, Rock Band, and Super Smash Bros. The U.S. Army will also take up serious acreage with its Hummer Video Gaming Unit and Laser Shot Visual Experience. Anybody who tries them walks off with a complimentary military dog tag. And expect big crowds to relive old-school arcade fun while marveling at the latest in digital entertainment. "The old PC shows in Cleveland and Akron have died out. And other conventions were just very small and only for those interested in the niche they cover," says Duffner. "What we started has turned into a full-scale convention to fill in the void." Get your games on from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Holiday Inn, 15471 Royalton Road in Strongsville. Admission is $5 to $12. Call 216-220-5305 or visit
Fri., March 21, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., March 22, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., 2008