|What is ZapCon?|
|It's a weekend-long classic arcade and pinball party, with all of the games set to free play! April 16th and 17th, 2016 in Mesa, Arizona.|
February 1, 2016|
We have some new incentives for game contributors this year. In addition to the standards we’ve offered the last three years, we’re now also offering:
November 2, 2015
Come join in the fun!
- a free t-shirt if you bring 5 or more games!
- access to the “Contributor Only” game time the Friday night before the event!
- you'll be entered into a drawing to win free arcade game for every game you bring
contact wes [at] zapcon [dot] com for more information.
The dates for next year's ZapCon have been announced! See you all April 16-17, 2016.
May 11, 2015
Spread the word!
A lot of folks were sad that we ran out of shirts at ZapCon so we did another run of this year's model! We’ll be selling them at Starfighters Arcade (4811 E Julep St. Ste. 124, Mesa, AZ 85205) Friday May 22nd & Saturday the 23rd, 7 - 11pm.
April 14, 2015
As a bonus buy a shirt, or show up in any ZapCon shirt, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a 10 person, 3 hour party at Howie’s Game Shack!
We'll have size small through 3x available. First come first served. Come down and play some rad video games and grab a ZapCon 3.0 shirt while you’re here!
Thanks to the AZ Republic for the great article about ZapCon!
April 7, 2015
Do you have a sweet pinball machine or arcade game? Think it can take top prize in the Firebird Pinball Best of Show contest? Bring it down and find out! wes [at] zapcon [dot] com for more info.
March 30, 2015
We are pleased to announce the official ZapCon after party will be at Endgame! Stop by after the show with your badge/bracelet and get 20% off drinks (max $100 tab)!
March 24, 2015
Want to get into ZapCon for free? We need volunteers! email wes [at] zapcon [dot] com to sign up, or if you have any questions.
March 18, 2015
Pinball and arcade tournament information is now up on the schedule. Start planning your weekend!
March 16, 2015
Good news! The Phoenix Marriott Mesa has extended the deadline for booking rooms with the ZapCon discount! You now have through Sunday March 22nd to call (480) 898-8300 and make your reservation.
March 9, 2015
Only one week left to take advantage of the ZapCon promo room rate at the neighboring Phoenix Marriott Mesa. Call (480) 898-8300 and book your reservation now!
March 2, 2015
ZapCon needs YOU! Volunteer for a few hours and get a weekend pass. Contact wes [at] zapcon [dot] com for more information!
February 23, 2015
Want to get in to ZapCon free? bring a game! Get a weekend pass per game, early entrance, and an exclusive “contributor” name badge! Contact wes [at] zapcon [dot] com to get in on the action!
February 5, 2015
The games list for 2015 is live. Watch it grow before your eyes!
October 7, 2014
Dates and location for ZapCon 2015 have been announced!
October 7, 2014
April 18th and 19th, 2015, at the Mesa Convention Center!
Check out this collection of photo galleries from ZapCon 2014:
The Phoenix New Times Slideshow
Wes's gallery of games and folks
Wes's gallery of just games
Some of the fondest memories from my childhood were when I or one of my friends could talk a parent into dropping us off at the nearest arcade for a few hours. We'd do our best to stretch $5 worth of tokens as far as possible. Sometimes that meant playing a game that wasn't that great, but you were really good at. Sometimes it meant spending your in between game time taking long, slow strolls up and down the aisles soaking in the lights and sounds, watching the attract modes of games you were curious about, or watching other people play in hopes of picking up a new killer technique or of seeing a level or mode you haven't been able to get to. Sometimes it meant spending a ridiculous amount of time waiting in line to play the arcade's hot new game.
All of it was pure bliss, and none of it exists today as it did back then. The modern arcade has shifted focus to redemption games (ticket spitters), as they can no longer compete with the home console market. All but one of the old guard pinball manufacturers have disappeared. There are precious few places to play the classics and even fewer where one can get the "classic arcade" experience.
That is why we have created Zapcon. We want to relive the joy of going to the arcade, and to share that joy with younger generations who couldn't experience it first hand. We want to give collectors and restorationists a chance to show off their wares and to buy, sell, or trade with other like minded enthusiasts. Most of all we want Zapcon to become an annual event that will promote and preserve classic arcade and pinball culture for years to come.