Thursday, November 19, 2015
Free Play Florida turns the SeaWorld Doubletree into a pinball wizard's dream this weekend
By Bernard Wilchusky
on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 6:00 AM
4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 20-22 | Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, 10100 International Drive | 407-352-1100 | freeplayflorida.com
Let’s go on a journey back to a time when gaming was a niche activity for children and the socially disenfranchised. Back to a time when the quarter was a business’ standard unit of currency, and profit was measured in continues and lives. Let’s go back before the Internet made multiplayer a decidedly solitary affair; before split-screens, before LAN parties, before Xbox Live. Free Play is more than just a convention: It’s a time machine for gamers. Play with the grandaddy of all modern consoles, the venerable Atari 2600; try your hand at over 100 different pinball machines; play Pac-Man the way it was meant to be played – with your elbows tucked in, your back hunched and your body surrounded by the wooden blinders of a classic arcade cabinet. Talk to Billy Mitchell, the King of (Donkey) Kong, or the minds who designed ye olde games of yore. And if that’s not your bag, dip into a screening of the original Tron, or test your skill in the arcade and pinball tournaments. Just remember to leave your quarters at home.