Gros Joueurs bring barcading to Nuit Blanche

Gaming geeks, behold your Nuit Blanche destination: Pixelsfest 2.22 II.

Super Mario Crossover

It’s Nuit Blanche this Saturday, and although there will be no shortage of free activities demanding your attention, do yourself a favour and head down to the big shiny glass building on the corner of Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent (actual name: La Vitrine) for Pixelsfest 2.22 II.

The first Pixelsfest was held during last year’s Nuit Blanche and was a huge hit, with more than 6,000 visitors swinging by, and it’s no wonder people were attracted to the gaming party, since organizers Gros Joueurs know retro gaming is the key to unlocking everyone’s hearts.

“We really enjoy the social aspect of gaming,” says Gros Joueurs member Jules Gosselin-Beaudet. “It’s a big public event, but we want it to feel like being on the couch with your friends, like back in the day. We don’t do hardcore tournaments, we do it more for the casual gamers.”

They’ll be keeping their power glove at home this year (“we abused it too much last year,” he says), but SNES fans will be happy to know Super Bomberman 2 and NBA Jam will be playable, with multitaps for four-player gameplay.

To get a sense of what Gros Joueurs are really about, be sure to check out Super Mario Crossover, which will be featured on a big screen. The hit Flash-based game essentially takes the original Super Mario Bros. levels, but instead of jumping around as Mario, you can choose from other famous gaming characters.

“We love retro — we want to bring people things they remember and loved, but to do it with a twist,” he says.

Although it’s popular in other North American cities, Montreal doesn’t yet have a true barcade, which as you might have guessed is a bar with an arcade. Besides Pixelsfest, Gros Joueurs have done temporary barcades at the likes of Sala Rossa and Lambi, and although Gosselin-Beaudet likes the idea of settling in a more permanent spot, he says it’s not an immediate project for them. At least we’ll have Pixelsfest.

And if the lineup at Pixelsfest looks too daunting, skip a few steps down the Main to the SAT for more video game installations, as well as a live chiptune dance party courtesy of Toy Company, Das Mortal, Construct and others. ■

For more info, check out the Pixelsfest Facebook event.

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