Retro gamers drawn to Omaha for videogame tournament

Bright, green screens filled the room, turning a restaurant into a mini arcade. While avid retro gamers grabbed their controllers with intense looks of determination to face off head-to-head with one another. “So a lot of competitive diehards that are willing to come out every year and play,” said Brad Bell.It’s an old game, that many remember from their childhood. But through the 7th Annual RBI and Tecmo Bowl Tournament, they can relive those memories once again. “The first time I ever played this game was, I was sick. My mom rented it from a local video store and I played Houston and lost horribly,” said Conrad Jaosko, his first time at the competition. Bell is the organizer, he said each year the competition expands to people outside of Nebraska, growing in size and recognition. “It’s attracted players from 12 states and Canada,” Bell said. “It’s kind of a testament to how much fun and what the tournaments about. They’re willing to come back year after year, and they’ll fly here and drive 10 hours or whatever it takes to get here.”Like Jared Kvale, he traveled all the way from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to compete for the second year. “It’s a lot of guys my age that are video game fans and that are sports fans,” Kvale said.He said it’s all fun and games, but he’s back for another year to win. “I just made it into the semi-finals. So yeah, it’s been going way better than last year,” Kvale said.Trying to make his way through the championship bracket for a chance to win the ultimate title. “The best technique player in the greater United States,” he said.And build lasting friendships through the decades-old game. “The camaraderie here is great. I mean, even when you lose a game or win a game, everyone, we’re all friends at the end,” said Kvale.

Bright, green screens filled the room, turning a restaurant into a mini arcade.

While avid retro gamers grabbed their controllers with intense looks of determination to face off head-to-head with one another.

“So a lot of competitive diehards that are willing to come out every year and play,” said Brad Bell.

It’s an old game, that many remember from their childhood. But through the 7th Annual RBI and Tecmo Bowl Tournament, they can relive those memories once again.

“The first time I ever played this game was, I was sick. My mom rented it from a local video store and I played Houston and lost horribly,” said Conrad Jaosko, his first time at the competition.

Bell is the organizer, he said each year the competition expands to people outside of Nebraska, growing in size and recognition.

“It’s attracted players from 12 states and Canada,” Bell said. “It’s kind of a testament to how much fun and what the tournaments about. They’re willing to come back year after year, and they’ll fly here and drive 10 hours or whatever it takes to get here.”

Like Jared Kvale, he traveled all the way from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to compete for the second year.

“It’s a lot of guys my age that are video game fans and that are sports fans,” Kvale said.

He said it’s all fun and games, but he’s back for another year to win.

“I just made it into the semi-finals. So yeah, it’s been going way better than last year,” Kvale said.

Trying to make his way through the championship bracket for a chance to win the ultimate title.

“The best technique player in the greater United States,” he said.

And build lasting friendships through the decades-old game.

“The camaraderie here is great. I mean, even when you lose a game or win a game, everyone, we’re all friends at the end,” said Kvale.