Taking place upstairs in Sunderland’s Legacy Café Bar on the first Friday of every month, Challenge Accepted is an action packed event where the North East’s gamers and cosplayers converge to socialise, compete and drink a range of themed cocktails.
Entertainment on offer ranges from what may in fact be every console ever conceived to chaos involving children’s go-karts.
April’s offering was Live Action Mario Kart: two man teams racing said children’s go-karts around a figure of 8 while being pelted with water balloons. Next month’s is Live Action Hungry Hungry Hippos apparently.
Cosplaying is also heavily encouraged and, alongside the chance to win a £40 prize for best costume, cosplayers also benefit from a reduced entry fee of £3 rather than £4.
The systems themselves are so numerous attendees should find something to play on even if the event is packed. Space-aged 90’s kids can watch their brains melt as they try and decipher the controls of a ZX Spectrum then cry with joy when, after half an hour of accidentally ejecting tapes and swearing, they finally work out how to move Marty Mcfly backwards and forwards.
A N64 is also on offer for those who want to indulge in classics like Goldeneye or Mario Kart.
More modern games and consoles are also readily available. Fifa 16, Modern Warfare 2, Halo, Tekken all have their place and, if the demand is there, can form the basis of a tournament.
Tournament’s are quite simple. Players sign up, pay a £4 entry fee and are entered into a bracket. The tournament commences in a straight knockout format and the winner takes whatever is in the pot.
For those not interested in competing, there are plenty of opportunities to just play for fun. There’s even a pool table if you find things powered by electricity intimidating.
While all of this is going on an eclectic selection of music is played by resident DJs, Kevski and Pinky.
Challenge Accepted founder Kev Spoors spoke about Challenge Accepted’s origins:
“We thought to ourselves why don’t we make an exhibition, kind of a museum set up kind of thing so we did. We put about 10 machines out, old tvs and stuff and we got quite a lot of people from around the UK coming, not just from the North East but from London and Manchester.
Ok we’ve got this museum set up, why don’t we add a different dynamic to it, some kind of party atmosphere. Get some old school consoles out, some new stuff as well put some old games out. So we got loads of retro stuff, loads of new stuff and put it all in a room threw a DJ on and just had a party.”
Challenge Accepted also has a large presence on the convention circuit with particularly strong ties to Sunnycon, a large anime convention based in Newcastle.
So, why Challenge Accepted? Fellow founder Daniella Glover explained:
“It was just a drunken idea one night it really was. We were talking to each other quite drunk and I sent him a picture, it was a quote “my dad said if I want to come home at 3am I’ll have to climb in through the window and I said Challenge Accepted.”