Once Upon a Console

Once Upon a Console is a monthly gaming night at The Hackney Attic above Hackney Picturehouse Cinema. With the aim of bringing what is often a solitary past time into a new light. In cooperation with the Picturehouse Cinema opposite the Hackney Empire, OUAC has successfully created a welcoming and social space for the gaming of yesteryear. Nathaniel Legall from Velocity Gaming went down on Thursday evening for a looksy.

OUAC took over the 5th floor of the Hackney Picturehouse near the Empire theatre. The event was a treasure trove of retro goodies in a recently regenerated part of Hackney. Lined up along both sides of the room was a plethora of classic games available to play on their original release consoles (including one of my favourites Point Blank = Thumbs Up). Also on offer at the event was Soul Calibre IV on the Nintendo Gamecube, Capcom’s best selling title of all-time Street Fighter 2 and Virtua Tennis amongst other golden oldies.
IMG_2572Between matches of the Pro Evolution Soccer 6 tournament competitors jumped onto the consoles to play their favourite console and arcade classics. There was a high level of competition during the Pro Evo. tournament and spectators were encouraged to join in. I (being absolutely awful at football games) gave the tournament a miss but thanks to Tom Geoffrey’s running commentary the games were really enjoyable to spectate on. Prizes for the tournament included cash, movie tickets and a Games Knight pendant hand made by one of the event organisers Allistair Binnie-Lubbock. The event almost felt like a video games arcade (for some strange reason the evening brought back memories of Tracadero, all that was missing were the people and the noise of music playing from the screens of a million machines). A low attendance on the night was put down to the genre of this month’s tournament.


When asked what drove him to start running Once Upon a Console Allistair answered, “We started  OUAC off the back of another table top games event that used to be held here. After they stopped running their events it was natural for us to fill the gap…Also, we love video games so why not?!” OUAC had an unmistakably hospitable feel to it. The social gathering alternates between the

Hackney Attic and Upstairs at the Ritzy above the Brixton Picturehouse. Events at the Brixton venue are free entry and tend to have a higher attendance. Check out the dates for their upcoming events in the table below.
Sunday 23rd June 5pm till 10pm Virtua Tennis 2 Upstairs at The Ritzy
Wednesday 17th July 7.30pm till late Super Smash Bros. Hackney Attic
Thursday 29th August 7.30pm till 11 Street Fighter 2 Turbo Upstairs at The Ritzy
 September  n/a  To be updated  Hackney Attic
31st October 7.30pm till midnight Mortal Kombat 2 (Halloween Special) Upstairs at The Ritzy
For absolutely any gamer OUAC seems like a great excuse to get the gang together for a great night out without needing to declare bankruptcy the following morning. Thanks to Al & Tom from Once Upon a Console for having us.
Once Upon a Console usually takes place every three weeks, usually at 7.30pm till 11pm. Their next event is a Virtua Tennis 2 tournament on Sunday 23rd June Upstair’s at The Ritzy. General entry is free. Entry into the prize tournament is £3 which can be bought on the night.

Velocity Gaming Homepage

Twitter: @VelocityG6


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