Tucked away behind the infamous Fast Food Central and Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly is a unique store called eStarland. This location specializes in reselling all of the old games and systems we grew up playing. Ranging from NES all the way up to current generation systems, they have a great selection of games, equipment, and accessories for gamers to choose from. They are based as an online retailer and the location you are visiting is actually one of their warehouses. When you make a purchase in store you have to assign the purchase to an account to make sure their retail system operates as if it were an online purchase still.
Once a month, something wonderful happens. eStarland hosts an even they call the 'Gamers Xchange'. At this event, gamers bring a wide range of items to sell and barter. Although selling does require a sign up here, buying and trading does not and cosplay will get you a 15% discount. There were over 10 booths there today each having their own unique variety of gaming related wares from customized glasses, magnets, hama bead masterpieces, anime action figures, games, hardware of all types, and even handmade trading cards. The setting was beautiful.
In addition to the ability to trade and sell wares, people were playing games everywhere. Combatants faced off in Smash Bros for Gamecube and N64, while others participated in contests with prizes for their relative success in games like Legend of Zelda on NES. The atmosphere was perfect and each vendor was eager to talk with you about all things gaming. One vendor even had a sign that said, 'Pokemon Battle?'.
While perusing through all the relics I came across a case of games for a system I had never seen before, the Famicom (1983). It was the Japanese release of the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES itself wouldn't be released in North America until September 1986 after two test runs in the states. Talk about old and obscure.
The event was a highly enjoyable and informative experience. If you are in the area this is a must go to event for gamers!