NEWS: Best of ZapCon Honorable Mentions

We had a lot of fun giving out our Best of ZapCon awards. And now we’d like to hand out some more praise. There were some close calls in this year’s voting, a hard-fought grassroots campaign (complete with promotional materials), and a couple of surprises. So without further ado, here are some behind-the-scenes details, and some honorable mentions.

Our ballot box was busy all weekend. There were 138 votes cast. (Thanks, everyone!) The most overall votes went to Space Paranoids, a custom creation that was popular with fans and judges alike. It received 14 fan votes.
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Fans voted in one contest, and our judges handed out their own trophies. Our judges had some tough decisions to make, and held several conferences to discuss all the details. Here, Firebird guru Kris Bliznick talks with StarFighters Arcade owners Mike Lovato and Steve Wolfman Thomas.
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Kris then fleshed out a few more things with our Celebrity Judge, Benjamin Baraldi (middle). See all the winners!
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One of the most exciting vote-getters also was one of the most surprising: This Zarzon machine our friend Tim brought down. This humble game gave some of its big-bucks counterparts a real run for their money. Zarzon gathered 10 fan votes!
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That Zarzon push was fueled with a happy gusto by Tim, who made his own fliers to hand out to anyone who’d listen. Zoom in on this. It’s worth it! Or you can check out the No Quarter podcast here. (Scroll down to #32.)
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The custom machines were big favorites with ZapCon fans and judges. Here are these cool GravitreX machines our friends brought up from Tucson.
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Another great example of the custom games at ZapCon this year: Our friend Paul with his psychologically disruptive machine, Polybius. This machine took home our judges’ custom video game category, but also scored high with fans. Fans also voted for the judge-lauded Star Wars as well as Tempest and Moonwalker. Check out Polybius on loan at StarFighters Arcade if you missed it at ZapCon!
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We also wanted to give some kudos to this Revenge from Mars machine. It finished second in the fan voting for pinball machines, just barely losing to The Walking Dead. This game won the category last year, and obviously remains a favorite.
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Here’s that Walking Dead, and its proud owner, Brandon. TWD also held off a Saturday rush by Strange Science, as well as a steady heat from Black Knight 2000.
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Max & Milo with our powder-coated Tron and its weekend twin on ZapCon Eve. Our machine garnered lots of votes from fans and judges, but we eliminated our own machines from competition. Still, nice job with this one, Boss!