RoboCup goes retro tech
Game raises funds for RoboCop statue in Stevens Point
By Taylor Hale
The first-ever RoboCup retro game contest took place at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on May 22. Contestants paid a small fee to compete for the highest score in the game “RoboCop 2” to raise money to build a RoboCop statue for the city in honor of Peter Weller, the actor who played the iconic role.
The contest was hosted by the Wisconsin Computer Club, based in Stevens Point. Club Director Alex Macomber said that RoboCop was the theme of the event, he was also excited to educate the public on vintage technology and computers in general.
“I’ve been collecting for a very long time, and to be able to get it all out here for people to see it and use it, and enjoy it feels great,” Macomber said.
Macomber’s private collection supplied the bulk of the computers on display. He first got introduced to computers around the age of six, when his father who owned a video production business would let him toy around on what are now retro Apple computers.
“As that technology faded away you put it in storage, and I inevitably began messing around with it and playing games on it,” Macomber laughed.
Roughly 100 guests came out to the event, with roughly 26 participants contending for first place. Jerry Hellsing took first, with second place going to Matt Pilz, and third place going to Nilo Saulic.
Club member and Mid-State student Samuel Mijal only found out about the Wisconsin Computer Club a few weeks before the RoboCup. He said when Macomber reached out to him, he was surprised there were more people interested in the niche hobby of vintage computers.
“A lot of this stuff is based down south or east. There’s a specific vintage computer festival in Chicago, that’s the one I usually go to,” Mijal said. “I wasn’t really aware that there was anyone around the area that had a club for this stuff. It’s great to have something like this in the city.”
Mayor Mike Wiza played in the Robocup, even getting his name on the scoreboard for a period.
“It’s one of those cool things. We’ve been talking about the Robocop statue for what seems like months. And people are really rallying around it,” Wiza explained. “When you find someone with as much passion as Alex had, it’s pretty hard not to share that passion.”
Macomber said that the Wisconsin Computer Club could host future RoboCup and retro technology events. Follow the Wisconsin Computer Club on Facebook for more information.