The Midwest Gaming Classic is pleased to welcome the following industry professionals to our event this year! We expect to host more than 100 special guests, so make sure to stop back as we update the list.
List subject to change.
Don Bluth Studios, Disney, Silver Phoenix Entertainment*
Philo was an animator for games Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace, but is perhaps best known for other projects he helped animate – The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers Down Under, The Secret of NIMH, Happily Ever After, An American Tail, and special effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture!
Christian A. Deitering
Christian A. Deitering
You may know Christian as the “Ferris Bueller” of the Internets, owner of the unorthodox Dragon Warrior collection, producer of the Earthbound documentary Mother to Earth, and/or the cofounder of the Let’s Play Gaming Expo. A lifetime collector of Nintendo, his most recent achievement was acquiring the NES SimCity prototype and creating it’s first GameFAQ.
Gary is an author and historian for the hobby of pinball, perhaps most well known for his outstanding book “The Lure of the Silver Ball.” Gary has also done countless presentations and seminars to help share his knowledge and keep the history of pinball alive, including helping to invite many of our pinball VIPs to the show this year!
A former writer and programmer in the video game industry, Goldberg has had a lifelong fascination with all things electronic entertainment since first playing PONG and Tank as a child at his local arcades in the 70’s. As the former site director of IGN/GameSpy’s ‘ClassicGaming.Com’ and a current freelancer for Retro Gamer magazine, Goldberg has been writing about video games for 20 years. Along with Dan Loosen and Gary Heil, Goldberg is also a co-founder of the Midwest Gaming Classic, one of the largest electronic entertainment expos in the United States open to the general public. In 2004, Goldberg also founded the Electronic Entertainment Museum (E2M), a non-profit archive whose mission is to help preserve the history and artifacts of the video game and home computer industries. In line with this goal, he’s also a member of the International Game Development Association’s (IGDA) Game Preservation SIG, a hub and community for those interested in digital game preservation and history. Whew!
Epic Quest Productions, TSR
editor, game designer, author
Legendary game designer Harold Johnson will be at MGC with his company, Epic Quest Productions! Harold started with TSR in 1978 as a copy editor on the original Dungeon Masters Guide! Since then, he has designed modules for popular role-playing games like Dragonlance and Indiana Jones, as well as working on countless D&D projects!
IGN, USGamer, Retronauts*
Retronauts is perhaps the most well known retro gaming podcast, and Bob Mackey is one of the people behind it! Having worked in gaming journalism for sites like IGN and USGamer, Mackey brings his vast knowledge of gaming history to every project he participates in.
IGN, 1UP, USGamer, Retronauts*
Bob Mackey and Jeremy Parish of Retronauts will be at the Midwest Gaming Classic April 14 and 15 in Milwaukee, WI! Retronauts was started over ten years ago as a podcast featuring games of the past, and continues today weekly covering a diverse range of retro gaming topics!
Milwaukee Company of Gamers*, Verika Model & Gamer Gal*
A nerd-girl with a fashion modeling background, Erika “Verika” Phillips found a way to combine two of the things she loves by becoming a published model in the board gaming industry. She enjoys promoting the value of gaming through the products she has appeared in. In a predominantly male hobby, she aims to break down the perceptions of typical female gaming stereotypes by showing females can be smart, strong, funny, and anything else they want to be for themselves. She hopes her example leads to females becoming increasingly interested in gaming!
Jordan “Savage Giggles” can best be described as an optimistic video game enthusiast, with a knack for shooter and role playing games. She has worked gaming events the last nine years for companies such as Microsoft/343, Turtle Beach, Corsair, OriginPC, and Wargaming. She was also a NOS sponsored competitive Halo player in Major League Gaming and broadcasts her game play on Twitch in her free time.
Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. His most
recent book, Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver
Ball, explores the past, present, and future of pinball. Adam has
appeared on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, the Weather Channel,
Discovery International, Netflix, and NPR; he currently hosts Outrageous
Acts of Science on the Science Channel. At one time, Adam was the
80th-ranked pinball player in the world. Then he had kids.
Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Cartoon Studios, Film Roman Studios, Netflix
Producer, Writer, Artist
Tad Stones is a Producer / Writer / Artist who started his animation career at Walt Disney Features then moved to Disney Imagineering to design rides for EPCOT Center. He was one of the founders of Walt Disney TV Animation where he created such shows as Chip ’n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck along with several feature spinoffs. After 30 years at Disney, Tad produced several direct to video features, most notably two Hellboy Animated movies, Hellboy: Sword of Storms and Hellboy: Blood and Iron. He he also cowrote and directed the Netflix Original Series, Kulipari: An Army of Frogs.
Below are some of our guests from past shows
Adventure International, Clopas*
Adams is known as the “father of adventure games” for being the first person known to create an adventure-style game for personal computers with his first game, Adventureland. His company, Adventure International, released games for many major computer platforms throughout the 80s. Recently, Scott founded Clopas, the “Puzzle Us Adventure!” company in 2017.
Arlo is a Youtuber who strives to create a friendly, upbeat environment where discussion is greatly encouraged and bad puns run rampant. This includes reviews, opinion pieces, let’s plays, analyses, nostalgia talk, comedy bits, and anything else he feels like cooking up. Whether he’s offering a positive reaction or an honest criticism or a pained lament, lighthearted comedy is at the heart of everything Arlo does. His main focus is Nintendo, but he dabbles in PC gaming and other consoles as well.
AWA, WCW, WWE, TNA, Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment, MX Digital
On Air Interviewer, Executive Vice President, WWE General Manager, Podcaster, Producer
As Executive Vice President of WCW, Eric Bischoff took WCW from a distant second to the leading wrestling company in the world for a time, while also serving as a major on screen character. After WCW folded, Eric shocked the world by agreeing to serve as the WWE RAW General Manager. Today, he records the popular 83weeks Podcast with Conrad Thompson about his time in the industry.
Mid-South Wrestling, NWA, All Japan Pro Wrestling, WCW, WWF/E
Wrestler, manager, color commenator
Often regarded as the greatest villain in pro wrestling, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase played the Million Dollar Man to great affect, headling Wrestlemania IV and the first SummerSlam! His character was also featured in numerous wrestling video games, and is fondly remembered to this day.
Perhaps best known for his role as Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters series (including voice work for the video game and pinball machine!), Hudson has appeared in countless movies and shows, and is currently producing and starring in The Family Business on BET. Mr. Hudson is expected to join us on Saturday, April 13.
Atari Pinball, Williams Electronics, Vid Kidz, Midway, Raw Thrills*, Play Mechanix*
Video Game Programmer, Pinball Programmer, Co-Founder of Vid-Kidz, Owner of Raw Thrillz
Eugene designed many landmark arcade video games including Defender, Robotron 2084, Narc, Smash TV, and the Cruis’n series. He also worked in pinball, helping to bring designs like Firepower, Pinbot, Space Shuttle, High Speed and F-14 Tomcat to life. If that isn’t enough, he owns Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix, the premier modern arcade developer with hits such as the Walking Dead, Jurassic Park, Injustice Arcade, the Big Buck Hunter series, and more!
Arcade Video Concept and Design
@!#?@! Perhaps best known as the creator of Q*Bert, Jeff Lee is an artist who created great work for many of Gottlieb’s video arcade games, as well as games on the Macintosh and Genesis. Jeff will be hanging out in the Galloping Ghost Arcade room (3 on the map) throughout the weekend!
Video Game History Foundation, Nintendo of America, Chair Entertainment, Gameduell, Microsoft Xbox
Game Producer, playtester, consultant
Howard was one of the first employees at Nintendo of America where his role became playing upcoming games and telling Nintendo how he thought they would do in the US! Howard was also featured in the Howard & Nester comic series within Nintendo Power! Later, he produced games for LucasArts, Microsoft, and Epic. Today he works with the Video Game History Foundation to preserve the history of the industry!
Howard will also be playing NES games with our VIG attendees as part of the Official MGC After Party! If you ever wanted to play a game with the person credited for telling Nintendo to turn Doki Doki Panic into Super Mario Bros 2, this will be your chance!