Show has been cancelled; click here for updates.

Meet...

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.

Sort by:

List subject to change.

Rob Anthony

Rob Anthony

Rob Anthony

Rob Anthony

Rob started working at a local arcade at age 13 and immediately took to the service aspect of the games. After running an amusement route, and taking technical trainings from Williams, Bally, NSM, Atari, and Rowe he developed extensive board repair experience and can troubleshoot and repair most any issue. He travels all over the US repairing games and will be offering on site board and game repair at the show!

Walter Banasiak

Walter Banasiak

Walter Banasiak

Walter Banasiak

Walter Banasiak is a Chicago area filmmaker and content creator for Channel Awesome, Inc. Some of his recent film work includes City of Gold and the miniseries, The Infinity Trinity. His contributions to Channel Awesome consist of shows like Awesome Comic, Top 5, Fanscription and regular guest appearances on The Nostalgia Critic.

Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart

Don Bluth Studios, Disney, Silver Phoenix Entertainment*

Animator, Artist*

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!

Kimberly (Kim) Bending

Kimberly (Kim) Bending

Kimberly (Kim) Bending

Kimberly (Kim) Bending

Kim is a buyer at Stern Pinball!

Stern Pinball, Inc. designs and manufactures arcade-quality pinball games. It is the only maker of arcade-quality pinball games in the world and is located just outside Chicago, Illinois. For a quarter of a century Stern has continued to carry the pinball banner and promote the game throughout the world.

Chuck Bleich

Chuck Bleich

Chuck Bleich

Chuck Bleich

Williams Pinball, Midway Games, Stern Pinball*

Electrical Engineer

Chuck presently oversees all electronic development at Stern Pinball. This encompasses system design, vendor interface, proto-type coordination and regulatory compliance. In short, all aspects related to electronics from concept, into production are within Chuck’s domain!

John Borg

John Borg

John Borg

John Borg

Data East Pinball, Sega Pinball, Stern Pinball*

Pinball Game Designer

Pinball designer John Borg has created more than 25 iconic titles including Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Tales From the Crypt, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Man, Metallica, Tron, Aerosmith and the latest Stern Pinball machine Guardians of the Galaxy!

 Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

 Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

Longtime gamer, freelance writer, and national columnist Brett Weiss has been a respected journalist and historian in the gaming and pop culture communities for well over two decades. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Old School Gamer, Game Informer, Gameroom Magazine, Classic Gamer Magazine, the Pingame Journal, Video Game Collector, Video Game Trader, Fangoria, Filmfax, and AntiqueWeek, among many others.


Weiss is also the author of 10 books, including the Classic Home Video Games series, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987, Encyclopedia of KISS, and The SNES Omnibus volumes 1 and 2. Brett is the host of a quickly growing YouTube show, Tales from a Retro Gamer.

Scott Burns

Scott Burns

Scott Burns

Scott Burns

Scott developed his penchant for voice acting and eventually made characters a fixture of his burgeoning morning radio career. Scott
was tapped to provide voices for Seattle area developer Humongous Entertainment, where he became the voice of Fatty Bear and titles Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam and Spy Fox.Burns also played mature characters and monsters for interactive gaming including Monolith’s critically acclaimed, “The Operative: No One Lives Forever” as well as Tron 2.0, Blood II: The Chosen, Police Quest: SWAT 2, TERA and F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin.

In 2002, Nintendo hired Scott to provide their first-ever english “speaking” voice for Bowser with the release of “Super Mario Sunshine,” 

Today Scott continues to immerse himself in voiceover, providing characters for radio spots, narrating for corporate entities and even singing if ears are plugged tight enough.

John Buscaglia

John Buscaglia

John Buscaglia

John Buscaglia

Stern Pinball*

Chief Revenue Officer, VP of Sales and Marketing at Stern Pinball, Inc.

John is the Chief Revenue Officer and VP of Sales and Marketing at Stern Pinball, Inc. Before pinball, he had experience in leadership with many other Fortune 500 companies. Picture courtesy of the PinGame Journal.

Don Caldwell

Don Caldwell

Don Caldwell

Don Caldwell

Independent

Historian

Don is a pinball historian that has been studying, writing about and hosting seminars on the industry for more than 15 years. Picture courtesy of the PinGame Journal.

Andres Canals

Andres Canals

Andres Canals

Andres Canals

Andres Canals teaches step by step digital artistry for aspiring artists! Andres has created work as the art director for Epic Quest Productions for more than five years. During this time, Andres has also created artwork for numerous RPG games and concept art for miniatures and films. He has worked in varied genres including fantasy, sci-fi, post-apocalypse, cyberpunk, and modern. Game titles include DragonWars of Trayth (Pathfinder), Reclamation RPG, Wreck-Age, End Times, Elemental Lands, Dragons at Dawn & Twilight, Chaos & Alchemy (1st Edition), Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution, Systems Malfunction, SPLINTER and many more.

Tamara Chambers

Tamara Chambers

Tamara Chambers

Tamara Chambers

Tamara Chambers is an actress and comedian from California. She studied Acting at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in California but now lives in Chicago where she hides from the snow. Tamara is on the internet show The Nostalgia Critic alongside Doug Walker and Malcolm Ray and is known mostly for her Character “Hyper Fan Girl”. You can find her on Chicago stand up stages, on YouTube, on her couch in a onesie playing Fallout, in commercials for milkshakes and pharmaceutical companies, and other extremely fun places like that.

Waison Cheng

Waison Cheng

Waison Cheng

Waison Cheng

Neopong Software, inXile Entertainment, Incredible Technologies, Stern Pinball*

Software Engineer

Waison is a game designer for Stern Pinball, having worked on games like Aerosmith, Star Trek, KISS, Game of Thrones and Avengers to name a few. Before that, he worked on the Golden Tee series for Incredible Technologies, and before that on programming games for the Nintendo DS!

Brian Colin

Brian Colin

Brian Colin

Brian Colin

Game Designer

Creator of such video game classics as Rampage, Xenophobe and General Chaos, Brian F Colin is a vastly experienced Game Designer, Artist, Animator and CEO with over 80 video game titles to his credit…. including the creation of some of the most-popular, highest-earning & best-selling titles in video game history!

Recently inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame, Brian is well-known for sharing enthusiastic, first-hand, anecdotal insights into over three decades of game design and development; from creating Arcade classics in the early 80’s right up to stories straight from the sets and locations of the recent Rampage Movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Pat Contri

Pat Contri

Pat Contri

Pat Contri

Pat Contri is a game historian, collector, and online content producer known for Pat the NES Punk, Flea Market Madness, and The Video Game Years. He is the executive producer of Not for Resale: A Video Game Store Documentary and has authored two books: Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library and Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library.

Archie Cunningham

Archie Cunningham

Archie Cunningham

Archie Cunningham

Indepedent

Comic book artist and creator, painter, art teacher

Archie Cunningham is a comic book artist and creator, painter, and art teacher who brings dynamic story telling to the page or canvas. Archie will be creating a number of original pieces for the show!

Christian A. Deitering

Christian A. Deitering

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.

Allison DiMichele

Allison DiMichele

Allison DiMichele

Allison DiMichele

After getting started in air hockey in 2017, Allison “Scorpion” DiMichele
has quickly risen through the ranks of the sport to become one of the
highest rated women players on the planet and is aiming to become the first woman ranked in the top ten of all players.

When she’s not dominating the table in Chicago-based weekly tournaments, she’s hard at work making deals, closing sales, and trying to get her french bulldog Pudge to eat his green beans.

Brian Eddy

Brian Eddy

Brian Eddy

Brian Eddy

Williams, Stern Pinball*

Senior Game Designer

Brian Eddy started in pinball doing effects, moved on to software and then got the chance to design games, and… wow! Brian designed both Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness, two of the best rated pinball machines ever! Recently, it was announced that Brian has returned to pinball with Stern pinball as Senior Game Designer!

Elliot Eismin

Elliot Eismin

Elliot Eismin

Elliot Eismin

Stern Pinball

Mechanical Engineer

A mechanical engineer with Stern Pinball who has worked on Ghostbusters, Legends of Wrestlemania and Wrestlemania.

Larry Elmore

Larry Elmore

Larry Elmore

Larry Elmore

TSR, Inc, FASA, Mayfair Games, Game Designer’s Workshop, White Wolf, Iron Crown Enterprises, Dragon Magazine, Amazing Magazine, Wizard Press, D. C. Comics, First Comics, Eclipse Comics and Frank Frazetta’s Fantasy Illustrated

Illustrator, Artist

Larry Elmore has been creating fantasy and science fiction art for over 40 years. After receiving a BFA degree from Western Kentucky, he married Betty Clemons and was drafted into the army almost at the same time. After two years in the service, he got a job at Fort Knox, Kentucky as an illustrator. In addition, he started freelancing at home and was published in a few magazines, including Heavy Metal and National Lampoon. During this time he produced his best work with his wife, his two children, Jennifer and Jeremy.

Eventually, he was contacted by TSR Inc., the company that produced the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons, and he went to work there from 1981 to 1987. While at TSR, he helped set the standards of gaming art in the role-playing genre. Besides creating covers for Dungeons & Dragons, AD&D, Star Frontiers and other gaming books, he created SnarfQuest Tales for the company’s Dragon Magazine. He may be best known for his work with the world of Dragonlance, exemplified by the covers of the DRAGONLANCE book series.

Chuck Ernst

Chuck Ernst

Chuck Ernst

Chuck Ernst

Atari Video Games, Midway Games, Warner Brother's Interactive NetherRealm Studios, Stern Pinball*

CG art director

Chuck has had more than 28 years programming and has more than 40 titles that he did! He is currently the CG art director at Stern Pinball, but his lengthy resume includes stints with Warner Brothers Interactive, Midway Games and Atari Video Games!

Kevin Fair

Kevin Fair

Kevin Fair

Kevin Fair

I Play Games*

Founder, Video Game Promoter, Tournament Organizer

Kevin was an experienced video game promoter and tournament organizer when he founded I Play Games in 2009. Today, I Play Games hosts charitable events, coordinates cross country trips, supports gaming media, and hosts awesome gaming tournaments for companies and groups!

Gary Flower

Gary Flower

Gary Flower

Gary Flower

Independent*

Writer, Historian

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!

Greg Freres

Greg Freres

Greg Freres

Greg Freres

Bally Pinball, Williams Pinball, Whizbang Pinball*, Jersey Jack Pinball, Stern Pinball*

Artist and Art Director

Greg has created iconic work for games like Fathom, Strange Science, Elvira and the Party Monsters, Scared Stiff, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Smash TV, Cruis’n USA, Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons and many more! Today, he serves as Stern Pinball’s art director.

Mark Galvez

Mark Galvez

Mark Galvez

Mark Galvez

Stern Pinball

Lead Animator

Mark Galvez was a member of the design team for titles like KISS, The Walking Dead, Iron Man, Metallica, and more!

Kyle Gilbert

Kyle Gilbert

Kyle Gilbert

Kyle Gilbert

Independent

Podcaster

Kyle Gilbert is part of the popular VGBS podcast with friend and author Jeffrey Wittenhagen. The pair discuss lots of great topics on their show from historical data, collector info, and much more!

Dirty Donny Gillies

Dirty Donny Gillies

Dirty Donny Gillies

Dirty Donny Gillies

Top Fuels, Snap-On, Vans, AMT, Fender, Dunlop, Stern Pinball, Midwest Gaming Classic

Artist

Deemed to be one of the most influential artists to invade the pop culture scenes of the punk, rock and metal underground, Dirty Donny has been spreading his art across all mediums for decades. First hired by Metallica, in the more than decade since he began he has designing art for Top Fuels Funny cars, skateboard shoes, guitars and guitar accessories, model kits and pinball machines for the likes of Snap-on, Vans, AMT, Fender, Dunlop, Stern Pinball, and now, the Midwest Gaming Classic!

Erik Gilly

Erik Gilly

Erik Gilly

Erik Gilly

Bally Namco Amusement America, Stern Pinball*

Director of Consumer Sales

Erik is the main person at Stern pinball who helps to manage and grow the Stern distribution chain, helping to get the machines that Stern is building into people’s hands to play! Before working at Stern, Erik played a similar role for Bandai Namco.

Johnny Gioeli

Johnny Gioeli

Johnny Gioeli

Johnny Gioeli

Sega*, Crush 40*

Video Game Music and Singer

Saturday, April 4th, 2020 from 10:00am until 11:00am
Sunday, April 5th, 2020 from 3:00pm until 4:00pm

Johnny sings on nine Sonic the Hedgehog games as part of the band Crush 40 starting with Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast.

Martin Goldberg

Martin Goldberg

Martin Goldberg

Martin Goldberg

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!

Carson Gunby

Carson Gunby

Carson Gunby

Carson Gunby

Stern Pinball

IT Specialist

Carson is usually busy making sure all the computer systems and network infrastructure are all up to the task of allowing our talented team to create all the great pinball games that Stern produces. Much like pinball, it’s a constantly advancing field that gives him plenty of new things to work on. He also assists with much of the physical and electronic documentation that goes into the release of each title.

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

The Ben Heck Show*, Spooky Pinball

Video Game Hacker, Pinball Designer, Pinball Software

Ben is a master hacker, engineer and tech hobbyist who has done things that touch nearly every aspect of the show… including naming it in 2002! Ben has hacked consoles to create portable versions of them, created pinball machines that were then manufactured by Spooky Pinball, talked with Dan and Terry Diebold to help fix the Nintendo Playstation Prototype and runs a popular online show, the Ben Heck Show, while he’s at it all!

Matt Hissem

Matt Hissem

Matt Hissem

Matt Hissem

Independent

Replica Creator

Matt has created an incredible replica of the DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future and is bringing it to the show to share with everyone! Ask Matt about how he created this iconic car, and of course, check out the car for yourself too!

Richard Horvitz

Richard Horvitz

Richard Horvitz

Richard Horvitz

Fans of animation will recognize Richard Horvitz as the voice of many iconic characters, including Invader Zim, Billy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Daggett from The Angry Beavers and Alpha 5 from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. In addition to Richard’s animation work, gamers will recognize him from his many video game roles in such classics as Pyschonauts (RAZ), Rachet and Clank series (Zoni, Pollyx, Zurgo) Destroy All Humans (Orthopox) and Skylanders (Kaos) to name a few.

Richard began his acting career on camera and many may recall his role as Alan Eakian in Paramount Pictures 1980’s cult classic Summer School.
www.richardhorvitz.com

Matteau Isbill

Matteau Isbill

Matteau Isbill

Matteau Isbill

One of the lead announcers of the Monster Jam Triple Threat series Matteau Isbill has been hosting for 7 years.  He is also the owner of Overdrive Reality Productions producing the Midwest Gaming Classic After Party, videos, voice overs, and so much more!

James Jarosz

James Jarosz

James Jarosz

James Jarosz

James (Jim) Jarosz, studied film and animation at Columbia College in Chicago back in the mid 90s. He has work on several indie films from acting to camera and sound to props and practical effects. Jim has been a featured extra in a few major motion pictures including Road to Perdition and Public Enemies. He has worked for Channel Awesome for the past five years in several capacities. More notably, as Doug Walker’s photoshop guy and camera man for Nostalgia Critic, and as Quinn the camera man on Demo Reel. The past year Jim has made several props and costumes for the NC and even a bit of animation. He is also prop master and set designer for many of Channel Awesome’s up coming new shows.

Harold Johnson

Harold Johnson

Harold Johnson

Harold Johnson

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!

Brad Jones

Brad Jones

Brad Jones

Brad Jones

For the past 13 years, Brad Jones has been the creator and star of the popular YouTube and Channel Awesome series The Cinema Snob, a satirical look at exploitation cinema throughout the decades. As well as portraying The Cinema Snob on a weekly basis, Brad also keeps very busy, having created the animated series Lloyd, the movie review show Midnight Screenings, and is also the writer of the feature films The Cinema Snob Movie and the religious parody film Jesus Bro.

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Backbone Entertainment, Valve Corporation, Stern Pinball*

Senior Software Engineer

Tanio is the Senior Software Engineer at Stern Pinball, which means that he writes the code for some of your favorite Stern games like The Walking Dead and Star Trek! Before working at Stern, he was a Developer at both Valve and Backbone Entertainment working in the video game field.

Ryan Krippendorf

Ryan Krippendorf

Ryan Krippendorf

Ryan Krippendorf

Ryan Krippendorf is the owner of Krippendorf Games LLC. Krippendorf Games is an independent game design company in Wisconsin that launched its first game, Vampire Hunter the Card Game, on Kickstarter in March of 2017. His upcoming projects are “Yes Chef!” And “Outfoxed.” Ryan also works as an art educator teaching high school art. He is a Wisconsin native and a UW-Milwaukee graduate.

Mike Kyzivat

Mike Kyzivat

Mike Kyzivat

Mike Kyzivat

Stern Pinball*

Software Designer

Mike is a programmer for Stern Pinball having worked on titles like KISS, WWE and Game of Thrones!

Maurice LaMarche

Maurice LaMarche

Maurice LaMarche

Maurice LaMarche

Voted “Most Likely To Be Someone Else” by his high school classmates, Maurice LaMarche has been doing character voices and impressions since his childhood. He started actually getting paid for it at the tender age of 19, when he began performing standup comedy at Toronto’s “Yuk Yuk’s” comedy club, launching his career at the same time as longtime friends Howie Mandel and Jim Carrey. After moving to Los Angeles in 1980, Maurice began a ten-year stint in standup touring as the opening act for such performers as Rodney Dangerfield, George Carlin, Kool & The Gang, and The Temptations/The Four Tops Tour. In 1985, Maurice began a second career in the wonderful world of animation voiceovers, finding himself cast as Chief Quimby in Inspector Gadget, and Egon Spengler in The Real Ghostbusters in rapid succession. The work has kept coming ever since; he has performed on over one hundred animated series, and has been Emmy-nominated three times (once in Daytime, twice in Primetime) for his voice acting: First, in 1990, for the primetime politically satirical puppet show D.C. Follies, starring Fred Willard; then again in 1999 for playing The Brain in Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky & The Brain (he won ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annie Award later that year for playing the megalomaniacal mouse), and this past year, he was again nominated, and this time, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in Matt Groening’s Futurama, where he plays more than seventy regular, frequently-recurring, and one-off characters, including Morbo The Newscaster, Calculon, The Donbot, Clamps, Hedonismbot, and, Zapp Brannigan’s long-suffering First Officer, Kif Kroker.

Maurice is also often heard in the commercial world as the voice of Toucan Sam (spokesbird of Kellogg’s Froot Loops cereal, a part he’s played since 1987), and he is especially proud to have been chosen, beginning in the summer of 2009, to be the current signature Voice of Lexus.

Bob Mackey

Bob Mackey

Bob Mackey

Bob Mackey

IGN, USGamer, Retronauts*

Writer, Podcaster

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.

Keith Matejka

Keith Matejka

Keith Matejka

Keith Matejka

Keith Matejka is a game designer, game publisher, and avid gamer out of Madison, Wisconsin. His small board gaming publishing company, Thunderworks Games, was founded in 2013 and has published eight games to date: Bullfrogs, Roll Player, Roll Player: Monsters & Minions, Roll Player: Fiends & Familiars, Blend Off, Dual Powers: Revolution 1917, Lockup: A Roll Player Tale, and Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale -of which he designed Bullfrogs, and Roll Player (plus expansions).

Keep an eye out for the next offering from Thunderworks- Roll Player Adventures, a cooperative narrative adventure game set in the world of Roll Player for 1-4 players. Keith has also partnered with Pencil First games to design many of the solo modes for their games as well as the 2-player game Skulk Hollow. He is married to is very supportive wife, Claire, and has an amazing son named Isaac

Dan Meyer

Dan Meyer

Dan Meyer

Dan Meyer

Gold Standard Air Hockey*

Ambassador, Top Ranked Player

One of the top air hockey players in the world, Dan Meyer, is happy to teach players skills, run some fun tournaments, and share his love of the air hockey! Dan recently finished 5th in the World Championships, and is a two time Doubles World Champion.

Fard Muhammad

Fard Muhammad

Fard Muhammad

Fard Muhammad

Known in classic gaming and Atari Jaguar communities as “The Ultimate
Atarian”, Fard Muhammad has worked for Channel Awesome and Stoned Gremlin Productions in different capacities . On-camera, he has appeared on many shows and movies, including *The Nostalgia Critic*, *Dragon Bored*,* Jesus Bro*, and* Disco*. He also made appearances on Channel Awesome’s Twitch stream with his VR rig. Behind the camera, he’s been responsible for animating the Channel Awesome logo and the *Nostalgia Critic* intro sequence, and additionally designed the *DisneyCember* intro sequence. Outside of Channel Awesome, he has provided his acting, animation, and voiceover talents to many videos and podcasts– most notably, he is the voice of the intro to the *Dennis Miller Option* podcast. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram (@fardmuhammad)

Brett Myers

Brett Myers

Brett Myers

Brett Myers

Brett has been designing hobby games for almost two decades. He broke into the industry with his first published game, Nanuk, released by Steve Jackson Games in 2009. Since then, he has evaded the authorities and gone on to release four additional games with various publishers, including his 2018 Golden Geek Award 2-Player Game Nominee Dual Powers: Revolution 1917, published by Thunderworks Games.

Rick Naegele

Rick Naegele

Rick Naegele

Rick Naegele

Rick is a software engineer who is now a programmer for Stern Pinball, and his first title is the new Iron Maiden machine! Before Stern, Rick worked for WMS Gaming on slot machines, Jardvark Studios for iOS, Chewy Software on Direct 3D games and as a software engineer for EA working on the Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3!

Angela (Bright Eyes Cosplay) Neactin

Angela (Bright Eyes Cosplay) Neactin

Angela (Bright Eyes Cosplay) Neactin

Angela (Bright Eyes Cosplay) Neactin

1998 and 2000 were good years for Bright Eyes Cosplay – as in before she even knew what “Cosplay” was she had decided she wanted to dress up like Zelda from the Ocarina of Time and Princess Garnet aka Dagger from Final Fantasy 9 at the ages of 8 and 10, respectively. Things really picked up when she discovered Cosplay and started attending conventions year ’round in 2012 wearing and making costumes ranging from  the spectrum of video games, anime, comics, pop culture, and even Disney and Power Rangers. A fortuitous moment in 2015 landed her in the hot seat of hosting the Costume Contest at the Midwest Gaming Classic and she has been coming back every year to do so, as well as head the Cosplay Department which she is proud to say is made up of more than just herself now! She’s looking forward to another great year with great folks at the MGC 2020!

Paul E. Niemeyer

Paul E. Niemeyer

Paul E. Niemeyer

Paul E. Niemeyer

Paul’s artwork appears on dozens of games including TRON, Tapper, Satan’s Hollow, Spy Hunter, Wacko, Super PacMan, PacMan Plus, Professor PacMan, Demolition Man Pinball, and perhaps most notably, the Mortal Kombat logo!

Paul then worked on movie licenses like Jurassic Park 2, Men in Black, Star Trek 5, Star Wars Phantom Menace, Pirates of the Caribbean, and was an owner of Eagle Game Board Game company!

Jeremy (Zombie Yeti) Packer

Jeremy (Zombie Yeti) Packer

Jeremy (Zombie Yeti) Packer

Jeremy (Zombie Yeti) Packer

Jeremy, better known as “ZombieYeti” in the pinball world, is an artist working with Stern Pinball.

It has had the pleasure to work with top tier companies such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Hasbro, DC Shoe Co., Rossingol, Metal Mulisha, EA, and many more. It has also produced works with many greats in the music world such as Foo Fighters, DeadMau5, Deftones, Kid Rock, Incubus, Paul McCartney, Primus, Faith No More, Melvins and many more. Most recently, it created the art packages for the Ghostbusters, Iron Maiden, Deadpool, and Primus Pinball Machines with Stern Pinball, Inc as a World Class Pinball Illustrator.

Jeremy Parish

Jeremy Parish

Jeremy Parish

Jeremy Parish

IGN, 1UP, USGamer, Retronauts*

Writer, Podcaster

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!

Erika Phillips

Erika Phillips

Erika Phillips

Erika Phillips

Milwaukee Company of Gamers*, Verika Model & Gamer Gal*

Model

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 Price

Jordan Price

Jordan Price

Jordan Price

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.

Brian Quezada

Brian Quezada

Brian Quezada

Brian Quezada

Independent

Top Player

Brian Quezada has been playing competitive air hockey regularly for the
last decade, recently finishing 6th in the World Championships. Along with his teammate, Dan Meyer, Q is a two time doubles world champion. Brian enjoys discussing strategy and tips for air hockey with anyone who wants to learn.

Malcolm Ray

Malcolm Ray

Malcolm Ray

Malcolm Ray

From telling you about the new McCafe items at McDonald’s to tormenting the Nostalgia Critic as Satan, Malcolm Ray is an actor, and voice actor. His skills go beyond acting with professional training in film and video as his major at Columbia College Chicago. In the span of his Bachelor career at Columbia, Malcolm has successfully completed his Interdisciplinary Film Degree, been the casting director for a practicum film, interned at O’Connor Casting, and has begun a professional acting career. He’s also studied courses in Columbia’s Radio and Theatre Departments including; Voice Over, Voice Acting For Animation, Radio Production, Stage Voice and more. Malcolm is represented as talent at the Stewart Talent agency in Chicago. As a freelance actor, he is currently hired talent for the online production company Channel Awesome. For three years today, he’s appeared alongside Doug Walker in many episodes of “Nostalgia Critic”.

Heather Reusz

Heather Reusz

Heather Reusz

Heather Reusz

Heather is the resident Channel Awesome Twitch Queen and can be seen on camera throughout the week in addition to running tech behind the scenes for the live-streams. She first joined the cast of Channel Awesome in 2016 for the show Awesome Comics. Since then, she has also appeared in and written for Orbit Report, Top 5, and Nostalgia Critic. In addition to Channel Awesome, she has her own Twitch variety channel (twitch.tv/heatherreusz) focusing mainly on story-driven games. When not gaming, Heather enjoys watching movies, TV shows, and anime and drinking craft beer with her friends. Find her on Twitter (@heatherreusz) or Instagram (@hreusz).

Andy Ries

Andy Ries

Andy Ries

Andy Ries

Wisconsin Ghostbusters, Wisconsin Star Cars

Replica Creator

Andy decided it was time to bust some heads, in a spiritual sense of course, he needed the right vehicle to do it in… so Andy created a replica of the iconic Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters and will be bringing it to the show to share! Ask Andy about the work that went into recreating one of the most recognizable movie cars, and how he feels about that car being the star of the new teaser trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters movie!

John Riggs

John Riggs

John Riggs

John Riggs

John Riggs started his YouTube channel in November 2014 as means to showcase his love for video games and breakfast cereal. It features a variety of topics including how to edit your own Nintendo games, how to clean and ‘fix’ your old carts with ‘Open Cart Surgery’ and showcases new technology that most may not have known about. He also gets a lot of help from his daughters who are featured in his videos regularly. John’s a regular guest on the Metal Jesus Rocks channel, is “taller than I expected” and is looking forward to his first time at MGC!

Steve Ritchie

Steve Ritchie

Steve Ritchie

Steve Ritchie

Atari Pinball, Williams Pinball, Stern Pinball*

Pinball Game Designer

Steve started by designing pinball machines for Atari before moving to Williams, creating hugely successful machines like Firepower, High Speed, Terminator 2, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also worked on arcade video games, and is the voice of Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat. Recently, he has been working for Stern Pinball, designing hits like Spider-Man, AC/DC, Star Trek and Star Wars!

Adam Ruben

Adam Ruben

Adam Ruben

Adam Ruben

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.

Brett Rubin

Brett Rubin

Brett Rubin

Brett Rubin

Stern Pinball*

Tools development

Brett brings two decades of experience as a software engineer in the video game industry working in tools development, graphical user interface design, and workflow streamlining.

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel

Kevin Schechtel is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Stern Pinball.

Stern Pinball, Inc. designs and manufactures arcade-quality pinball games. It is the only maker of arcade-quality pinball games in the world and is located just outside Chicago, Illinois. For a quarter of a century Stern has continued to carry the pinball banner and promote the game throughout the world.

Jim Schelberg

Jim Schelberg

Jim Schelberg

Jim Schelberg

PinGame Journal*

Writer, Photographer, Editor

As the owner and creator of the PinGame Journal, Jim Schelberg has been documenting the pinball hobby for more than 150 issues! With information that no one else gets and great photos, the PinGame Journal is a must for anyone who is a fan of the silver ball!

Christopher Sean

Christopher Sean

Christopher Sean

Christopher Sean

Japanese American Actor. Very proud son to a Navy veteran and Mother born and raised in Japan. Known for Star Wars Resistance, Hawaii Five-0, Days of Our Lives and Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Cultured through living in many countries but Southern California is considered home. Studied martial arts, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu, boxing and wrestling.

Tim Sexton

Tim Sexton

Tim Sexton

Tim Sexton

Stern Pinball*

Software engineer

Tim was a competitive pinball player who decided to join the team at Stern just a few months ago! As a relatively new hire, we don’t have much to report on Tim yet, but we expect big, awesome things from him in the future in his role as software engineer!

Jim Shird

Jim Shird

Jim Shird

Jim Shird

Alvin G., Williams/Bally, Stern Pinball

Electrical Engineer, Prototype Lab Manager, Game designer

28 Year veteran of the Pinball/Amusement Game Industry, Jim got his start at Alvin G in 1991. Working on games such as Mystery Castle and Pistol Poker before designing Punchy the Clown. In 1994 Jim moved to Williams/Bally where he ran the Manufacturing Lab. He continued to do Electrical Cabling, manager of the prototype lab and was a part of the Pinball 2000 design team. Currently at Stern working on the electrical configurations for games and making sure they are in compliance.

Doug Skor

Doug Skor

Doug Skor

Doug Skor

Stern Pinball, Chicago Gaming Company

International Sales

Doug does some crazy magic, palm grasping, wheeling and dealing to get Stern Pinball machines overseas. In other words, he manages the daily duties for the overseas market.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern

Gary Stern

Gary Stern

Stern Electronics, Data East, Sega Pinball, Stern Pinball*

President*

Gary Stern has been in the pinball industry his entire life, starting by working with Stern Electronics, then moving to Pinstar, Data East, Sega Pinball, and then eventually in 1999 purchasing the company from Sega and renaming it Stern Pinball. Since 1999, Stern Pinball has been the largest pinball manufacturer in the United States, producing multiple incredible machines each year!

Tad Stones

Tad Stones

Tad Stones

Tad Stones

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.

Dwight Sullivan

Dwight Sullivan

Dwight Sullivan

Dwight Sullivan

Williams Electronics, Stern Pinball*

Senior game developer

Dwight is currently a senior game designer with Stern Pinball, and has worked on lots of different games for Stern, including being the team leader for games like Pirates of the Caribbean and more! Before that, he worked for Williams Electronics.

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

Stern Pinball*

General manager

Mark Sullivan is the general manager for Stern Pinball!

 Svengoolie

Svengoolie

 Svengoolie

Svengoolie

MeTV*

Television Personality

Saturday, April 4th, 2020 from 6:00pm until 7:00pm

Svengoolie will once again head from Berwyn to the Midwest Gaming Classic on Saturday, April 4th in support of KingPin Games! Until then, catch him on MeTV at 7pm CST!

Charles Urbach

Charles Urbach

Charles Urbach

Charles Urbach

Charles Urbach is an award-winning writer and colored pencil illustrator with more than 25 years of experience in design, publishing, and illustration. His detailed original concepts and drawings have appeared on book covers and merchandise, and hundreds of his illustrations have appeared in gaming products including: Magic: The Gathering, Heroclix, Legend of the Five Rings, A Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, various Star Wars products, Das Schwarze Auge, Infinite City, Mage Knight, Everquest, Call of Cthulhu, Esper Genesis, DoomTown Reloaded, and many others. He is frequently a guest and instructor at conventions and tournaments around the world, where his artwork is displayed and sold. Charles enjoys blending spiritual, literary, and surrealistic references with the more familiar archetypes of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror. Among his accomplishments, he is a two time Chesley Award winner and has won awards at Gen Con, Dragon Con, Origins, CONvergence, and many other conventions around the U.S.

More information about his work is available at his website: www.charlesurbach.com

Aiyanna Wade

Aiyanna Wade

Aiyanna Wade

Aiyanna Wade

Aiyanna is a comedic performer and writer. She loves to perform various sketch and improv shows at Second City Training Center and The Annoyance. You may recognize her from Nostalgia Critic Reviews (including Harley Quinn in NC’s Suicide Squad and Beverley in NC’s It Chapter 1 & 2) or Channel Awesome’s Top 5. She also voices Becky and Sunny in the animated series Multiplex 10.

Avery Walker

Avery Walker

Avery Walker

Avery Walker

Avery Walker aka Moneco Arts is a self taught, freelance artist from Minnesota. He focuses on traditional drawing and digital painting. If he’s not being a chef at his day job, he is constantly creating artwork and working towards becoming a better artist.

Doug Walker

Doug Walker

Doug Walker

Doug Walker

Doug is best known for his character The Nostalgia Critic from ChannelAwesome.com, who reviews movies and TV shows connected to childhood. He’s also noted for having a long standing “rivalry” with The Angry Video Game Nerd.  He’s appeared on PBS, Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, 20/20, Rifftrax, Honest Trailers, Cinema Sins, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year at the Mashable Awards as well as one of the Best Youtube Critics by WatchMojo.com.  He’s performed with Mike Nelson, James Rolfe, Mara Wilson, Dante Basco, Andre Meadows, Rob Paulsen, Maurice Lamarche, Don Bluth, and has been praised by the late Roger Ebert.  His image even appeared in the anime Zettai Karen Children.  He’s more than a God, but less than a man…or is it the other way around?  Either way just watch him! He clearly needs the attention.

Rob Walker

Rob Walker

Rob Walker

Rob Walker

From Santa Christ to the Executor, Rob Walker always plays a big role in the creation of the show Nostalgia Critic.  He co-writes each episode, plays several hilarious characters, and also co-hosts the blog series Sibling Rivalry with his brother Doug.  Always having a quick comeback (except when he doesn’t), he’s there to entertain.

Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland

Independent

Tabletop Game Designer

Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes for several websites including Geek & Sundry, Star Trek, Forbes.com and Dicebreaker. As a game designer he’s worked on dozens of tabletop RPGs such as Star Wars Saga Edition, Pugmire, Vampire: The Masquerade and Kaiju Incorporated. He is currently the hose of Theatre of the Mind Players, an actual play show and podcast dedicated to the other great tabletop RPGs out there besides Dungeons and Dragons.

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Independent

Writer, Podcaster

Jeffrey is the writer of tons of awesome books like the Complete NES: Ultimate NES Collector’s Book and many others! He is also one of the hosts of the popular VGBS podcast!

Alumni

Below are some of our guests from past shows

 

 

Scott Adams

Scott Adams

Scott Adams

Scott Adams

Adventure International, Clopas*

Designer, Programmer

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

Arlo

 Arlo

Arlo

Independent

Content Creator

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.

Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff

Eric Bischoff

2019

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.

Ted DiBiase

Ted DiBiase

Ted DiBiase

Ted DiBiase

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.

Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson

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.

Eugene Jarvis

Eugene Jarvis

Eugene Jarvis

Eugene Jarvis

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!

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee

Gottlieb

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!

Howard Phillips

Howard Phillips

Howard Phillips

Howard Phillips

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!