The Midwest Gaming Classic hosts lots of industry professionals each year! Here are the guests we expect to host this year!
List subject to change.
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 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!
Norman Caruso is the creator of “The Gaming Historian”, a YouTube documentary series that explores the history of video games. Want to learn about the landmark lawsuits that changed the industry? Or why the Power Glove wasn’t “so bad” after all? The Gaming Historian has you covered. The show has more than 100 million views and 800,000 subscribers, and has been featured on Destructoid, Polygon, Nintendo Life, and even Playboy.com. Norman earned his history degree from Elizabeth City State University and is currently working on his master’s degree.
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.
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.
Kevin Conran co-created the landmark Paramount Pictures film, SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, which starred Jude Law, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. A one man art department, the interior and exterior sets, props, vehicles, and layouts all derived from his hand. Kevin also received the Saturn Award for Best Costume Design. The film itself was the first of its kind. Shot entirely against blue screen, its unique design and production process paved the way for such films as SIN CITY, 300 and AVATAR. Kevin worked on the feature films BEE MOVIE and MONSTERS VS. ALIENS and the award winning TV series DRAGONS – RIDERS OF BERK, His live-action work includes; AEON FLUX, MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM, THE MUMMY III, GI JOE 2, and television shows SUPAH NINJAS and REVENGE.
Pat Contri is a game historian, collector, and online content producer best known for Pat the NES Punk, Flea Market Madness, the Completely Unnecessary Podcast, and The Video Game Years. He is the executive producer of Not for Resale: A Video Game Store Documentary and has produced the Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library and Guide to the SNES Library books.
Jack Danger is the eccentric and enthusiastic host of the award-winning Pinball broadcast, DeadFlip on Twitch! A daily live-stream focusing on Pinball that was only meant to be a fun side project, but today is the largest visual outlet for Pinball game launches, tutorials, and entertainment. Danger is also Stern Pinball’s newest Pinball Designer, and already has a title under his belt with the Jurassic Park Home game. Growing the hobby and showing how fun Pinball can be, is his number one goal.
Dimitri (Jade Jackhammer) Daniels
Dimitri (Jade Jackhammer) Daniels
Demitri Daniels a.k.a “Jade Jackhammer” is a Shaolin wu gong disciple to 31st generation Shaolin warrior Shi DeCheng as well as a martial arts brother to Master Daniel Pesina. An actor and social media icon. With 35 years of Shaolin gongfu training most of which at the Shaolin temple in China. An American real-life Liu Kang. Best known on TikTok for his drunken fist and chain whip skill he is called the Drunken Master. Jade Jackhammer co-stars with Master Pesina in his new movie MK Legends Never Die and has been working on a new TV series called Legendary Masters Council. He spends a great amount of time traveling spreading traditional Shaolin culture throughout the United States, China, and Europe.
Patrick Patman QC Davis is a lifelong videogame fan. He has been around pinball and arcade machines all of his life. He has also been collecting video games from the Atari 2600 to the Xbox one with literally everything in between. In 2018 he started the YouTube channel PatmanQC history of arcade game documentaries which has amassed almost 200 short documentaries on various arcade and console games. In 2015 he lost his hands and feet due to complications from pneumonia but that didn’t stop his love for video games which continues to this day.
Richard Divizio is best known for portraying Kano in Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 3, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy. He also portrayed Quan Chi and Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, Baraka in Mortal Kombat II, Kabal and Noob Saibot in Mortal Kombat 3 and provided some of the motion capture for Mortal Kombat 4.
Jason C. Gares of 249 Studios & JasonGares.com produces original documentary films and series that can be viewed on many video streaming platforms worldwide. He is also the author of a new instructional hobby book on building and painting award-winning plastic model kits and dioramas. His new 473 page how-to instructional eBook *Building Large Scale Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models* is distributed through KLP Publishing and can be purchased from their website. You can also find him every Thursday evening at 8:30 PM (CT) on the tvMGC Twitch channel where he shares prior panels and stories of his life in gaming!
John is a longtime collector of video games. As one of the original organizers of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, John went on to establish a YouTube channel where he uploads weekly content that covers everything from Atari to Xbox. He loves to share his passion about video games with others.
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.
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.
Camille and Kennerly Kitt
Camille and Kennerly Kitt
Identical twin harpists Camille and Kennerly Kitt have achieved extraordinary success by smashing boundaries between genres of music! The twins’ ability to reinvent the harp has given them the opportunity to represent the United States at four different World Harp Festivals, amass over 2.5 million fans across their social media sites and over 140 million Youtube music video views! Mixing their virtuoso harp skills with stunningly complex arrangements of rock, metal, Celtic, Renaissance, and soundtrack classics – as well as Celtic Nordic inspired original songs – the Harp Twins deliver exciting, comedic, and interactive family-friendly performances that you won’t forget!
TIM KITZROW is the iconic voice of your favorite sports franchises — NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, NHL Hitz and MLB Slugfest — and over a dozen classic pinball games. With NBA JAM, which grossed over $2 BILLION to date, Kitzrow introduced BOOMSHAKALAKA to the NBA lexicon and earned pop culture immortality. For 25 years, Kitzrow has enjoyed a legendary run as the signature voice of classic games like NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, NHL Hitz and Wayne Gretzky Hockey, MLB Slugfest and Big Hurt Baseball, and NCAA College Slam.
Originally, Jason Knapp created Knapp Arcade to track a charity dart tournament held in their home arcade before it transformed into one of the foremost pinball and news sites out there! Today, Knapp Arcade is known for the latest industry news and great photographs of your favorite games!
Adam Koralik is a content creator who has been producing videos for thirteen years on YouTube. Whether he’s unboxing a PS5, cleaning and restoring a Sega Saturn, or just giving an engaging history lesson on previous console generations; Adam’s videos are a must-watch for any gamer. He is a video game console expert known Keep Dreaming, Console Retrospectives, and PlayLoad. He features consoles from different generations of gaming and provides many videos detailing how to repair them. He even has whole videos with incredible access to one of a kind prototypes like the Sega Pluto and Nintendo PlayStation!
Tim Lapetino is a writer and award-winning creative director, mining geek culture for compelling stories. He is the author of the best-selling book, /Art of Atari/, and co-author of /Pac-Man: Birth of an Icon/. He is also an editor of /Sky Captain and the Art of Tomorrow/ and /Undisputed Street Fighter/. He also co-authored the design inspiration book Damn Good: Top Designers Discuss Their All-Time Favorite Projects. His design work has been featured in more than a dozen other books and magazines, and his books have been published in five languages. Tim is dedicated to writing and working at the intersection of design and geek culture. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two kids.
Jason (Metal Jesus) Lindsey
Jason (Metal Jesus) Lindsey
The Metal Jesus is a long-haired rocker dude who runs a popular YouTube channel dedicated to Retro Gaming with a Heavy Metal soundtrack. With the help of the Seattle gaming community he covers Hidden Gems, Buying Guides as well as the popular I HATE U series, Gamer Eats and much more. He was also an employee at mega publisher Sierra On-Line in the 90s and he brings his love of big box PC gaming to his channel as well. New videos released every Friday!
John’s been plugging away at the podcast game for a long time. Co-host of Team Fremont Live, Drunken Gamers Radio, Super the Hardest, MoJoWeekly, and more, some might say he just likes the sound of his own voice. When he’s not yammering on to whomever will listen, John co-creates goofy videos and short films with his buddy Klaus. But you can always find him creating, and babbling, at MoJoMenace.com
Randy Martinez has created official art for Lucasfilm (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), Marvel, DC, Aliens, Harry Potter, The San Diego Padres and The San Francisco Giants. Considered the Swiss Army Knife of Illustrators, Randy Martinez has been creating Cartoons, Caricatures, Illustrations, Paintings, and 3D art for just about every form of media and merchandise, since 1992.
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 voice over 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)
Paul E. Niemeyer
Paul E. Niemeyer
Paul E. Niemeyer’s game art career began at Bally/Midway in 1982, where he did art on games including Tapper, PacMan Plus, Super PacMan, Professor PacMan, TRON, Satan’s Hollow, Spy Hunter, WACKO, and Midnight Marauders, as well as dozens of prototype games. In 1984, he went freelance and worked on games like Time Killers, Aeroboto, Star Guards, Demolition Man pinball, and Mortal Kombat! Paul has also worked on movie properties like Little Mermaid, Jurassic Park II, Men in Black, Star Trek 5, Star Wars: Phantom Menace, and Pirates of the Caribbean. More recently, Paul sculpted parts for American Pinball’s Legends of Valhalla!
Greg Peters is an internationally renowned animation artist who has won 4 daytime Emmys! Peters has worked at many of the greatest animation studios including Hanna Barbara, Amblin, Warner Bros, Sony, Disney, and Nickelodeon! Specializing in character design, some of Peters work includes Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, Rugrats, Dilbert, Family Dog, Timon & Pumbaa, and Mickey’s House of Mouse! He also worked as an animator for Sega video games in the 1990s. Today, Peters is part of Wacool Animation School.
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 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).
When it comes to incredible replica jeeps and island tour cruisers, something has survived… and Brian made it happen! Brian will be bringing both his JP16 Jeep (based on the movies) and Park Tour Cruiser 09 (based on the book / games) to share with everyone! Ask Brian about how he created these iconic vehicles
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.
Saturday, April 30th, 2022 from 12:00pm until 1:00pm
Saturday, April 30th, 2022 from 6:00pm until 7:00pm
Sunday, May 1st, 2022 from 2:00pm until 3:00pm
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.
More information about his work is available at his website: www.charlesurbach.com
Klaus Von Hohenloe
Klaus Von Hohenloe
Klaus Von Hohenloe is a video creator from Minnesota who has dabbled in everything from movie reviews to cooking videos, which have been described as “weird and intense.” He does all of this, along with skits and short films, with his friend John. When not doing that, he runs a YouTube channel called The Dungeon Newb’s guide, where he talks about about and teaches TTRPGs. Like a nerd.
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.
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.
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.
National columnist Brett Weiss has been a gamer since 1975 and a professional gaming writer since 1997. He’s the author of a dozen books, including The NES Omnibus Vol. 1 and 2, The SNES Omnibus Vol. 1 and 2, and The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987. With his Classic Home Video Games series, he wrote the world’s first complete guides to numerous video game consoles, including the Atari 5200, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Intellivision, Vectrex, Odyssey2, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Neo Geo, TurboGrafx-16, and Sega Genesis.
Below are some of our guests from past shows
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.