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The Midwest Gaming Classic hosts lots of industry professionals each year! Here are many of the guests we hosted in 2022! In late Summer / early Fall we’ll start adding our 2023 guests!

List subject to change.

Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart

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!

Kevin Bayliss

Kevin Bayliss

Kevin Bayliss

Kevin Bayliss

Kevin Bayliss has created many incredibly memorable games including Donkey Kong Country, BattleToads, Diddy Kong Racing, Killer Instinct, and many more! Kevin started working for leading UK video game developer ‘Rare Ltd’ right at the very beginning in the 1987, and stayed there for many years influencing the best games Rare had to offer! More recently, Kevin helped to develop the YOOKA LAYLEE series by Playtonic Games Ltd. Now, along with David Wise, Kevin is working on his first project as DK Creations entitled Salamandos, an exciting new musical story featuring brand new characters and tunes which many video game fans from the early 90’s will find ‘toadally’ familiar!

Kevin Bunch

Kevin Bunch

Kevin Bunch

Kevin Bunch

Kevin Bunch is a video game historian and professional writer who specializes in early game consoles. He runs the YouTube channel Atari Archive, which contextualizes the Atari 2600 library in chronological order, as well as its companion website, Atariarchive.org.  

Norman Caruso

Norman Caruso

Norman Caruso

Norman Caruso

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.

Brian Colin

Brian Colin

Brian Colin

Brian Colin

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 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.

Dimitri (Jade Jackhammer) Daniels

Dimitri (Jade Jackhammer) Daniels

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.

Richard Divizio

Richard Divizio

Richard Divizio

Richard Divizio

Richard Divizio is best known for portraying Kano in Mortal KombatMortal Kombat 3Ultimate 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.

Mark Flitman

Mark Flitman

Mark Flitman

Mark Flitman

Flitman worked at top video game publishers including Konami, Acclaim, Mindscape, Midway and Atari producing dozens of titles: WWF Royal Rumble, RAW, Maximum Carnage, X-Men, Wolverine, Spiderman, MLB Slugfest, NFL Blitz, Boxing, Dragon Ball, Simpsons, Batman, TMNT, Mission Impossible, Zoids, Yu Yu Hakusho, Steel Harbinger, Kings Quest, Pirates, Carmen Sandiego, Dirty Harry, Tiny Tunes and more. He then moved to Hasbro Entertainment to create toys over a wide variety of brands. Throughout his career he continued to write stories and screenplays as an additional outlet for his creativity, and is gearing up to release his autobiography, “It’s Not All Fun and Games: My Life in Film Production, Video Games and Toys” which will be out in Fall of 2022.

Jason Gares

Jason Gares

Jason Gares

Jason Gares

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!

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!

John Hancock

John Hancock

John Hancock

John Hancock

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.

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

Ben Heck

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!

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!

Camille and Kennerly Kitt

Camille and Kennerly Kitt

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

Tim Kitzrow

Tim Kitzrow

Tim Kitzrow

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.

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

Tanio Klyce

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.

Adam Koralik

Adam Koralik

Adam Koralik

Adam Koralik

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

Tim Lapetino

Tim Lapetino

Tim Lapetino

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.

Kelsey Lewin

Kelsey Lewin

Kelsey Lewin

Kelsey Lewin

Kelsey Lewin is the co-director of The Video Game History Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and teaching video game history. She also co-owns the Seattle-based retro game store chain, Pink Gorilla Games.

Jason (Metal Jesus) Lindsey

Jason (Metal Jesus) Lindsey

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 Luedtke

John Luedtke

John Luedtke

John Luedtke

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

Terry Minnich

Terry Minnich

Terry Minnich

Terry Minnich

As former Tricks of the Trade editor for Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine, the name “Trickman” was well known to video game obsessed kids of the 1990s as being the editor most likely to know all the tricks and publish them in the magazine!

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 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

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!

Nadia Oxford

Nadia Oxford

Nadia Oxford

Nadia Oxford

A lifelong game-lover, Nadia Eisner Oxford learned how to warp in Super Mario Bros. long before she learned how to do long division. She’s worked in the games media since 2003, and she currently co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God RPG podcast. Incidentally, she still doesn’t know how to do long division.

Jeremy Parish

Jeremy Parish

Jeremy Parish

Jeremy Parish

Jeremy Parish is one of the foremost video game historians, sharing his knowledge through the podcast Retronauts as well as through various books. Make sure to catch his great presentations throughout the show!

John Parrish

John Parrish

John Parrish

John Parrish

John is the Northern Kung Fu expert who portrayed Jax in Mortal Kombat II, 3, 4, Trilogy, Advance, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat! John now runs two companies in the Chicago area including an IT consulting company and a fitness company.

Daniel Pesina

Daniel Pesina

Daniel Pesina

Daniel Pesina

Daniel played Sub Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, Noob Saibot, Smoke and Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat I and II. He also was one of the Foot Soldiers in Teenage Mutant Ninjas II!

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!

Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

Brett Weiss

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.

Dave Wise

Dave Wise

Dave Wise

Dave Wise

Dave Wise and Kevin Bayliss have composed and created for some great classic titles including ‘Donkey Kong Country’ ‘BattleToads’ ‘Diddy Kong Racing’ ‘Killer Instinct’ since working for leading UK video game developer ‘Rare Ltd’ right at the very beginning in the 1987. Now they are on their first project as DK Creations entitled Salamandos, an exciting new musical story featuring brand new characters and tunes which many Video Game fans from the early 90’s will find ‘toadally’ familiar!

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

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

 

 

 Arlo

Arlo

 Arlo

Arlo

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.

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.

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.