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!
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 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.
Neopong Software, inXile Entertainment, Incredible Technologies, Stern Pinball*
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!