The Midwest Gaming Classic hosted the following gaming industry professionals in 2019! We’ll update this page as we start to announce who will be coming in 2020!
Rich Ambler is an American Professional Gamer, The 1990 Nintendo World Championships Tampa Bay Champion, NES Tetris Master and The 1990 Nintendo World Champion 1st Runner-Up. Rich who is a native of Wisconsin, represented Tampa Bay at the Hollywood Finals where he walked away with the Nintendo World Championships 1990 1st Runner-Up Silver
Saturday, April 13th, 2019 from 4:00pm until 5:00pm
Sunday, April 14th, 2019 from 3:00pm until 4:00pm
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.
Nintendo Enthusiast, Enthusiast Gaming
Greg Bargas stumbled his way into journalism with GAMINGtruth under the wing of DeejayKnight. Since then, he has gone on to cover shows like IndieCade, the Game Developers Conference (GDC), and E3. Fun fact: His review for Super Meat Boy was mentioned in Indie Game: The Movie, which sadly, is the only thing that inspires him to get up in the morning.
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!
AWA, WCW, WWE, TNA, Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment, MX Digital
On Air Interviewer, Executive Vice President, WWE General Manager, Podcaster, Producer
Saturday, April 13th, 2019 from 1:00pm until 2:00pm
Sunday, April 14th, 2019 from 1:00pm until 2:00pm
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.
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!
Digital Eclipse, Video Game History Museum
Producer, Historian, Preservationist
Frank Cifaldi is the founder of The Video Game History Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to making sure that the roots of our favorite hobby are never lost. He is also a producer at Digital Eclipse, and has worked on classic game compilations including Mega Man Legacy Collection, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, and SNK 40th Anniversary Collection.
Brian Colin, the creator of the arcade game Rampage, will be at the Midwest Gaming Classic less than one week before the movie version of Rampage comes out! Brian is also the man behind arcade games Xenophobe, Arch Rivals and Pigskin 621, and the Sega Genesis game General Chaos!
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.
After discovering that he had unknowingly purchased the only known Nintendo Playstation prototype in a lot from a company that had closed, Terry has made the choice to share it with the world! Come meet Terry and hear about his travels since finding the console, and get a chance to check out and maybe even try the console too!
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!
Saturday, April 13th, 2019 from 2:00pm until 3:00pm
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.
Principal Software Engineer
The Principal Software Engineer at Jackbox Games. Ben has worked on Drawful, Fibbage, Quiplash, Trivia Murder Party, You Don’t Know Jack, and others. Recently, he both directed and engineered Mad Verse City in the Jackbox Party Pack 5, and is the engineer in the upcoming Jackbox Party Pack 6’s Trivia Murder Party 2. Ben has been at Jackbox for 7 years, and previously he worked at EA on Madden, NASCAR and Monopoly.
EA Sports, Acclaim, Bally, Midway, Digital Dreams Entertainment
Saturday, April 13th, 2019 from 10:00am until 11:00am
Sunday, April 14th, 2019 from 10:00am until 11:00am
With NBA Jam, which grossed over $2 BILLION to date, Kitzrow introduced the iconic phrase BOOMSHAKALAKA into the basketball lexicon and with it secured pop culture immortality. A Chicago based Voice Artist and NBA pop culture personality, Kitzrow is known to fans for his sensational sports commentary, earning industry awards for all four major sports leagues. Kitzrow has enjoyed a run as the signature voice of classic games like NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, NHL Hitz, Wayne Gretzky Hockey, MLB Slugfest, Big Hurt Baseball, and NCAA College Slam. He is the only talent in gaming to voice all four major sports leagues, the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL, as well as the NCAA. He is currently working on a re-launch of the beloved Mutant Football League series, as well as a number of book and creative projects.
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.
Animerica Magazine, WIRED magazine, Kotaku
Chris Kohler’s video game writing has been featured for over 20 years in places like Animerica magazine, WIRED magazine and Kotaku! His books about video games include “Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave The World An Extra Life” (2004) and Boss Fight Books’ “Final Fantasy V” (2017).
Video Game Historian, Writer
Tim Lapetino created the beautiful book Art of Atari to celebrate the amazing pictures that were created to bridge the gap between the imagination and reality of early Atari games. Tim has also written for Geek Monthly, RETRO Magazine, and other great publications, and is the founder and Executive Director of the Museum of Video Game Art.
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!
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.
Nintendo Enthusiast, Enthusiast Gaming
Editor, writer, content creator
Brett Medlock runs one of the top Nintendo-dedicated sites in the world, Nintendo Enthusiast. He is also a full-time writer and content creator on YouTube. Nintendo Enthusiast’s YouTube channel was ranked #28 in Feedspot’s “Top 40 Nintendo Youtube Channels For Nintendo Fanatics”. Brett also travels the world hosting gaming events and preaching the word of Shigeru Miyamoto.
EGM, Pixel Blast Arcade*
Writer, Arcade Operator
As former Tricks of the Trade editor for Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine, the name “Trickman” was well known for video game obsessed kids of the 1990s. Today, he is still a force in the industry as one of the co-owners of the Pixel Blast Arcade in Lisle, Illinois!
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!
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!
Video Game History Foundation, Nintendo of America, Chair Entertainment, Gameduell, Microsoft Xbox
Game Producer, playtester, consultant
Saturday, April 13th, 2019 from 5:00pm until 6:00pm
Sunday, April 14th, 2019 from 1:00pm until 2:00pm
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!
Jonathan Polan runs JP’s Switchmania on YouTube which includes unboxing videos of some of the coolest Nintendo Switch physical games and accessories from all over the world! On his website he talks about the developers, publishers, and more professionals in the gaming industry via interviews and more.
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.
Witnessing the birth and rise of early competitive esports even before the term itself was used, Dan “PasteCat” Santos began his early years playing multiple titles at a high level in various competitive scenes. His work with EndGameTV since 2016 in multiple LAN events for Nintendo games garnered a following, and was eventually picked to represent Canada at the
Nintendo World Championships 2017 where he finished in the top 4. Dan continues to grow a community where friendships and competitive gaming share a mutual love.
List subject to change.