Midwest Gaming Classic boasts varied entertainment

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Midwest Gaming Classic boasts varied entertainment

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

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The Midwest Gaming Classic returns to the Wisconsin Center this Friday through Sunday for a weekend of all things gaming.  

The event brings together over 10,000 gamers for an experience to share their passion, organizer Dan Loosen said. The event promises family fun and everything related to gaming from table-top games to recent console games.

Loosen and a team of others from previous years have been hosting the event every year — except one in 2005 — since 2001, with this year being the second in the Wisconsin Center.  

“You get to see all the aspects of gaming you don’t normally think about,” Loosen said, adding that the event will have enough pinball machines and displays so that no one is bored at the event. 

The Midwest Gaming Classic is not like other popular conventions, such as Comic-Con or E3; it focuses on all aspects of gaming and aims to inform and teach attendees about the history of gaming, Loosen said.

A major aspect of the event is the vendors. With more than 100 vendors, there is no shortage of things to buy. Vendors will offer games, art, clothing, console cleaning services and more. This side of the event attracts collectors because many of the vendors specialize in older, harder to find games.  

“The idea behind our show is that it’s a place to participate and do things, and the vendor hall is practically one-third of the actual show floor,” Loosen said. The other two-thirds of the floor are dedicated to playable displays and other activities.  

In addition to the many different games and activities that will be at the event, there will also be special guests in attendance. These guests are industry professionals within different aspects of gaming, as well as important pop culture figures. 

Two of the top-billed guests are wrestling legend Eric Bischoff and “Ghostbusters” actor Ernie Hudson.  

One thing that sets the Midwest Gaming Classic apart from other big conventions is that special guests are encouraged to walk around the show floor and participate like any other attendee, Loosen said.

“Bischoff’s not going to be sitting at the table all day, because that’s not the goal of our show,” he explained.

The convention will have activities and spectacles for people of all interests.

“For instance, if you’re a Nintendo collector, there will be a collection of every single Nintendo game ever released,” Loosen said.  

Some other attractions include a gaming museum, pinball and video game tournaments, as well as areas dedicated to classic arcade games and role-playing tabletop games like “Dungeons and Dragons.” 

For Samuel Wilsdorf, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, the main attraction to the event is the wide variety of games to see.

“I’m excited to see all of the collections and the different classic games,” Wilsdorf said. “I’ve been a fan of video games all my life, so I’m excited to take a look at some of the older, lesser known games.” 

Nostalgia plays a role in the event, as many of the featured games and collections are from older consoles, not necessarily the latest games from the most modern companies. Loosen said the event would provide a good opportunity for grandparents to show their grandkids the kinds of games they played as children.

James Neuson, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, had not heard of the event until recently, but said he thinks it looks like a great event. 

“From what I’ve seen, it looks like there’s something for everyone there,” Neuson said.

Neuson said his older brothers introduced him to video games, and he hopes the event will showcase some of the earlier Playstation games that he used to play with them.

Tickets for the Midwest Gaming Classic are available on its website.  While three-day passes and Friday tickets are sold out, Saturday tickets can be purchased for $45, Sunday tickets for $25, and Saturday-Sunday passes for $55. The $175 Very Important Gamer package includes access to all three days, access to a Saturday night afterparty, collectibles and discounts.

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