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America’s Largest Retro Gaming Event Returns to Milwaukee

Midwest Gaming Classic welcomes game lovers to the Baird Center, April 5-7th.

MILWAUKEE – The weekend-long gamer’s paradise, Midwest Gaming Classic, is set to return to the Baird Center the weekend of April 5-7th. Filling the downtown convention center, these guests will play over 10,000 games that range from vintage to new releases. Enjoy classic pinball and arcade games, every generation of console, tabletop games, live entertainment and meet and greets with pop-culture personalities — all with the price of admission. Kids under 9 can attend for free. View the 2024 trailer here

This annual event draws attendees from all over the Midwest and the world, with many coming from Japan, South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain. Last year saw 23,000 attendees and even more are anticipated this year as the event continues to see growth year over year. The Midwest Gaming Classic is now the largest celebration of retro and modern gaming in the country, with more than 250,000 square feet of gaming and nostalgia. The event is estimated to generate over $2 million in tourism dollars for the Milwaukee area, according to Visit Milwaukee. 

“Our goal is to create a fun and welcoming environment where people of all skill levels can gather to enjoy their favorite games and discover new ones,” says co-founder Dan Loosen. “In addition to hardcore gamers, a common sight on the weekend is parents sharing their childhood favorites with their kids, such as Oregon Trail, pinball games, Pokémon cards, or NBA Jam.”

The weekend includes thousands of free-play pinball, arcade, and console games, a playable gaming museum, game tournaments and esports competitions, tabletop gaming, tabletop role-playing games, trading card games, entertainment wrestling, cosplay, live-action role-play opportunities, and celebrity and industry professional panels and meet & greets.

Among the unique programming attractions this year will be Wisconsin native Steve Henneberry (aka “Tower” from American Gladiator), who will combat attendees in Johann Sebastian Joust, a no-graphics, digitally-enabled playground game designed for motion controllers. Attendees can also look forward to a wider variety of esports, gamer podcasts, the MGC Cosplay Championship, and The World of Nintendo Exhibit.

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