Midwest Gaming Classic 2019

Hi all - I just got back from MGC and thought some folks might be interesting in hearing about it.

This year I went with my son and stayed in a hotel that was connected to the convention center. This gave us two days to explore everything which I think made for much more relaxed (and better) experience this time.

The games were everywhere, of course, and we spent quite a bit of time playing them. Other than a few lectures I wanted to hear, I let my son set the agenda. It was interesting what he gravitated toward.

Pac-Man was a hit:

…including this upright arcade version that happened to be signed by DK legend Billy Mitchell 20 years ago:

His first pinball game ever seemed to be a good one:

And first time playing Neo Geo:

But the most surprising amount of fun was had playing a game called “Cats Fly Helicopers” which this picture proves beyond a doubt:

We spent quite a lot of time in the vendor hall and tried to pick times when it wasn’t so busy and packed with people. Even then, it was a bit overwhelming for both of us trying to take it all in. Prices for games were about 20% higher than eBay prices, I’m guessing to take into account for the bartering factor. I had a very short list of games I was looking for, but sadly struck out on all of them. (Only found 1 copy of Tobal No. 1 but it was missing the FF7 demo disc. And almost no Atari Lynx games to be found at all.)

In the end my haul was very meager, but the point of this trip wasn’t really about shopping:

$1.00 for Alleyway? Sure! And Chris Kohler was there in person so I chatted with him a bit and had him sign my copy:

The lectures were good this year and I got to see the Retronauts crew again. This year the topics were Heiankyo Alien (of course!) and 30 years of Game Boy.

The best session was “Saving Nintendo’s History” with Frank Cifaldi and Howard Phillips. They went a little off script, but it was fine because Howard turned out to be a really awesome person and it was great to hear him tell stories about what it was like working for Nintendo during those early years in the US. I had no idea he was so involved - at the time I assumed he was just the “face” of Nintendo in their Howard & Nester comics. He struck me as the kind of guy who is genuine, full of life, and just a blast to be around - something I hope to be more of as I get older. My only regret is that I didn’t get a chance to chat with him afterward (and maybe go full-fanboy and get a picture with him. :slight_smile: ) He and Frank are going to be teaming up to catalog Nintendo history before it’s lost forever.

We brought our 3DSs with us and soaked in all the glorious streetpasses:

Seriously, Nintendo has really dropped the ball by killing off all these fun things their portable systems used to do. :sigh: At least Streetpass doesn’t require any infrastructure so we can keep doing these things in the future.

And finally, the Great Wall of NES Games, all of them, CIB:

This was set up in the arcade hall and was a lot of fun to browse. It struck me as something that would be extremely difficult to do (and not nearly impressive) if everything had been in a digital format back then. I wonder what game historians of the future will say about trying to preserve our current games 30 years from now…

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend (despite the snowstorm - WTF?!) and we’re already looking forward to the 2020 show!


Awesome! Who’s NES collection was it, John Hancock’s?

Love this post. It has a little bit of everything. Bonding with the son is special. Cherish these moments.

You know, I’m not even sure. :blush: I spent the whole time looking at the cover art (front and back) that I didn’t even pay attention to who owned it. I think it was partly sponsored by a game grading company, and since I’m not a big fan of sealing games (permanently) behind plastic, I kind of tuned it out.

@Peltz Thanks! That thought was at the front of my mind the whole drive home. :slight_smile:

Really cool. @Beartruck and I were there too. I unfortunately didn’t get to spend much time because I live in Chicago and have a dog to take care of but I did get to see Frank Cifaldi and Howard Phillips present and you’re right. It was awesome. I’m glad I made it just for that. I did pick up a couple things and enjoyed playing games I can play at home a bit more than I expected. I wish it was a bit closer but maybe I can manage more time next year.

I went there too, yeah. Here’s a couple pics of the event:


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This is great. Thanks so much for posting. I would love to see the Retronauts crew.

I really want to go to MGC or Portland Expo one of these years. They both occur during busy times for my working life. But I think I’m going to try really hard to make MCG happen next year since I also live in the Midwest and it would be easier for me to swing. Would love to meet up with some RBG folks when/if I make it there.