In a city absolutely stuffed with events, the annual Midwest Gaming Classic is one of our favorites. Want to relive the 2023 installment? Read our one-day minute-by-minute report HERE. Want to experience all the video games, pinball, tabletop games, panels, music, and more for yourself? Then drop by the downtown Baird Center April 5-7. Yep, MGC is BACK.

“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 a press release. “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.”

What to expect from the homegrown (it began in 2001 as a celebration of the Atari Jaguar) and ever-expanding (it drew more than 23,000 folks in 2023) MGC in 2024? Well…

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.

Tickets are on sale NOW. (Kids under 9 are free.) Here’s the day-by-day ticket info. And heads-up: We’ve gotten a lot better at Godzilla pinball since 2023.

April 5 PREVIEW NIGHT from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m., limited events opened, vendors closed – $45

April 6, FULL SHOW from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. – $50

April, FAMILY DAY from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – $25

Multi-day passes ($60-175)

And just in case…

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