By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 25, 2022 at 12:01 PM

The weekend-long gamer’s paradise, Midwest Gaming Classic, returns Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1 at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave.

During the event, guests can play thousands of pinball, arcade, console and tabletop games, enjoy live entertainment and meet pop-culture personalities – all for free with the price of admission. Kids 9 and under are free.

Started in Milwaukee by two gaming enthusiasts in a Boy Scout office basement, the Midwest Gaming Classic is now one of the country’s largest independent gaming trade shows, drawing attendees from across the globe. This year alone, hosts anticipate welcoming 15,000 guests, including many from Japan, South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain.

Twenty years in, this annual event now brings an estimated economic impact of over $2 million ($2,099,080 per City of Milwaukee officials) to the Milwaukee area, providing a much-needed boost to the local tourism industry. 

What to do at the Midwest Gaming Classic:

  • Hundreds of pinball, arcade, and console games on freeplay
  • Tabletop gaming, tabletop RPGs, trading card games
  • A gaming museum, from PONG to Atari to the latest gaming technology  
  • Game tournaments and competitions
  • Cosplay contests
  • Major Esports competitions
  • A colossal merchandise market
  • Celebrity and industry professional panels, meet & greets
  • Movie car replicas
  • Video-game-themed bands

In addition, there are several new special features this year, including an opportunity to meet the legends of Mortal Kombat to celebrate its 30th anniversary, performances from identical twin harpists Camille and Kennerly Kitt known as the Harp Twins, debut of a new VR game called Arcade Legend by LAI Games, a Skee Ball showcase, the unreleased Sega Pluto console, a POG tournament, an escape room and the first-ever Pop-A-Shot World Championship.

Get tickets here.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.