By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Mar 30, 2023 at 11:31 AM

The Midwest Gaming Classic takes over all three floors of the Wisconsin Center this weekend: Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2.

Guests can play thousands of pinball, arcade, console and tabletop games, enjoy live entertainment, and meet pop-culture personalities – with the price of admission. Kids 9 and under get in for free.  

This year, the event is expected to draw more than 20,000 attendees from all over the world, with many coming from Japan, South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. 

From its humble beginnings in 2001 with just 100 attendees in a Boy Scout office, the Midwest Gaming Classic has grown into one of the largest celebrations of retro and modern gaming in the country, with more than 200,000 square feet of gaming and nostalgia. The event is estimated to generate $2 million 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.”

Attendees can look forward to a 30th-anniversary celebration of Mortal Kombat, including martial arts training from the actors, panel discussions and performances. Also, famous movie car replicas from "Jurassic Park", "Back to the Future", "Wayne’s World" and more,

The World of Nintendo Exhibit, an Animaniacs panel, The Electronic Gaming Magazine Reunion, video game-themed bands and a 26-foot inflatable gorilla, affectionately named the DANKEY KANG, will welcome visitors as they arrive.

Game on! 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.