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Midwest Gaming Classic 2012
Good Times for All in Brookfield, WI
If you follow i64X.com on Facebook you'll know that a buddy of mine (Jeff) and I have recently returned from the Midwest Gaming Classic - one of the largest classic video game and pinball shows in the country! The show was in Brookfield, Wisconsin near Milwaukee and was hosted by the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel, where we stayed.
The show spanned two days - Saturday and Sunday, with vendor setup on Friday night. Hours for the show were from 10am to around 8pm CST, and the show is a yearly event that brings thousands of gamers together in one place to buy/sell/trade and enjoy games. The show is typically divided in to three major areas - vendors, the gaming museum, and the pinball/arcade hall. This year the show as so big that parts of these three major areas bled in to nearby hallways and conference rooms.
The vendor hall was larger than I would ever have expected it to be, with vendors from all over the Midwest selling everything under the sun. There was everything from Atari 2600 to PS3. Common items, weird items, and items I've never seen before. Luckily, thanks to our vendor passes (I'll talk about that more later), Jeff and I were able to browse around on Friday night when all of the vendors were setting up to scout the good deals before the public rushed the place on Saturday morning.
I was able to score several interesting items for awesome prices, including a 1st generation Sega Saturn in a Blockbuster rental case, a white Japanese Sega Saturn and a fist full of games, and a Japanese N64 complete in box. I was also able to score copies of Lunar Silver Star Story Complete and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete, both complete in the boxes for an awesome deal. These two games are easily on my top 10 favorite games list, and I'll be doing a feature about them in the Games section before too long.
The museum section was great - several conference rooms full of old game consoles and computers that were all set up for everyone to play and use. They had just about everything from 1970 to present, including vintage machines like original Pong home consoles and Commodore 64's, to more classic systems like the NES, Genesis, Sega CD, and Master System, all the way up through modern systems like PS3 and XBOX 360.
They had so many great systems that weren't mainstream - old PCs set up playing Kings Quest I, 10 or so iMacs all networked together playing Quake deathmatch, oddball Chinese consoles like the Super A'can, handhelds like both versions of the Atari Lynx and Game Gear, and even a Sega Mark III with keyboard!
The pinball/arcade hall contained over 100 pinball and arcade machines that were all set to free play. That's right kids - no quarters required! Early on during the day on Saturday, the hall was quite hectic, and it was hard to find an open machine or even walk around. Later on in the afternoon it died down though, and Jeff and I spent some time playing several arcade machines, including most notably Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Virtua Fighter 2, and played all the way through the original 4-player XMEN game.
I'd like to personally thank Josh and Epic Electronics and Gaming from Grand Rapids, MI for hooking us up with vendor passes and hanging out with us after hours on Friday and Saturday night. Without being able to sneak in a little early and poke around, I wouldn't have been able to score those copies of Lunar, which even alone would have totally made my entire weekend. Jeff and I are glad we could help getting stuff set up, and are sorry we couldn't stick around to help tear it all back down.
All said and done, we all had an awesome time. The Midwest Gaming Classic will definitely be a yearly tradition for Jeff and I from now on, I'm sure of that. The only thing I'd like to change about it next year... I need to bring more cash.
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