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Author Topic: Midwest Gaming Classic 2014 (4/12-4/13) Bookfield, WI (Image Heavy)  (Read 1156 times)
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Crawley
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« on: January 31, 2014, 07:50:14 PM »

Just a heads up the Midwest Gaming Classic is getting close. What is it? Its two days of non-stop playing free pinball, arcade games, console games from every gen, computer games, board games, and buying video game stuff. If you have any interest in video games then I highly recommend attending at least once. It's a lot of fun.

I went for the first time last year and documented it in this thread with a bunch of pictures. I will be going again this year.

The event is huge. It basically dominates the entire hotel to the point where I didn't even realize there was a huge vendor hall until the second day. Speaking of which they're expanding this years event by moving the vendor hall out into a new temporary enclosement. They'll be filling the vendor hall with more video games. Crazy.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 06:56:08 PM by Crawley » Logged
Crawley
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 06:55:22 PM »

So this thread didn't garner any interest but I went and I'll bring some of the expo to the forums. In all I had a blast yet again and am sure I'll be going next year as well.

This is basically a video game mecca for two days. The highlight of the show is the video game hall. This year it was moved in to the largest hall they had. And it was packed with even more arcade games than the previous year. Walking in to the hall for the first time was pretty incredible. Just games to play everywhere, larger than any arcade I visited in the 80s, and it was difficult to take it in all in the initial time in. The walls of the room just had arcade game after arcade game stacked next to one another. From Space Invaders to Mortal Kombat, all set to free-to-play. The middle of the room just had rows-and-rows of pinball machines. From the old electro magnetic machines to the latest Stern pinball games (Mustang/Star Trek/Metallica/etc). As I was able to pick up my tickets Friday night I was one of the first of the public to enter the room. It didn't stay uncrowded for long. An hour after it opened it was packed and stayed that way till Sunday when I left. Here's a video someone took of walking in to the arcade hall when they first opened it to the public and walking around it - I think I was like a few people behind this guy.

The volunteer crew working there was fantastic. When I saw machines break down it wasn't long before a volunteer would come in and fix it. Machines that needed a bit more TLC would be shut down but in most cases were back up again when I came back later. So kudos to them.

The highlight for me was playing the pinball table Revenge from Mars which is the sequel to Attack from Mars - one of the more popular pinball tables. The unique thing about this game is that it displays video on the table itself which appears in interactive 3D. Its a such a fun table I went back to it multiple times despite the lines.

Unfortunately I took my wife's camera and I couldn't figure out how to take any good shots in the dark of the arcade hall so I have basically two somewhat salvageable pictures. Here's one of them. There's actually a lot more arcade games to the right and behind me in this picture.



There were only a few custom pinball machines at the show but one that had constant lines was Predator. Basically only one of these exists currently. Didn't get to play it since each time I went by there were at least 5 guys waiting and knew my game would last about a minute. But it looked cool.



There were also Ben Heck's Spooky Pinball machines set up. These were kinda neat as last year at the show the machine on the left (America's Most Haunted) was in the early playable prototype stage. This year its basically done I think. The other machine, Pinball Zombies, only had the back glass and cabinet art complete last year. But this year it was a playable prototype. I played both of them and honestly didn't care for either.



The next place I spent a lot of time was the Video Game Museum. They moved this in to the second largest room and not only did they use the entire space given but it flowed out into the hallway outside. Basically in this room was every video game console you could possibly imagine and a bunch you've never heard of. All were playable.



But they also had a huge selection of vintage computers set up. There was a slew of Commodore's, Apple's, and Atari computers you could play games on. They even had an Apple I (yes #1) which was basically just a motherboard. But my highlight was my old computer the Apple //e. Recognize this game?



I played a full Oregon Trail for a good 10 minutes with someone standing near me watching the entire time. When I finished I was like "You were waiting all this time to play?" and he was like "Yup" and sat down and started his own game. Can't beat reliving some nostalgia.

There was other fun stuff in the room too like two player Joust being projected on the wall.



There were so many different odd controllers and joysticks in there. Some I recognized but others I had no clue existed. I tried working the Super Scope, that gun that looks like a bazooka, but couldn't figure it out so gave up. But was able to finally figure out the Virua On twin-stick controllers. I recall playing that game in the arcade and didn't realize they had a home version. Not sure which console this is for, but it was fun to play that again.



The light gun games were super popular in the room and they had a whole wall of them from various systems (no two alike). Here's showing the old and the new together.



But by far the most popular thing for me in the room was Doom 2 LAN. They had 4-player matches going and it was just a blast to revisit that game in multiplayer. You ended up using the Gravis Gamepads for playing but it actually worked once you got used to the controls.



Deadpool ended up sitting next to me and played a few round of Doom 2 LAN. You can add me as yet another super hero to kill him.



That's all for now. Will post some more pictures later showing some more oddities of the Video Game Museum, the various hidden mini arcades at the show, and the vendor hall/tent. I'll also post a picture of something I haven't seen in 32 years, nor even thought about in all the time, but it gave me the biggest nostalgic kick I ever had as soon as I saw it. And may for some of you too.
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Destructor
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 12:47:04 AM »

Very, very, very, very cool stuff in there. biggrin

I went to: http://zapcon.com/
this weekend, and while it was absolutely nowhere near as fancy as your trip, it also had its share of classic old arcade machines as well as pinball tables. Nothing quite like the ancient classics. Still a ton of fun to play to this day.

Looking forward to seeing what else you did. And what was there at the vendor tables.
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pingwrx
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 06:09:51 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on April 15, 2014, 12:47:04 AM

Very, very, very, very cool stuff in there. biggrin

I went to: http://zapcon.com/
this weekend, and while it was absolutely nowhere near as fancy as your trip, it also had its share of classic old arcade machines as well as pinball tables. Nothing quite like the ancient classics. Still a ton of fun to play to this day.

Looking forward to seeing what else you did. And what was there at the vendor tables.

Wow didn't know they had this going on would have gone down to check it out.
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Crawley
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 09:01:55 PM »

So on Day 2 instead of having Doom 2 LAN they set up Duke Nukem 3D to play on the four computers they set up. I didn't get a chance to play that as I was only there half the day and there were people playing. I did get in some more Quake multiplayer which was still a lot of fun - particularly when decides to go at it with just axes.



The museum had the two most under appreciated computers of all time. The Amiga 500 and Atari 1040 ST.



I don't know what this Atari computer model this was and I haven't found it on the web anywhere. Does anyone know? The Donkey Kong I played on it was actually a very good port for whatever era this is.



I seem to recall seeing this Atari 2600 demo unit in a few department stores, like Sears. But what an oddity to get a hold of. So it was pretty cool to see and use it in person again.



This is Ms Pacman on this tiny "portable" Compaq computer. It was a pretty good port of the game too. It seems to have all the Ms Pac Man mechanics but was pretty difficult to control with the num pad arrow keys. The tiny monitor size was surprisingly not much of a factor.



But if you really want to see a crazy small monitor check out this rear view mirror monitor mod that was hooked up to a Commodore Vic 20. And yes it actually worked.



And if you really wanted to see old school here's a cassette tape player and external modem where you would put the handset in to it. Before my time thankfully - although just barely. Cassettes were on the way out and floppy discs were abundant.



Outside the Museum was even more stuff. More odd or obscure console systems you could try games on. But one wall featured more modern consoles but with just premium controllers. That was kinda neat and very popular with a lot of the kids.



But back inside the Museum I had the biggest nostalgic kick when I saw these.



Back in the 80's ('82 according to the copyright) McDonalds had a game going where you got Atari game themed scratch cards. You basically scratch off the card until you get a match or you get a "ZAP". If you get the "ZAP" before you make a match you don't win anything. But every game was a potential winner. Growing up this was a gold mine for both fun and winning free stuff at McDonalds. I seem to recall you could potentially win full sized arcade cabinets of games, which was a huge draw for any kid back then. But mainly when you won you would get a small fry or small drink or some McNuggets if you were lucky. Still seeing this immediately brought back some fond memories of something that probably was only around for a few months.



I'll see if I can finish up in the next post showing off some of the mini-arcades at the show and stuff from the vendor hall - which also had something that had me on another bit of a nostalgia kick.
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Zinfan
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 10:09:15 PM »

That is an Atari XE game system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_XEGS

I never had one but do remember playing Star Raiders on my Atari 800 many many times.
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Ridah
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 09:08:12 PM »

Very cool. Thanks for the pics Crawley.
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Crawley
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 10:17:17 PM »

Quote from: Zinfan on April 15, 2014, 10:09:15 PM

That is an Atari XE game system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_XEGS

I never had one but do remember playing Star Raiders on my Atari 800 many many times.

Ah thanks. I was looking for computers and looks like that was a console first and then had the keyboard add-on. Not a bad looking console for the time.
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Crawley
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 11:18:37 PM »

So the last bit of pictures here. So a big thing at MGC is just walking around trying to find all the "hidden" stuff. You'll go down hallways and in rooms you'll find all sorts of vendors, or groups. There was just a room at the end of a hallway called "Gamers and Beer" where you could buy beer - might have even been home brew. Others rooms would have specialty vendors or gaming groups. But there were also these mini-arcades. One of them was Star Worlds arcade which was in a small room with several classic arcade games, and some more modern ones like the DDR in the back. They were running a few tourneys there but I didn't sign up for any.



One of the neat things they had were a bunch of cocktail games which were a lot of fun. I don't think I've played on one of those since the 80s.



But they also had one of my favorite games from the 80's Eagle. Which was kinda like a cross between Galaxian, Gorf, and Lunar Lander. I believe the last time I played it was probably mid 80's when we were on vacation in Vermont. There was a bar nearby where they were going to show Altered States. So we headed over there and they had a cocktail table version of the game. I was playing that while watching Altered States. I was way too young to be in the bar and even see that movie. But it was the 80's so who cares!? biggrin

In any case I played a single game here and got the high score - so I still got it.



Aladdin's Castle was the other mini-arcade. I kinda just wandered through this one so don't recall any special stuff in the room.



Back outside was the pinball tourney area. Normally you don't get to play on these machines unless your in the touny. But thankfully they moved a few of them in to the arcade hall on the second day. One of them was Orbiter 1 which I've really wanted to play for awhile. Its a unique game where the playfield is entirely molded plastic. So when the ball is rolling it'll go in all these crazy directions or start doing loops. If the ball goes past the flippers its actually easy to save the ball as the ball will start rolling to the flippers, from behind, and you can usually lift one of the flippers and the ball will roll back onto the playfield and back in to play. It's basically a gimmick table but kinda fun for a few plays.



On to the final stop at the vendor tent. It was such a good idea for them to move the vendor area out in to one of the parking lots. It opened up the rest of the expo and left extra room for some of the larger venues. Last year it was just jam packed and was kinda hard to move around. This year plenty of freedom to move around.



If you need Dreamcast VMUs you could get them here for a bit of coin. You can also see in this case the Virtua Boy game "Insmouse" for $160. Yow.



Plenty of GBA and Game Boy games for about $5 each.



Various video game related toys. Can see the Tomy Waterful games there you may have had as a kid. And of course the Voltron, although its not the old-school one where it had each of the lions you piece together to form Voltron. I'm pretty sure I had the Pac Man lunch box.



Here's a ton of Japanese GBA import games for about $3-$4 dollars.



And here are the boxes of Atari 2600 and NES games.



And if you want handhelds a few of the vendors were selling those. Is that a monchichi?



And then my final nostalgic moment was coming across the unopened Tron, Donkey Kong, and Video City trading cards. I probably wouldn't recommend eating the gum.



So that's it for the Midwest Gaming Classic 2014. If there's a 2015 I'll be heading to that one. Would highly recommend checking out the show if you get a chance as its just two days of pure fun. Just about everyone there is great and you have such a wide range of ages going to the show that "all ages" is pretty encompassing.
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