CLEVELAND — Ohio’s largest gaming convention settles this weekend at the IX Center.
The Cleveland Gaming Classic features retro video games, arcade games, pinball, cosplay, collectibles, and special guests.
Tom Jenkins is the man behind the whole event and said it all started over a decade ago with a group of friends playing “Tecmo Super Bowl.” Jenkins graduated from his basement in North Ridgeville to the largest basement in Cleveland, the lower level of the IX Center.
“Being part of this event is super humbling. It’s great to see this thing grow from a handful of guys to now, we’re expecting six to 7,000 people here,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins is serving as the director, or “Final Boss” to all game gurus, for the event entering its eighth year. The Cleveland Gaming Classic breathes nostalgia and brings back the memories of all the favorites and incorporates new technology and game systems.
“We have a lot of children who come here. It’s guys my age who get up with this sort of thing. They bring their kids and they’re like ‘what kind of game is this? What are we playing?’” he said. “To see them play Mario and Tetris and pinball machines. It is cool to be with your children and to share that experience again.”
The Gaming Classic also celebrates Mortal Combat’s 30th anniversary and features both actors and a designer from the original game to meet and greet fans.
“What makes us different from many other gaming conventions is that we focus a lot on playing games. We bring an entire arcade to the site. We also bring in independent software developers, guys and gals who build and design their own games and bring them to Cleveland to show to the public.”
The show will also sell raffle tickets to raise money for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland.
In addition, game fans can expect the following:
- Live music
- 100+ sellers
- FREE arcade
- Retro gaming row
- Cosplay contest
- Kids zone
- Indie game developers
- Special guests
The event is intended for guests of all ages. Tickets start at just $20. Doors open Saturday at noon and the Gaming Classic continues through the evening, closing at 10pm