Can I tell you a secret? The SoCal Gaming Expo might just be the best convention you go to all year.

We here in Southern California are slightly spoiled when it comes to conventions. One of the best conventions that hits the SoCal area is the SoCal Gaming Expo. It used to be called the SoCal Retro Gaming Expo, but now they’ve dropped that retro from the title to be an all-encompassing gaming convention. Don’t fret if you’re a fan of retro games though, there’s still plenty for you. If you’re making your way out to the convention from June 8-9th in Pasadena, California, there’s a metric ton of things to do.

Tickets are still available for the show at

First off, there’s shopping. There’ll be plenty of booths selling modern, retro, collectibles, and more. The vendor booth applications were completely sold out this year, so expect a massive amount of shopping and trading to go on. That’s not the only thing that’ll be being sold though, there’s also the Video Game & Collectibles Auction going on all weekend. The auction is for charity through Extra Life LA Children’s Hospital, so you’ll be raising funds for a great cause while also getting some awesome gaming items. Here are some details about the auction.

The charity auction to benefit Extra Life LA Children’s Hospital is a heartwarming event dedicated to raising funds for a noble cause. With a focus on supporting the healthcare needs of children, particularly those facing illness and medical challenges, the auction serves as a beacon of hope and compassion within the gaming community.

Attendees can bid on a wide array of items generously donated by attendees, vendors, and sponsors ranging from rare video games to collectibles. Every dollar raised at the auction goes directly towards providing vital medical care, treatments, and support services for young patients at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, making it not only an opportunity for gamers to acquire unique items but also a chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and their families.

Besides that, there’ll be plenty of options to play games at the event. As always, they’ll have consoles set up for free play ranging from NES all the way up to modern consoles with some surprises thrown in. Here are some of the details they’ve got on what you can expect.

The console free play area at SoCal Gaming Expo is a haven for fans of all generations, offering a diverse selection of gaming consoles spanning from the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to the latest modern systems. Attendees can relive the nostalgia of their childhood by playing beloved titles like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Mega Man on original NES hardware.

Attendees can expect to see Sega Genesis, Saturns, Nintendo 64’s, Playstations, Atari just to name a few as well as maybe even some rare and unique consoles all set on free play with various games.

The gaming doesn’t stop there though. If you’re a fan of arcade games, there’ll be a full free play arcade available with machines and pinball machines for anyone.

SoCal Gaming Expo offers a nostalgic journey into the world of arcade and pinball machines, delighting attendees with a vast array of classic and modern games set on free-play mode. Walking through the expo, visitors are greeted by the sight of colorful cabinets adorned with iconic artwork and flashing lights, evoking memories of arcades past. From timeless classics like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to rare gems and modern favorites, there’s something for every gaming enthusiast to enjoy.

In addition, there may even be a range of interactive games such as Dance Dance Revolution.

One of the most enticing aspects of the expo is the opportunity for attendees to experience unlimited gameplay without the need for coins or tokens. With machines set to free play mode, guests can immerse themselves fully in the gaming experience, trying their hand at beating high scores or discovering hidden secrets without worrying about running out of credits. This fosters an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendly competition as players gather around their favorite cabinets, cheering each other on and sharing tips and tricks.

Beyond simply providing entertainment, the arcade and pinball machines at SoCal Gaming Expo serve as a testament to the enduring appeal of retro gaming. For many attendees, these games hold a special place in their hearts, representing cherished memories of childhood spent in arcades with friends and family. By offering free play access to a wide variety of games, the expo not only celebrates gaming culture but also preserves and promotes the rich history of arcade and pinball machines for future generations to enjoy.

If you’re into gaming personalities and other gaming people in the community, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for photo-ops, signings, and just hanging out. There’s a huge list of guests for the 2024 SoCal Gaming Expo.

Headlining Guests For 2024 SoCal Gaming Expo

Jason Griffith

Jason Adam Griffith is an American actor from Lakeline, Ohio. He is best known as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow the Hedgehog and Jet the Hawk from 2003 to 2010. The role began with Sonic X and ended with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. 

Pete Capella

Pete Capella is an American actor, voice actor, and stand-up comedian, who has done voice work for the English dub of the Sonic the Hedgehog series and the Sonic X anime series.

Scott Dreier

Scott is possibly best known for voiceover work including voicing Knuckles the Echidna for many years, in the Sonic the Hedgehog game series as well as starting on a number of family shows such as Harold the Herald on The Suite Life On Deck, iCarly, First Family, Malcolm in the Middle. He is also a recording artis and has performed on a variety of albums and live performances.

David Humphrey

David is the voice of Shadow The Hedgehog in Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes,  and Sonic Battle.

Ryan Bartley

Ryan Bartley has a number of credits for her voice over work both in anime and video games.  Some of her credits include “Shoko Ieiri” – Jujutsu Kaisen, “Sage” – Sonic Frontiers, “Nazamil Hildris” – Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn, and even did voice work in Street Fighter 6  and the Harry Potter: Magic Awakened video games.

James Mortellaro

Long before voicing the role of Prince Sidon in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, James D. Mortellaro spent his college internships at the Oprah Winfrey Show and Harpo Productions where he booked audience members and guests for the show. His duties also included writing and producing promotional segments for the Oprah Winfrey Show and the show’s affiliates.

He was then recruited as a producer and then copywriter at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago, Illinois. During his ten years there he established campaigns for many companies including; Miller Brewing, Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, McDonalds, GM, Reebok, and Nintendo to name a few.
James is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and has directed numerous live action commercials for high profile companies such as Disney, Nintendo, FOX Television, McDonalds, Orbitz, DeLL, Kellogg’s, and Reebok

Joe Hernandez

Joe Hernandez is the voice actor of Daruk and his descendant Yunobo in the English versions of Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. As of Tears of the Kingdom, he also voices the former Sage of Fire. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from California State University, Fullerton.[1] Hernandez also provides his voice in other Nintendo properties, such as Boucheron from Fire Emblem Engage and Darmanitan from Detective Pikachu Returns.

Heather Gonzalez

Heather Gonzalez! Yah gotta see her resume…. Wow! Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Persona 3 Reloaded, Zelda Tears of The Kingdom as Mineru, Diablo IV, Octopath Traveler as Malaya, Fallout 76, JoJos Bizarre Adventure, Pokemon Evolutions as Zuki, Monster Hunter Rise, Pokemon Masters, Phantasy Star Online 2 and Mannon and SOOO much more!

Sean Crisden

Sean Crisden is the voice actor for Ink Bendy and Beast Bendy in Bendy and The Dark Revival..  Sean has been a professional voice actor since 2006.  Sean also performed as a vocalist and guitar player in the prog rock band Divided Sky for nearly 10 years.

Dave Rivas

Known for “Joey Drew” in Bendy and the Dark Revival, Dave has been acting on microphones, stages and on camera all over Beautiful Southern California for over 15 years.  Dave specializes in characters, character voices, comedy & impressions and had a long list of voice credits to his name.

Erin Lehn

Erin is a voice actress and actor known for “Audrey Drew” in Bendy and the Dark Revival, and Christine Tucker in the TV series “Stalked” 

Sandy Fox

Sandy is an American voice actress who has had numerous roles in various animated cartoon, anime and video games. She portrayed the live-action Betty Boop and has provided her voice for Universal Studios and King Features Syndicate for much of their promotional activities and related media and merchandise from 1991 to 2018. She began voice acting on various animated shows such as The Simpsons, King of the Hill and Futurama. Her first major roles in anime were as Kiyoko in the Animaze dub of Akira and Lady Aska in Magic Knight Rayearth. Other anime characters include Mina and Momiji in Naruto, Sumomo in Chobits, Tachikoma in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Paiway in Vandread. In video game franchises, she provides the English voice of Mistral and A-20 in the .hack series, Peashy in Hyperdimension Neptunia, and Flonne in Disgaea. In cartoons, she voices Harmony in Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi and Mipsy Mipson in As Told by Ginger. In 2014, she was announced as the voice of Chibiusa/Black Lady/Sailor Chibi Moon in the Viz Media dubs of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal!!

Jon St Jon

Jon St. John is an American voice actor, former radio personality and ordained minister. He is best known for his voice roles such as Duke Nukem in the Duke Nukem video game series and Big the Cat and E-123 Omega in the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise

Phoenix Resale

Welcome Phoenix Resale @phoenixresale! SoCal Gaming Expo is pleased to have the man who is responsible for more hater Hanks in the world! The money man himself! Naaaaah Caleb is the one of the greatest and most honest people in the entire scene! We welcome Caleb! We are excited to have you!

Retro Rick

Retro Rick is always on the hunt for all things 80s & 90s nostalgia! From the movies, toys and games he’s dedicated his channel to the simpler times of the past. His channel primarily focuses on live game/toy hunting at flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales and his game store taking the viewer along on the journey! 

Pat the NES Punk

Pat Contri is a game historian, collector, and online content producer best known for Pat the NES Punk, Flea Market Madness, and The Video Game Years. He is the executive producer of Not for Resale: A Video Game Store Documentary and has authored two books: Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library and Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library.

Gaming off the Grid

SoCal Gaming Expo would like to welcome Gaming off the Grid @gaminoffthegrid! These two are the guys that make you feel like you can just be you! Sit back, drink a beer, talk games, and just freaking enjoy being nerds. We welcome Robert and Wes!

Chase After the Right Price

We would like to welcome Chase after the Right Price @chaseaftertherightprice to SoCal Gaming Expo! Chase is a legend in the retro gaming community and easily one of the nicest dudes and Youtubers you will ever meet! Welcome in Chase! We look forward to seeing you and the crew!

Jaws (Aaron Homoki)

We welcome in Jaws (aaron Homoki) @aaronjawshomoki to SoCal Gaming Expo! That’s right Jaws will be performing live with skate demos on our TMNT movie ramp next to all our skateboarding video games tournament areas! Jaws is one of the GNARLIEST skateboarders to ever grace this earth! Oh and we have more skaters to announce so be ready! Also Jaws dabbles in Tetris as a contestant for years! We welcome JAWS!!!

David Loy

David will be performing on our TMNT halfpipe and is professional skateboarder! His current sponsors are BIRDHOUSE // ACTIVE // KRUX // RICTA // MOB GRIP // GLASSY // DIAMOND // BONES SWISS! We promise you will love the show!

Shawn Hale

Shawn is one of the professional skateboarders for our live skate demo! Shawn is currently sponsored by BIRDHOUSE // INDEPENDENT // ORBS  // NEW BALANCE  // GLASSY // BONES SWISS // MOB GRIP // FLATBAR ENERGY
This pro demo will be freeeeaking amazing! 

Joe Whyte

Whyte started working at Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1995, and worked as a modeler and voiceover artist there until 2010. He is best known for voicing Chris Redfield in Resident Evil: The Remake, but has also had voices in many Disney animated films, including Tarzan, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons and Prep and Landing, among others.

Peter Jessop

known for his video game voice acting. He is known for the voice of Sovereign in Mass Effect, the voice of Miraak, the primary antagonist of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dragonborn DLC, and the voice of Paladin Danse from the video game Fallout 4. He also voices the male exo player character in Destiny 2.

Heidi Anderson

Known for her wonderful and ICONIC role as the voice of Jill Valentine from Resident Evil.  She also provided the voice for the minor female newscaster in the same game.  Heidi also provided voice-work for another Capcom game, Killer7, voicing Samantha Smith.

Hope Levy

She voiced Rebecca Chambers in Resident Evil (2002) and has done so much work! Some others include Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, The SpongeBob movie, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Wolfenstein II, and more!  Hope is proud to say she voiced the “Deer” in Jordan Peele’s Academy Award-winning, “Get Out”! She recorded her best selling 45 “Hope and her Friends” at age seven and was the host of the Bay Area TV show “Just Kidding” for Kron Channel 4. She was in the West Coast premiere of Les Miserables, (as “Eponine”) and has performed at the Hollywood Bowl in both “Showboat” and “Music Man”. She originated the role of Mary Bland in the West Coast premiere of Eating Raoul, The Musical, directed by Scott Wittman. She can be heard singing “Welcome to Duloc” in DreamWorks, Shrek! 

Richard Epcar

He is most known for…well.. A LOT! How about Raiden from MK…The killer JOKER VOICE from Unjustice…how about from JoJos Bizarre Adventure…or AKUMA from Street Fighter! Or 1,200 more! What a talent!

Lex Lang

Lex has done so many amazing things (one of our favorites is ALL his amazing work in Crash Bandicoot as Dr. Neo Cortex) Yah gotta love him as Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre too!

John Eric Bentley

John has done a number of amazing roles! One of our personal favorites is John’s role as the voice of Barret from Final Fantasy! Go ahead and pull up John’s name on IMDB and read yourself a novel of amazing work!

Scott Whyte

In 2020, Whyte became the new voice of Crash Bandicoot in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. In 2021, he also became the new voice of Captain Qwark in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Also known for his role as Chris Anderson on City Guys, he has also appeared in television series such as That ’70s Show and Just Shoot Me! and the films D2: The Mighty Ducks and its sequel, D3, as different characters

Blue Scuti

We would love to welcome Blue Scuti @bluescuti1771 to Socal Gaming Expo! Blue Scuti, from Stillwater, Oklahoma, has been making waves in the world of Tetris. In December of 2023, he became the first person to reach the true killscreen of NES Tetris. With lightning-fast reflexes and unwavering dedication, Blue Scuti is on a quest to become the Tetris World Champion.

The Pixel Game Squad

The Pixel Game Squad had been hunting all things retro long before it was cool to do. The squad finds the rare and odd items most are unwilling to dig and get dirty for, as cool as these items are, the squad takes pride in their journeys. The fun is all in the hunt according to the crew. The Pixel Game Squad is made up of Riff and Ricky (the roots of the show and still going strong) and has since expanding to other members.


Happily married couple reliving their childhood through video games, retro toys, vhs, and laserdisc and their Youtube Channel

Mort “Mort’s Garage”

Bursting out of the YouTube gates in early 2022, Mort’s Garage is the place for fans of videogames…and also people who hate videogames too. Mort’s channel has a wide variety of content from game hunting videos, antiques roadshow style appraisals, vendor perspective VLOGS, and a high emphasis on inspiring creative expression.  Above all, Mort is in love with art, having played in an award-winning band and being a published film critic hosting interviews with well known directors, filmmakers, and actors. If you want to end up on camera for his channel, make sure to visit his booth and show off your finds and pick-ups – he’ll be filming all weekend long!

John Riggs

Content creator who became best known for his popular Rigg’d Games YouTube channel. His tutorials on how to edit NES cartridges and fix broken video games have earned him over 190,000 subscribers.

NESComplex (Chris Woodside)

Educator, Historian, and YouTuber

Chris is the writer and editor of the “Declassified” YouTube series as well as numerous dry-witted, nostalgia-packed retrospectives about the golden age of gaming. As a teacher with a BA in History and an MA signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris blends his passion for history with his love of games to craft documentary style videos about the most popular games of the past!


Content Creator / Musician / Gamer / Photographer Tofer.A will be hosting a the panel “Tofer.A Remembers; the secret to creating great game content”

Chris Tang

Game developer and eSports personality Chris Tang is the iconic commentary voice of the Classic Tetris World Championship as seen on ESPN and online with tens of millions of views, and stars in the Netflix Original Series “HIGH SCORE”. As a competitive gamer, Chris holds titles such as “Rock the Rock” Sega World Champion, Nintendo World Championships Los Angeles City Champion, and Hawaii State Nintendo Champion just to name a few. Chris was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in 2017, and was the first person to receive the Classic Tetris Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022.

Competitive gaming success led Chris to a career in game development with credits that include beloved favorites such as “Gauntlet IV”, “Primal Rage”, “Marvel Vs. Capcom”, “Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike”, “Tetris” – and is the game designer of the infamously cancelled “Primal Rage II”, which Engadget proclaimed “2017’s hottest new fighting game”. Now an indie developer, he is involved in several projects and is the Senior Game Designer of “STRIKE BLAZINGER”, a high-speed spiritual successor to arcade-style rail shooters. Passionate about gaming history and culture, Chris can be seen in many films and documentaries, is a featured writer for Old School Gamer Magazine, and is an alumni speaker at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco


Blake is a young legend in the collecting scene! Blake has more knowledge about the retro scene than many and is far more mature in the game than his age dictates! He is also a member of The Pixel Game Squad. When you meet Blake you need to ask him his true age. He’s either 16 or 68…nobody can tell. Welcome in the king of dirty collecting

Shaun Weiss

Shaun has appeared in some of the greatest movies of all time such as The Mighty Ducks movies, Heavyweights, a role in Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and so much more!


Davidvinc is your go to guy for everything JRPG related, whether you want to hear about new games, retro games, or just spill the tea over all the drama that’s going on, David’s got you covered!


Dusty had been a long part of Pixel Game Squad but also a member and star on Storage Wars! You HAVE to come say hi to Dusty! He will also be selling so make sure and let him NAIL you! It’s his dream to highball everyone in the community and get you to pay as much as possible!

Russ Lyman

Russ is a long time creator on YouTube and MEGA lover of all things Nintendo! Russ has been a solid core part of the retro gaming community since the early days! Come say hi and ask to see pictures of his real life Mario Kart!

Ashley “Hustle At Home Mom”

Ashley is one of the most knowledgeable resellers out there! She started in video games and now crushes all categories! Don’t let the reselling fool you, Ashley has a SERIOUS passion for all things videos games! Some of her favorite games are Zelda Ocarina Of Time and SuperSpike V-Ball! Come say hi and whatever you do…don’t ask her is she has beat Battletoads yet! Welcome Hustle At Home Mom! A TRUE ray of sunshine and wonderful human being!

“Suncake Mooncake

With their unparalleled expertise and passion for all things cosplay, SuncakeMooncake brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity to our judging panel. From intricate costumes to flawless character portrayal, they know exactly what it takes to stand out in the cosplay world.

The Game Bois

This team of retro hunters have some of the most well made videos on YouTube in the scene! Do yourself a massive favor and check out their videos and make sure you come say hi and help them find some grails!

Steve “The Vintnerd”

Steve is the “Vintage Technology Nerd” creating retro computer videos on YouTube for Atari, Radio Shack TRS-80, Commodore, TRS-80 CoCo, TI-99/4A, Microvision, and much more!

Jeffrey Wittenhagen

Jeffrey Wittenhagen is an avid retro video game collector, podcaster, and modern games physical publisher. As an author, Jeff has written multiple award winning gaming books, including the Kickstarter smash hit The Complete NES, the Switch Collector series, and is an NES Aftermarket/Homebrew guru with a huge collection of interesting items. He also hosts convention panels and conducts industry talks all across the world.

As founder and head of physical production for Premium Edition Games, the company’s goal is to create the best quality physical releases that truly capture the developer’s vision. Jeff is always working on tons of projects in the gaming community and puts forth a lot of passion behind them. Keeping things personal and grass roots is extremely important as a lot is lost when things become too commercialized.

Rated R For Ray

As unique and fun as her name, Rated R for Ray has been cosplaying and bringing characters to life since 2015.  She is best known for her Resident Evil cosplays and being the biggest Leon Kennedy simp.  With creative costumes and a positive attitude, she brings to life accurate and amazing characters. 

Finally, there’s a huge panel schedule that you can check out here!

Any fan of gaming should find something cool to do at the SoCal Gaming Expo in Pasadena from June 8th-9th. Grab your tickets now!

For more on Gaming, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

Keep Reading: