About Bit Bash
Bit Bash takes great pride in creating an environments focused on positivity, and exposing the public to lesser-known video games in a safe and inclusive environment. We strive to make video games accessible for everyone, putting Chicago on the map as an amazing place to be in the indie games community.
Bit Bash at MSIFriday, August 17th and Saturday, August 18th, 2019
Museum of Science and Industry
This year, Bit Bash is back and bigger and better than ever, bringing a selection of more than 50 handpicked and highly curated games from around the globe, culminating in a two day festival at the Museum of Science and Industry. Centered around pushing the boundaries of the games medium and demonstrating the expression and joy that only interactive art can cultivate, the games and experiences at this year’s festival focus around a re-imagined wonderous techno-future that feels like a high-tech lo-fi world dreams are made of. Many of the games are not commercially available, or were designed specifically for this event, making Bit bash at MSI an experience that cannot be had anywhere else.
Bit Bash will be taking place at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere, and for the first time will be a two day festival, giving attendees an opportunity to explore all of the surprises Bit Bash has to offer, stacked in every nook and cranny of the west wing of the museum. This year’s festival will also include two days of newly designed field games that will make you wonder why you ever played something as boring as tag, a collection of custom built electronic hardware creations that spark tactile joy you won’t find anywhere else, a room full of tabletop designers, tournaments, screenings, crowd-based experiences and more.
Bit Bash at MSI is amplifies a sense of game-induced playfulness and whimsy while cultivating community, bringing people together from all different backgrounds into a welcoming, unintimidating environment.
Bit Bash at MSI: Quick Facts
|Dates & Times||Saturday, August 17
9:30am – Family Preview
11:00am – Doors Open
5:30pm – Night Party / Museum Closed
Midnight – Closed
Sunday, August 18
11:00am – 4:30pm
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S Lake Shore Drive
|Games||More than 50 games from around the world|
Bit Bash Presents: FABRICADE
Bit Bash, Chicago’s Interactive Arts Festival, brought people together for an evening to celebrate innovations in interactive games and art from around the world. With more than 75 percent of the event rooted in showcasing custom, electronic hardware-centric games, Fabricade culminated in a myriad of artfully curated experiences that literally cannot be had anywhere else.
While many of our past Bit Bash events have included a hardware and physical games component, the theme and space for this event allowed us to amp it up, bringing in more world-class, handcrafted experimental games than ever before. Because these games are hardware-dependant and not available for any commercial purchase, it’s incredibly rare to be able to have the opportunity to experience the games we had on-hand at Fabricade.
Designed to push the expansive boundaries of games, players tinkered with alternative controllers, experienced the thrill of large multiplayer experiences, and enjoyed the sense of community and camaraderie that makes games so compelling.
Bit Bash Festival 2017
Always seeking to provide a fresh experience, Bit Bash 2017 focused on bringing back the nostalgia and whimsy of summer camp juxtaposed with unexpected, engaging, and impactful game experiences.
Striving to make the genre unintimidating and approachable while also showcasing boundary-pushing games, Bit Bash 2017 featured more than 40 games from developers around the world. This included a number of local multiplayer games designed to encourage camaraderie and social interaction as well as several others that explore relationships with nature, bringing the outside world into the digital space. We also created an outdoor game space encouraging attendees to get physical in a way the festival previously hasn’t done.
Bit Bash Presents: Filthy Pixels
Bit Bash Presents: Little Bash of Horrors
Bit Bash Festival 2016
Bit Bash 2016 happened in a new space at Revel Fulton Market, included lively and vibrant musical performances, hyped VR games, adults-only games, artful never-before-seen experiences, food trucks on-hand to provide the full summer festival experience.
Bit Bash Presents: Cool Jazz
A night celebrating video games, jazz music, and friends.
Designed to coincide with the Third Annual Train Jam, a train ride across the country from Chicago to San Francisco for the Game Developer’s Conference, Bit Bash Presents: Cool Jazz provided an opportunity for game developers from across the globe to connect and celebrate their love of indie games. Bit Bash presented Cool Jazz on February 9, 2016.
Bit Bash Festival 2015
Bit Bash is Back with a Vengeance
Bit Bash 2015 had more of everything: 50+ games, more music, more art, and three times the space. It’s our mission to put as many diverse and interesting games in front of as many diverse and interesting people as we can. (Everyone welcome, of course). It happened on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Threadless HQ in the West Loop.
Itty Bitty Bash 2015
A Tropical-Infused Party Featuring Indie Games
At Itty Bitty Bash, a party designed to bring people who love indie games together, everyone had the opportunity to bask in the beach-style atmosphere while playing 8 dynamic indie games. Created to brighten the dreary Chicago winter and celebrate the diverse indie games community, Itty Bitty Bash featured live music, great libations, and a dose of summer.
Held on Wednesday, February 25th from 7PM-12AM at the Bottom Lounge and designed to coincide with the second annual Train Jam, Itty Bitty Bash provided everyone with an opportunity to join in the warmth of friends new and old from around the world, who also share a love for indie games. Tickets were limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bit Bash Festival 2014
Our Indie City Dreams
This festival of 30+ unique videogames, hand-picked by Chicago-based game developers also featured live music, local beer, and local art. It was on Saturday, September 6, 2014 hosted at Threadless HQ in the West Loop. From 2pm to 7pm, we offered a relaxing and inviting environment for the public to try new interactive experiences. At 7pm the event transformed into an all-out party with live music, beer and new games.
Tickets were free and we worked on a donation basis. A portion of funds raised (nearly $2,000) benefited local Children’s Hospitals through Chicago Loot Drop. We worked alongside other Chicago-based game developers, artists, and designers to make this event possible.
Presented by Threadless. Sponsored by SCEA. With support from SAIC, WarGaming West and AIGA. Refreshments by Arcade Brewery and Dark Matter Coffee.
Behind Bit Bash
Bit Bash Chicago was founded April 13, 2014. We're based in Chicago, Illinois. Bit Bash is a 100% volunteer-run committee, driven by our passion of sharing games and interactive art with Chicagoans. Bit Bash was established to further the culture of independent game development in Chicago by hosting larger, public-facing events.
Chicago Foundation for the Interactive Arts
Bit Bash operates under our fiscal sponsor, CFIA. The Chicago Foundation for the Interactive Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the interactive arts medium.
The CFIA enacts supportive programming that aims to foster the creative community; provide financial, legal, and creative support; and utilize the interactive arts medium to educate and inspire the general public.
Indie City is the umbrella for a number of Chicago-based independent game developers primarily focusing on educating and promoting independent game development in the Chicagoland area.
Indie City under the Indie City Games moniker organizes monthly meetings which feature educational and cultural talks as well as provide a venue for local developers to showcase their work. Indie City Games also hosts game jams and projects such as the Indie City Arcade, a public free to play arcade machine providing a unique way for developers to expose their games.