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.

Current Event

Bit Bash Presents: Initiation

Wednesday, March 14th
1st Ward at Chop Shop, Chicago

Bit Bash, Chicago’s Interactive Arts Festival, is bringing people together for an evening to celebrate games from around the world as they enter into a secret (but-not-actually-secret-at-all, please-tell-everyone-you-know) society. With 9 interactive experiences and games from 8 countries, Initiation showcases interactive experiences that are timely, novel, and centered on a world stage.

Focused around experiences that are thematically compelling, Initiation highlights games that explore the role of surveillance in society, tackle uncovering secret events going on behind the scenes, and examine what you’ll do when put in precarious situations, in an immersive and playful manner.

While seemingly counterintuitive, the secret society theme is concentrated around a key element of what makes games exhilarating: cultivating a sense of community and camaraderie. Emphasizing shared experiences that encourage inclusivity, Initiation highlights games and interactive multi-player experiences that encourage thought-provoking conversation and cultivates a social gaming experience you can only find at a Bit Bash event.

Some of the games we’ll have featured at Initiation include:

Bit Bash Presents: Initiation Quick Facts:

DateWednesday, March 14th
Time7-11 PM
Location1st Ward at Chop Shop
2033 W North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
Games9 Games from 8 countries
Drinks & EatsAvailable for purchase at Chop Shop

Past Events

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.

Visual Assets

Check out our Tumblr for photos and corresponding photo credits. Please contact us for additional image assets.


Behind Bit Bash

Organizing Committee

Bit Bash Chicago was founded April 13, 2014. We're based in Chicago, Illinois. Many of our volunteers met via Indie City. Bit Bash was established to further the culture of independent game development in Chicago by hosting larger, public-facing events.

Indie City Collective

The driving entity behind Bit Bash, Indie City Collective, is a non-profit formed by Ryan Wiemeyer to make Chicago a better place to make games.

Our first venture was establishing the Indie City Co-op in 2013; a co-working space which provides low-cost office space for independent developers giving them the freedom to work outside of home and collaborate.

Indie City

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.