Smithsonian Introduces One-Day Video Game Program, Indie Arcade

Smithsonian American Art Museum will host a video game exhibit featuring games from the mid-Atlantic region. Indies from the Middle will be a free one-day event for the entire family.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum will once again be featuring video games. On December 7th, 2014 from 1pm-7pm, visitors can experience games from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States in a one-day program: Indie Arcade. The International Game Developer's Association (IGDA), The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and American University's Game Lab are teaming up to create this program.

The program will be interactive. Visitors will be able to play classic arcade games for free - from Donkey Kong, to Pac Man, to Asteriods. Additionally, ARTLab+ will show how to build games, while the Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. chapters of the IGDA will reveal new games from independent artists. The IGDA allowed game designers to submit their work on its page for the program here

Miss this? You could play arcade games again


"From the game developer perspective, our goal with this event is to bring attention to indie games in our local areas and better interface with the public about the types of games we make."

Chris Totten, IGDA's Washington, D.C. chairperson

The stated goal of the event is to inspire other game development groups to have showcases in their regions. As American University Game Lab's game artist in residence, Totten also wants to educate others on how to make games and how the industry works. In his eyes, the game market could only benefit from more diversity and accessibility.

"Hopefully this is all a precursor to further game-related collaborations down the line -- it’s a good time to be a gamer in DC."
-Kaylin Lapan, Smithsonian's Public Programs Coordinator

This is not the first time that the Smithsonian has highlighted video games. In 2012, The Art of Video Games was introduced. This exhibit explored the concept of video games as a type of narrative art. Kaylin Lapan, the museum's public programs coordinator, said that The Art of Video Games was important to the museum, not only for adding video games to the museum's inventory, but by bringing in a younger demographic. She appreciates the gamer community, and wants to continue building a relationship with it, possibly with more exhibits and programs. 

Indeed, it does seem to be a good time to be a gamer. If you're in the Washington, D.C. area on December 7th, make sure to check out the Indie Arcade! 


Writer, Photographer, Foodie. The Nintendo 64 was my first love, but RPGs have quickly taken over my life. I complete every side quest and play every character, but let's be real- HK-47 from KotOR is my absolute favorite.

Published Nov. 3rd 2014
    If anyone else is interested in another gaming event coming up here's one :)
  • Trevor W.
    I wish this was better advertised... Luckily one of my good friends told me about it the day before so I was able to attend.

    Is there a mailing list that I could join that could alert me to events like this in the future?
  • Christina Virginia
    Featured Contributor
    Awesome, thank you for sharing! The SI did an excellent job presenting the 2012 exhibit, so I'm very excited to check this event out.

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