Picture This: SAAM Arcade 2017

Jeff on August 8, 2017
Indie developers held court in SAAM's Kogod Courtyard. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.

This past weekend, SAAM celebrated all that is good about video games when it hosted its annual SAAM Arcade. Almost 20,000 attended the two-day event held in the museum's Kogod Courtyard and throughout the museum. This is the third year SAAM has held this event as part of an ongoing initiative to showcase video games as an important part of our visual culture as well as study at the museum.

More than 40 student and professional developers participated in our "Indie Showcase" and visitors got to play classic games such as pinball, "Centipede," "Asteroids," "Pac-Man," and "Donkey Kong." Game-building and coding workshops were conducted by Boolean Girl and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Meanwhile, in the museum's McEvoy Auditorium, musical groups Bit Brigade and Triforce Quartet performed songs inspired by classic video games. Here are some photos from the event:


Dance Dance Revolution

The Great Hall and SAAM's Luce Center were arcade game central with pinball machines, and games like "Street Fighter" and "Dr. Mario." Two visitors try out "Dance Dance Revolution." Photo by Daniel Schwartz.


Boys and Girls Youth Esports League Championship

The Boys and Girls Club Youth Esports League Championship with NRG's Nairo. NRG is one of electronic sports' most successful teams. Last year, top Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada joined the team. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.



A young player experiences the non-stop trip as a shapeshifting bird in a voxel three-dimensional world of the Norwegian game, Fugl. Photo by Daniel Schwartz.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation supported SAAM Arcade. Arcade cabinets, pinball machines, and consoles were provided by MAGFest, Death by Audio Arcade, Arcades4Home, and CrabTowne USA. The Washington City Paper was the official media sponsor for this program.