SAAM Arcade

A free, family-friendly annual event for gamers of all levels

SAAM Arcade

Join us on August 3-4, 2019 from 11:30 AM to 7 PM for games, good times, and more!

SAAM is turning into an arcade! Enjoy two days of play with a free, family-friendly annual event for gamers of all levels. Join us on August 3-4, 2019 from 11:30AM to 7PM for games, good times, and more.


Saturday, August 3 & Sunday, August 4
11:30AM – 7PM

  • Keynote talk by Tanya DePass, founder of I Need Diverse Games, Saturday, August 3 at 6PM

Throughout the weekend:

  • Play 13 games in the Indie Developer Showcase, and talk shop with the developers themselves
  • Play games on vintage consoles and arcade cabinets from MAGFest, Arcades4Home, and Death by Audio Arcade
  • Borrow traditional table-top board games from WashingCon’s board game library
  • Step back into a 1980s living room and play new games created for old consoles by Mega Cat Studios
  • Join in the conversation on Instagram and Twitter using #SAAMArcade

Plan Your Visit

Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20001

About SAAM Arcade:

The fifth annual SAAM Arcade is on August 3 & 4, 2019. This free, family-friendly event invites gamers of all levels to test out new games and replay some of the classics. SAAM Arcade features arcade cabinets, console games, and a selection of indie games centered around a particular theme. This year's theme, “breaking barriers,” showcases projects that recognize and relish the diversity of gaming audiences, allowing a wide-array of players to see themselves and their interests reflected on screen.

At SAAM, we believe that video games are a medium that has a great capacity for expanding the way Americans tell and experience stories. We also believe that this potential will only be fully realized when game makers, players, characters, companies and cultures are diverse and when all participants receive equitable and respectful treatment within these communities. This year, SAAM Arcade strives to highlight traditionally underrepresented segments within the gaming world by celebrating diversity within this artistic medium.

ASL (American sign language) interpreters will be available to assist guests. Ask at the information table in the Kogod Courtyard.

This is the logo for SAAM Arcade in blue.

On the Blog

Eye Level, June 27, 2019, "SAAM Arcade: Breaking Barriers"
Eye Level, July 11, 2019, “SAAM Arcade: Empathy in Gaming

About the Keynote Talk

Tanya DePass: Barriers Are Meant to be Destroyed, Not Just Broken
Saturday, August 3, 6PM

Learn about diversity in the gaming industry from Tanya DePass, founder of the non-profit organization I Need Diverse Games, who presents a keynote talk that explores the theme of this year’s SAAM Arcade, “breaking barriers.” DePass explains how video games fit into unconventional spaces such as art museums, and expands upon how programs like SAAM Arcade serve as a critical aid to promote this idea. More information about the keynote talk and DePass can be found on our calendar of events. The talk will be available via webcast.

Applications for inclusion in the 2019 event have closed.

Contact Us

For more information, email us at


SAAM Arcade is made possible with generous support from Annette L. Nazareth and Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Director’s Circle members, and the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. In-kind support provided by Intel. Media sponsorship provided by the Washington City Paper.

A logo for the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative