Smithsonian American Art Museum Hosts 11th Annual SAAM Arcade 2024

Popular Free Public Event Highlights Innovative Video Games That Explore Travel and Adventure 

The Smithsonian American Art Museum presents its annual exploration of video games and art, SAAM Arcade 2024, Saturday, July 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. This program is part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to the study and interpretation of video games as part of the national visual culture.

This year, the popular celebration of creativity and innovation in games focuses on the theme of “Adventure Awaits.” This daylong event features video games that celebrate the theme of travel, exploration and the exciting possibilities of visiting real and imagined new worlds. The centerpiece of the event is the independent developer showcase, which this year features nine games. In addition,  MAGFest, a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of games and video game music, is providing a variety of classic arcade and console games featuring cars, travel and new worlds to play.

The titles selected for the “Indie Showcase” include:
•     “Hair Nah” by Momo Pixel, reflecting on the experience of Black women while traveling
•     “A Highland Song” by inkle, set in the Scottish Highlands, where players test their survival skills
•    “Atuel” by Matajuegos, focuses on the ecosystem of Argentina’s Atuel River Valley
•    “Skábma-Snowfall” by Red Stage Entertainment, where players transform from Sámi reindeer herders to traditional healers
•     “Sophia The Traveler” by Memo Gogo Studio, explores Venice, Italy
•    “Journey” by thatgamecompany, navigates a desert and the remains of a forgotten civilization 
•     “Spiritfarer” by Thunder Lotus Games, where players travel by sea and become ferry masters, caring for and befriending spirits on their way to the afterlife
•    “Isles of Sea and Sky” by Cicada Games, where castaway survivors journey across ancient islands
•    “Morgan: Metal Detective” by Studio Morgan, where players discover lost treasures on an island through metal detector work

From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the sound levels in the space will be reduced so attendees with sensory needs can enjoy the offerings, and throughout the program, noise-cancelling headphones will be available to borrow. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be available during the program so Deaf visitors may fully engage with the game offerings. 

Musical performances by Triforce Quartet will be at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. A special themed scavenger hunt will be available so visitors can explore the museum’s galleries and connect video games to objects in the museum’s collection. An additional activity created by the museum is Side Quest, a game where participants ask developers questions and win prizes. Detailed event information and a full list of the featured games are available on the museum’s website. This program is free, but registration is encouraged.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is a leader in exploring the impact and artistry of video games and was one of the first art museums in the United States to acquire video games as part of its permanent collection. Video games create compelling participatory and social spaces, imagined by artists and designers and activated by players whose individual interactions are uniquely required to complete the experience. SAAM Arcade emphasizes this aspect of video game appreciation by encouraging hands-on engagement and in-person exchanges among independent developers, gamers and new audiences. 


SAAM Arcade is made possible in part by support from the Albert H. Small Endowment.

About the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the flagship museum in the United States for American art and craft. It is home to one of the most significant and inclusive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s main building, located at Eighth and G streets N.W., is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check online for current hours and admission information. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

Press Images

A father and son play a classic arcade video game.
Press - SAAM Arcade 2024

Photo by Norwood Photography