“When is the Bit Bash Festival at the Museum of Science & Industry?” by S.M. O’Connor

The interactive arts festival Bit Bash is coming to the Museum of Science and Industry (M.S.I.) for the first time in 2019.  According to Bit Bash’s Organizing Committee, Bit Bash is Chicago’s “Alternative Games Festival” and a “showcase [of] an international collection of lesser known but culturally significant video games.”  This is an opportunity to play more than fifty curated indie (independently developed) video games.

The M.S.I. stated this is chance to “Get hands-on in a relaxing and approachable atmosphere for all ages as you experience unique controllers and hardware, the thrill of multiplayer games, and experiences you can’t play at home that push the expansive boundaries of games.  Celebrate long into the night with drinks, live events, tournaments and a thousand of your new best friends.”

Bit Bash at M.S.I. will be on the third weekend of August (Saturday, August 17, 2019 and Sunday, August 18, 2019).  The event will take place on the Main Level in the West Pavilion from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on Saturday and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Tickets will go on sale at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.  Tickets are $20 and cover both Bit Bash and Museum Entry (general admission).  A cash bar will open at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Founded on Sunday, April 13, 2014, many of the volunteers at Chicago-based Bit Bash met at the Indie City Games.  A co-working space where video games are made and developed, Indie City Collective, founded Bit Bash.

Indie City Collective stated, “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 is the umbrella for a number of Chicago-based interactive programmers primarily focusing on educating and promoting independent game development in the Chicagoland area.

Indie City Games 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.

According to Bit Bash’s Organizing Committee, “Our goal is to promote games that either can’t be played at home, have unique controllers or experiences, or promote community or an artistic statement.  Proceeds go to our fiscal sponsor Chicago Foundation for the Interactive Arts so we can host more rad events, and help us cover entry for kids under 13 and at-risk youth.”

The Website of Bit Bash Chicago is https://BitBashChicago.com.  One can follow it on Twitter at @BitBashChicago.

Often stylized as the “Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago” or the “Museum of Science + Industry” the institution is located at the northern end of the Chicago Park District’s Jackson Park, on the south side of 57th Street, between Lake Shore Drive to the east and Cornell Drive to the west, in the East Hyde Park neighborhood of the Hyde Park Community Area (Community Area #41) on the South Side of Chicago.

Normally, the M.S.I. is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  However, it will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Saturday, June 22, 2019 through Sunday, June 30, 2019.  The address is 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637.  The Website is https://www.msichicago.org/ and the phone number is (773) 684-1414.

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