SAAM Arcade

The SAAM Arcade (formerly Indie Arcade: Coast to Coast) is an annual event hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its partners. 

The event highlights the groundbreaking work of video game developers, provides educational tools and fosters creativity for the future of video games.

A central component of the event is the “Indie Showcase” that features a variety of independent games created by both professional and student developers. It was originally organized by Chris Totten, Lindsay Grace and Kaylan Lapan.

Please visit the 2017, 2016 and 2014 sections for past events. Or visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum's website for events after 2017.

The event is supported by:

Smithsonian American Art Museum
The American University Game Lab
The International Game Developer's Association DC Chapter (IGDA)
Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
Art Lab+

Information about the previous events is located here:
2017 SAAM Arcade
2016 Indies Coast to Coast
2014 Indies in the Middle


Indie Arcade Logo

The event is organized in partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum with support from American University Game Lab and Magfest.

From 2014-2017 the independent games portion was organized by Chris Totten, Lindsay Grace and Kaylin Lapan.

Judge Panel:

Jerry Belich (Miami University, College of Creative Arts )

Callen Shaw (Omega Games)

Jo Summers (Profaniti LTD, Global Game Jam)

Olli Tapio Leino (City University of Hong Kong, School of Creative Media)

Farhad Javidi (Central Piedmont Community College)

James Portnow (Divide by Zero, Rainmaker Games)

Joshua Jennings (Hookbang)

2016 Organizers, Judges and Volunteers


2016 Event Day Volunteers :


Workshop 1: 3D Character Design with Unity

Workshop 2: Video Game Sound Design with Audacity

Workshops:Technical support:

American University Game Lab:


Smithsonian American Art Museum:

Virtual Reality Station Coordinators

Load-in Coordinator

2014 Organizers and Volunteers

  • IGDA Baltimore: Tronster Hartley
  • IGDA Philadelphia: Matt Brenner
  • News, Info & Press

    Located at 8th and F Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA
    Cost: Free (really! you don't even need quarters!)

    The first Indie Arcade was December 7th, 2014, titled Indie Arcade: Indies in the Middle

    Get the book!
    Indie Arcade Coast to Coast Book Cover Your guide to the 2015/2016 Indie Arcade event. Inside, you will find screenshots and other artwork for each game, as well as information from the developers themselves on their artistic goals for their work. Includes websites and Twitter handles for the artists and their games. Available for $11 in black and white or $25 for full color on

    Click to download Digital e-Flyer for 2016

    In the News (2017)

    In the News (2016)

    The Electronic Software Association: (ESA): American Art Museum Indie Arcade

    Washington Post:The Hotlist: 11 things to see, eat, drink and do in January 2016

    Tech Void: Annual Indie Arcade Hosted at American University's Game Lab

    Gamasutra: Smithsonian now accepting applications for second 'indie arcade'

    In the News (2015)

    Gamasutra: Smithsonian plans pop-up arcade for December

    Brightest Young ThingsIndie Arcade at Smithsonian American Art Museum

    DC InnoAU Game Lab Opened a Video Game Arcade at the Smithsonian Over the Holidays

    Washington PostFree and Easy HOLIDAZE, Artfete and Indie Arcade

    New Gamer NationSmithsonian American Art Museum Hosts Indie Arcade

    2015, Indies in the Middle site