BitBash 2014—Chicago

You guys, I had the most wonderful weekend at BitBash and I’m so excited to share my experience with you! BitBash is an indie gaming festival, and I can’t speak highly enough of this event and it’s organizers. Before I dive into the details of the event, you might be wondering what a primarily print and brand designer was doing at an indie gaming festival.

Growing up, my parents used to take me to various craft fairs, art shows, and museums to support the work of local artisans (even though no one in my family is particularly artistic). As a result, supporting local artists, creators, and go-getters chasing their dreams has become very important to me. There is nothing I appreciate more than people who are so passionate about their craft that they are willing to do whatever it takes to bring their projects to fruition, even if it means creating something that isn’t even profitable. I think that’s a big part of why I’ve fallen in love with the zine community as well, but that’s a story for another day.

Needless to say, when I heard about BitBash, I knew that this was an event that I absolutely couldn’t pass up. I have such a passion for supporting creatives and a sincere love of video games (fun fact: I’m actually a PC gaming nerd!) which made this event all the more enjoyable! Up until just a couple of years ago, I had been playing indie games without realizing just how much work is put into creating them, let alone the fact that many are created by solo individuals or what seem like impossibly small teams. After watching Indie Game: The Movie (and crying because I was so moved by the developers dedication—yes, I seriously cried), I became just that more obsessed with indie games.

Attending BitBash was such an incredible experience for not only the people attending but also for the designers/developers who watched as droves of people crowded around computers and consoles alike to play their games which such enthusiasm. To add the exciting atmosphere AIGA Chicago had a poster display featuring video game inspired risoprinted posters created by local designers (I’m still bummed I didn’t hear about this opportunity sooner—next time!). I even purchased the lovely print above from Liz Gollner (I couldn’t find a link to her work anywhere—sorry!).

You can view all of the posters from the show here

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To top it off, Arcade Brewing served up some excellent beer—free of charge, no less! I also just want to take a minute to comment on how much I love their beer labels as well. Aren’t these just spectacular?

Design by Matthew Skiff

Anyway, this event was truly wonderful in the sense that it really was completely focused on “the little guys”, the people pursuing passion projects until the wee hours of the morning simply because it’s what they want to do. From the video game developers, to the local designers, to even the brand new brewery in town, you could practically feel the determination in the air. These are the people who inspire me most, and I feel so honored to have spent my time in their presence, supporting their hard work. Hat’s off to all those involved in this wonderful event!

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