Participants gather around computers at the Smithsonian Indie Arcade exhibit.

4 Ways to Build Your Gaming Network in Washington DC

Not only is Washington DC home to American University’s game design program, it has a ton of meet-ups and events for gamers outside of the classroom. If you are looking for a way to show off your creation or just hang out with fellow gamers, the Washington DC area’s vibrant gaming culture ensures that you can always find others with the same interesting.

Check out our list of some gaming community events in the area!

District Arcade

If you are a DC area video game developer looking to show off your games, the District Arcade is a can’t miss event and free for all attendees. In August 2016, the District Arcade set up shop in Bravo! Bravo! for an all day Saturday event focused on showcasing new, experimental indie video games from the DC area. Play your own game with fellow DC area gamers and see what they like about it – or discover ways to improve it! It’s a recurring event, so stay tuned for more updates on the IGDA DC website as it comes in.


Chris Totten presents at MagfestChances are, if you are tuned in to the gaming community in the DC area, you have heard of (or attended) MAGFest, the Music and Gaming Festival. MAGFest is a celebration of video games and video game music held annually in the DC area since 2002. It’s a non-profit event for East Coast gamers run by fans for fans, so the focus is really on the celebration and appreciation of the community. As we’ve noted in previous blogs, AU’s own Chris Totten and Lindsay Grace have sat on panels for the event in the past. Get more information and the dates for the next MAGFest on the website!

NoVa Game Fest

The NoVa Game Fest focuses on STEM activities and careers along with traditional gaming. This offers attendees a broad look at gaming in general and the different ways in which gaming can create positive change and solve problems in the world. Attend the NoVa Game Fest to not only see some new games, but also to really learn about how gaming and STEM are evolving together. The 2017 NoVa Game Fest’s date has not been released yet but will be announced on the website, so stay tuned!

Various Meet-ups: Gaming in Public, Coders and Keggers, Unity3D

Along with the more established events listed above, the Washington DC area also has a lot of informal meet-ups for gamers and people interested in learning more about games in general. Check out Gaming in Public, CDK: Coder/Designer Keggers and Unity 3D. Gaming in Public is for people looking to meet new friends and gamers in the DC area. Coders and Keggers welcomes game developers and more (of legal drinking age) who want to relax outside of work with fellow “coders, hackers, graphic designers, programmers, technologist and entrepreneurs.” Unity3D focuses on learning, talking about and sharing tips and tricks for the Unity3D game engine.


Explore a Master’s Degree in Game Design

American University’s Game Design program is positioned in the growing gaming community within Washington DC. Whether you are a Game Design student, a casual gamer or just interested in getting involved with activities and events around DC, be an active participant in the burgeoning gaming scene.

Are you interested in how games and play can affect change in communities and beyond? Explore a master’s degree in Game Design from American University.

1 reply
  1. Timothy says:

    Detailed write-up on building our gaming network in Washington DC. It seems to only focus on offline world only, any thoughts of expanding to included online resources too?


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