The Gamer's Guide to Chicago

The Gamer's Guide to Chicago

Did you know that Chicago, the Windy City, is home to some of the best gaming destinations in the world? From super cool arcades to various console tournaments, there’s something for all kinds of gamer in the city by the lake. Whether you’re a fan of retro games or big into the esports, there are many great places to explore in Chicago to experience gaming culture at its finest. Let’s take a look at what makes Chicago so special for all kinds of gamers.

Video Game Bars

Chicago has several bars that feature classic arcade machines and console games. Emporium Arcade Bar is one of these establishments and is located in Wicker Park. The bar features more than 40 classic arcade machines, beer on tap, pinball machines and an extensive selection of board games. It also hosts regular tournaments and events for all kinds of gamers—from experts to novices—to enjoy. Enjoy a brew and play some pinball... sounds like a perfect night!

You can also visit Headquarters Beercade in River North or Logan Arcade in Logan Square. Both venues offer a wide selection of classic arcade games as well as modern consoles like Xbox One and Playstation 4 with an extensive library of games available to choose from.

LAN Centers

For those who prefer a more casual setting when they play video games, Chicago also offers several LAN Centers–or Local Area Network centers–where people can come together and play video games against each other or participate in massive online tournaments with players from across the globe.

One popular destination is Bodhi Gaming Lounge located near Lincoln Park Zoo which offers 12 large computer screens arranged around a central console allowing groups of up to 12 players to battle it out at once while enjoying food and drinks from their cafe menu. For those interested in participating in larger-scale events like esports competitions, LAG TV Gaming Cafe & eSports Lounge hosts weekly tournaments.

Esports Arenas

For those who want to experience gaming on a larger, professional level, Chicago also offers several esports arenas where you can watch professional teams compete against each other or even join them on stage if you think you have what it takes! A great example would be United Center – one of the largest stadiums in the U.S., which has many major esports events featuring teams from around the world competing against each other in Counter Strike Global Offensive (CSGO) and League Of Legends (LoL).  For smaller scale events, Wintrust Arena located near McCormick Place also hosts frequent esports tournaments with big cash prizes up for grabs!

Game Events

Chicago hosts some of the most exciting video game events around! From The largest fighting game tournament in North America (EVO) held annually at Navy Pier to PAX Unplugged, which takes place every year at McCormick Place West—there is sure to be something that appeals to all types of gamers. Not only will you get a chance to meet fellow gamers from around the world but you can also take part in exciting tournaments and check out some of the newest products from leading game companies.

Video Game Culture

From local conventions dedicated solely to video games such as Midwest Gaming Classic and Video Game Summit Illinois, to stores dedicated exclusively selling retro games such as Fox Valley Games & Collectables—Chicago has become a haven for video game enthusiasts looking for new ways experience their favorite hobby. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants throughout downtown Chicago where you can enjoy food or drinks while playing competitive rounds of Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros on one of their many large projection screens. 

Chicago is one of the best cities for gamers in the US. Whether you're looking for an old-school arcade bar experience or want to take part in professional esports tournaments – Chicago has something for everyone. With its rich gaming culture and vibrant atmosphere, Chicago is definitely worth exploring if you're a fan of video games!

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