Gaming Zone

The Gaming Zone was a C2E2 2020 Show Feature, and we’re going to bring back more amazing Show Features in C2E2 2021 and beyond! Stay tuned to our newsletter to be the first to know when we announce them.

Are you never bored with board games? Are you a button mashing master? Then it’s time to level up your fun in the Gaming Zone! Whether you’re hardcore or casual, digital or analog – we have something for you. Featuring organized play, tournaments and freeplay for all the hottest new games, retro favorites and can’t-miss classics, the Gaming Zone is the perfect place to take a short rest at C2E2. It’s dangerous to go alone so grab your friends and head on over because we’re ready to play!


Roll for initiative, adventurers! We’ve got a whole room this year dedicated to D&D thanks to our friends over at Chicagoland Games. Round up your squad or roll solo because there will be Adventurers League campaigns happening all weekend as well as on demand, gauntlet-style battles for your whole party to enjoy.

Check the full schedule for the list of events.


C2E2 and Dice Dojo are proud to present First Look. A selection of Chicago area game creators. These epic designers have been and continue to make us proud with their epic creations and organizations.

Crimes in History: H. H. Holmes' Murder Castle is now live on Kickstarter and was funded in less than 5 days! Travel back in time to 1893 to explore the twisted and unpredictable World's Fair Hotel. Race to collect evidence while battling through the absurdities of a chaotic, booby-trapped castle - all while dodging Holmes himself. In Crimes in History: H. H. Holmes' Murder Castle, you will explore rooms inspired from the original castle blueprints and collect evidence, while battling backstabbing overnight guests and evading Holmes in his thrilling house of horrors. The 2nd Story expansion adds new rooms with special effects, more winding passages, and even the ability to play as Holmes! Our kickstarter link is highlighted above and our website is

The Chicago Boardgame Designers meetup is focused on building a local community of active designers looking to improve their games and their craft. With over 240 members, from published designers to others just starting out, the group meets twice a month to playtest and discuss games, design, and publishing. The meetup is run by Miguel Martinez, founder of neat games and co-designer of Too Many Poops, a game that was Kickstarted in early 2019 and overfunded by 2,300%.

Barrier Battles: Two players will barricade their king, using colored pieces and blocks. Then, the players will take turns flicking their pieces to change position, eliminate enemy pieces, and destroy the enemy base. The first player to eliminate the opposing king wins. The game can be played on a table, the floor, or really any flat, solid surface. A perfect Battler ranges from those who enjoy building cool structures, creating offensive and defensive strategy and extreme competition.

Barrier Battles is fun for all ages (with younger ages, sometimes the game gets a little destructive). A single set of Barrier Battles is good for a 1v1 match, but with the accumulation of multiple sets, players can play larger solo matches, and even team matches.

EL: The Chicago Transit Adventure! takes players on a train adventure across Chicago. The board game (for ages 13 and up) takes “riders” on a journey across all CTA rail lines (including the use of bus transfers) and incorporates a slew of Chicago landmarks along the way.

Each player gets to visit various destination points and “experience” citywide events such as music festivals, baseball games, a pigeon swarm and more, which delay or expedite their journeys, according to the official game description.

Deck Box Dungeons is a fantasy themed dungeon crawler with a companion app that fits in a deck box.

Each player builds their adventurer by selecting a character card, equipment card, and special abilities card. Builds can range from a standard stealthy rogue with daggers to a mage that wields a greatsword. During the game, players use the companion app to reveal new rooms and encounters which adds to replayability. Players must work together to slay monsters, complete encounters, and achieve the goal of their quest. Each quest has a different goal, from escorting a priest to complete a ritual to killing a giant troll that has been terrorizing a nearby town.

Designed for 1-2 players. You can add more players with additional sets.

Weston Game Lab: Academic game initiative at the University of Chicago.

Through the Weston Game Lab, students, faculty, and staff will collaborate the research and development of games—whether digital, board, card, or alternate reality—that produce social impact or experiment with form. Participants will also be able to research the history of games from technical and theoretical perspectives, attend workshops that afford new development skills, and organize collaborative groups for game-based experiments.

The Monsters Know What They Are Doing author Keith Ammann

From the creator of the popular blog The Monsters Know What They’re Doing comes a compilation of villainous battle plans for Dungeon Masters.

In the course of a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) game, a Dungeon Master (DM) has to make one decision after another in response to player behavior—and the better the players, the more unpredictable their behavior! It's easy for even an experienced DM to get bogged down in on-the-spot decision-making…or to let combat devolve into a boring slugfest, with enemies running directly at the player characters and biting, bashing, and slashing away.

In The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, Keith Ammann lightens the DM's burden by helping you understand your monsters’ abilities and develop battle plans before your 5th Edition D&D game session begins. Just as soldiers don't whip out their field manuals for the first time when they’re already under fire, a DM shouldn’t wait until the PCs have just encountered a dozen bullywugs to figure out how they advance, fight, and retreat.

Easy to read and apply, The Monsters Know What They're Doing is essential reading for every DM.


The largest arcade in the world is coming to C2E2! Boasting over 735 arcade games, Galloping Ghosts Arcade in Brookfield, IL will be on the show floor at C2E2 with a curated selection of its massive collection! Stop by the Gaming Zone on the show floor for some classic arcade goodness and even a few surprises. No quarters needed!

Learn more about Galloping Ghosts Arcade at


Step into the arena and battle it out for superiority and great prizes! Featuring Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart and more, you won’t want to miss exciting gaming tournaments happening all weekend long. Check out the schedule below:

Friday, Feb 28
11AM Halo 3
2PM Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Saturday Feb 29
12PM FIFA 20
2PM Street Fighter V Championship Edition
4PM Rocket League

Sunday Mar 1
11AM NFL Blitz 2000
1PM Rocket League
3PM Street Fighter V Championship Edition

Tabletop Freeplay/Lending Library

Want to try out a new board game or play an old favorite? Come to the C2E2 Game Lending Library, browse our shelves, and grab an open table. The Library is available to all show attendees free of charge – you just need a photo ID!

Organized Deck-Building & Tabletop Games

Try your hand at tournaments and organized play events for a wide variety of tabletop and deck-building games including Magic the Gathering and more! Take a break from the convention to play some great games and even win exciting prizes. Check back soon for schedule details!


From 8-Bit to VR, our console gaming area is filled with modern and retro consoles. We have a deep library of hit games, all available to play free-of-charge for all C2E2 attendees. So pull up a chair, grab your player 2, and press start!


Step into the arena and battle it out for superiority and great prizes! Featuring Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart and more, you won’t want to miss exciting gaming tournaments happening all weekend long.

Check back soon for a tournament schedule!

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