Are you never bored with board games? Are you a button mashing master? Then it’s time to level up your fun at Side Quest!

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, Side Quest is the perfect place to take a short rest and game the day away.

It’s dangerous to go alone so grab your friends and head on over because we’re ready to play!

Who is in Side Quest?

Thunderforge Studios

Join Thunderforge Studios and Hoplite Games for the Paint and Take Arena! Come grab a mini (First is free to all badge holders) and sit and paint with some of the best hobby paint on the market.  Great time had for new painters all the way to advanced painters.  

I Play Games!

Welcome to the fun of the Game Zone!  Chicago Video Gaming Group I Play Games! is happy to bring you the newest in Fighting Games this year with tournaments in Street Fighter 6, Tekken 8 and Mortal Kombat 1!  To start the convention on Friday come and Spectate The HS Esports Exhibition with 4 different schools looking to win in a Rocket League Tournament.  Get an opportunity to learn about Chicago Gaming Communities and Schools with activities from both DePaul University and The Chicago Public Library's YouMedia Program. Last but not least check out the new Galactic Tank Force Machines with a score attack that will be going on all Weekend long.

Rough Magic Games

Hark and well met, adventurer! Roll the dice and play some tabletop roleplay games like D&D with Rough Magic's professional Game Masters! Engaging entertainment for all ages and levels of experience, Rough Magic is excited to offer C2E2's attendees: walk-up oneshots on the show floor; longer gaming sessions in a dedicated room (S501-ABC); and panels, workshops, and perchance a show or two over the course of the weekend! In 2019, Rough Magic was founded with one mission: to help those who wanted to play tabletop role-playing games but lacked the time to take on the role of a Game Master. Today, Rough Magic runs regular in-person/online events all over Chicagoland and beyond. Rough Magic’s team loves nothing more than guiding diverse players with varying areas of experience to collaboratively create thrilling adventures & forge unique bonds of friendship that will last for a lifetime. Our professional Game Masters will be running free tabletop roleplaying games and hosting a variety of panels & content dedicated to the hobby all throughout the weekend at C2E2.

Galloping Ghost Arcade

The Galloping Ghost Arcade, the Largest Arcade in the World, will be bring a selection of some of it’s great, rare arcade games! Also come try Galloping Ghost Productions soon to be released NEW arcade game, Dark Presence! Tournaments, high score challenges and a chance to win a special Galloping Ghost Arcade / C2E2 give away item!


Amtgard is a world-wide organization dedicated to medieval and fantasy combat sports and recreation. We use padded weapons, fantasy and authentic clothing, and imagination to immerse players in a world of heroic combat, quests, crafts, and more. No matter if your interest is competitive sports fighting, finding an outlet for your creative talents, or honing your leadership skills, Amtgard has something to offer you!

Anime Chicago

Meet local anime fans, test your trivia knowledge, get watch recommendations, and record your fan stories at the AnimeChicago Lounge all weekend! Founded in 2006, our nonprofit club offers a friendly, inclusive space for first-timers and veterans to discuss titles they love and discover new obsessions with friends. We host 10+ monthly meetups to critically explore anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture with over 3,100 Chicagoland members.

Join us at or learn more at

Also find our president at Starting and Maintaining an Anime Community at 11am on Sunday!

Japanese Culture Center

The center was founded in 1977 by Fumio Toyoda, Aikido Shihan and Zen Master to share traditional Japanese arts with Chicago and America. Come by to learn about origami (art of folded paper), Balintawak Arnis (a type of martial arts) Shodo (calligraphy)and Koto (Japanese instrument) demonstrations.

Things to do!

Play Tabletop Roleplaying Games with Rough Magic's Professional Game Masters 

Room S501-ABC
Hark and well met, adventurer! Roll the dice, and play some free tabletop roleplaying games with Rough Magic's professional Game Masters! Engaging entertainment for all ages and levels of experience, Rough Magic is excited to offer C2E2's attendees a variety of ttrpgs like Dungeons & Dragons, Blood on the Clocktower, Lancer, Dread RPG, and many more. We have even created an original 3 session arc in which you can create your own character and level up over the weekend. Sign up to play here! (*Keep checking back to the sign up link as new sessions may get added)


Step into a realm where imagination knows no bounds! At C2E2’S LARP (Live Action Role-Playing) Area, brought to you by Amtgard, immerse yourself in a world where you are the hero, the villain, or anything in between. Unleash your creativity as you wield foam weapons and face off against fellow adventurers. Whether you're a seasoned LARPer or a curious newcomer, our Free LARP Area offers an inclusive space where everyone can experience the thrill of live-action role-playing. So grab your sword, don your cape, and prepare for an unforgettable journey where the only limit is your imagination!


C2E2 attendees – we’re happy to offer you a unique opportunity — LabEscape, the world’s only science-based ‘escape room'. Renowned quantum physicist Professor S is desperately needs your help — her fate and the future of the entire world hang in the balance. You'll have to search her lab, solve mind-blowing puzzles to reveal clues, and hopefully find a way to complete your mission—using the world's newest quantum processor to stop a memory-erasing virus and save us all! As featured in The New York Times, this is the world's first science-based 'escape-room', but absolutely no prior background is required!

Come see for yourself why LabEscape has 98% 5-star ratings, received TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence 3 years in a row, and has been described as "hands down the best escape room I've ever done"!

Running all weekend in Rm S503a, for only $4/person! 

Reservations required — book YOUR adventure today, at

TCG with Bandai!

Bandai Card Games Booth #607

Get your hands on the trading card game UNION ARENA before the game release! You will also receive a FREE Demo Deck! Find out more here.

Game Demos!

Down on the Show Floor, you can find some cool game demos in Side Quest! Stop by to try out a new game, either with friends or on your own to make some new ones!

The Boys: This is Going to Hurt

In this 1-5 player tabletop game, based on the smash hit Dynamite Entertainment comic series from Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, players take on the role of a newly activated CIA agent, unfairly tasked with recruiting the most powerful team they can to take down the biggest threat the world has ever known, Homelander. Connect and recruit your favorite and most-despised characters from the award-winning comic series, the source material for the number 1 rated Amazon show, The Boys. Fans will be given their own stash of Compound V, money and contacts to help them in their mission to take down Homelander, but be warned, he fights back each round of play.

Apothecary: Plague Doctors

The Black Death is coming! Take on the role of rival apothecary shop owners from the renaissance period in Apothecary: Plague Doctors. In this 2-4 player card game you’ll draft ingredients and actions to help you complete orders, hinder your opponents, and distract the guards (if you’re planning on selling some poison on the side, of course). The player with the highest combined value of orders at the end of the game wins and just might survive the plague.


Discover mirth and mayhem roleplaying with this classic fantasy tabletop roleplaying game demo full of magic, mystery, and adventure. 

The One Ring™

Be hobbits of the Shire and enter the world of Middle-earth in this tabletop roleplaying game demo. Be heroes, go on adventures, have second breakfast and defend your land against the growing Shadow.

Japanese the Game

Japanese the Game is a sentence building battle card game that is designed to teach grammar through gameplay. This unique design allows players to gain points as they play cards and demolish sentences built by their opponent. The first player to 20 points wins, or the game can be played solo to hone grammar skills. The core game is meant for 1-2 players, and adding on expansions gives the flexibility of adding additional into the melee!

Gaming Schedule