Austin Texas’ Fantastic Fest is already the premiere genre film festival in the United States (and for my money the best in the United States as well), but that isn’t enough for them. This year Fantastic Fest is expanding into the world of video games, and will be running Fantastic Arcade, a video game festival, concurrently with Fantastic Fest.

What the hell is a video game festival? Why, I have a handy press release to explain it all:

Fantastic Fest recently announced the new independent games festival, Fantastic Arcade, which will run concurrent with the first four days of Fantastic Fest, September 23-26, 2010.  Designed as a games spin-off event from the main film festival, Fantastic Arcade will feature fresh, cutting-edge games designed by independent game developers and publishers.

The Highball ballroom, located next to the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, will be transformed into an old-school arcade featuring games the likes of which never existed in any Aladdin’s Castle.  The Fantastic Arcade curators have selected some of the most fascinating new independent games and retrofitted them into vintage arcade consoles set to free-play for the duration of the event. 

Other Fantastic Arcade highlights include live game demos by their authors on the big screens at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, a machinima film competition judged by Red Vs. Blue creator Burnie Burns, video game art installations featuring work by Cory Arcangel, live chiptune music performances, games showcases and demos from major game publishers, game design guest speakers, screenings of popular games culture films, a Starcade game-show competition, a light saber dance party and more!  Among other topics, the panels will explore the crossover and differences between the visual story-telling mediums of the film and game worlds.

Tickets for Fantastic Arcade go on sale today. Here’s how the pricing works:

1) Single Day Pass $20 – access to all Fantastic Arcade films, panels, parties, happy hour and game demos for a single day.
2) Single Day Game Demo Pass $10 – access to the game demos and arcade for a single day.
3) VIP Fantastic Arcade Pass $60 – access to everything for all 4 days plus a limited edition Fantastic Arcade T-shirt.
NOTE – $20 and $60 pass holders get priority admission to the advance screenings of Fantastic Arcade films prior to the festival. Please note that Fantastic Fest badge holders will have access to the Fantastic Arcade events, but priority access will be given to Fantastic Arcade badge holders.

Want to attend? Click here for more info and to buy tickets or passes!