The Micro-Amusement Park Innovator
When your dad invents Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, it seems fitting that you’d invent the world’s first micro-amusement park. Enter Brent Bushnell, CEO, Co-founder & Roustabout of Two Bit Circus. In 2008, he and co-founder Eric Gradman met at Syyn Labs, an art and engineering collective specializing in whimsical creations like the Rube Goldberg machine in OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass” video. That project led to corporate clients like Disney and Google, which then led to the duo spinning off Two Bit Circus in 2012, where they created VR and IRL activations for the NBA, the Super Bowl and Intel. But they longed to do something more long-lasting — and something for themselves, not clients. In 2018, they opened the first permanent Two Bit Circus in LA, and a Dallas Location in 2022, with plans to expand around the world. Brent is also Chairman of the Two Bit Circus Foundation, a non-profit that deploys STEAM-based programs to inspire students about invention via their annual STEAM Carnivals.
Two Bit Circus is more than an arcade. It’s a choose-your-own adventure park, engaging enough for kids and cool enough for adults. Sure there’s a video arcade — and also a steampunk carnival, VR galore, escape rooms, a robot bartender, and a supper club for interactive game shows and performances. But to see this as Chucky Cheese 2.0 is not seeing the real magic. TBC brings us together through group gameplay, exploring with friends and family, other adventure seekers, and even actors who pull us into other hidden stories, creating community, leaving us wanting more. The Two Bit Circus Foundation is an international nonprofit dedicated to bringing this playful, hands-on approach to STEAM education, in both school and non-school contexts with labs, workshops and their STEAM Carnival.