[ All hail Auscon, second of that name. Insert fanfare here. ]
So… Heard about Auscon yet? No? Let’s see if we can fix that for you.
In essence, Auscon is a gaming and pop-culture convention aimed at those of a nerdy persuasion. *Deep Breath* Boards games, Card games, Collectible Card games, Miniature games, Roleplaying games (both Paper and Live), Cosplay, Trivia quizzes, a Rock Band (the game) stage, and every theme from Steampunk to the 501st (Stormtrooper) Redback Garrison. In other words, awesome.
If you’re anything like me, you’re looking at the pictures first anyhow, so let’s meet up on the other side, shall we?
Nerdy goodness, Huzzah!
This is the second Auscon to date, the first being earlier this year. It’s fair to say that public awareness is still relatively low and many of the stores in attendance were still testing the water. Having said that though, the mood of pretty much everyone I spoke to would imply it’s only likely to expand over the next few years.
Anna and I have been really getting into the board/card game scene lately, so this time around I volunteered my time to helping out a local game club. The Queensland League of Extraordinary Gamers (LXG) are a Brisbane-based organisation with a library of several hundred games. If I ask you to name a few board games and you get stuck after Snakes & Ladders or Monopoly, these guys are well worth checking out.
Here’s what LXG gets up to:
- Once a month casual gaming meet ups,
- Attending events like Auscon,
- Running tournaments for both board games and miniature games, and
- Raising money and taking donations for MS Queensland – an organistaion dedicated to promoting research of Multiple Sclerosis and providing care to those affected.
Here’s a few snippets I overheard throughout the day:
“Hey, you look like a zombie! I mean, I’m looking for zombies. *pre-occupied expression* Want to be a zombie?”
- Not (noticeably) a zombie.
“Do us a favour and help me put my hands back on, would you?”
- Surprisingly, also not a zombie. Admiral Ackbar, sounding suspiciously like Sean Connery. You know, if he was muffled by a foam Mon Calamari mask.
“Hold my gaffi-stick for me.”
- Let’s just go ahead and say this was a Tusken Raider.
“Uh, Link (of ‘Zelda’ fame) is kinda creeping me out with his ‘sexy’ dancing”
“Huh, which Link?”
“Over there, the one with the giant Snoopy head on”
- I didn’t look.
“I’m trying to get a clear shot, but stormtroopers keep getting in the way *pause* Heh, where else can you say that?”
“The Death Star?”
- Okay, I stole that one from a previous convention, but it’s worth a slow-clap.
“Hey [random-stranger]! We’ve got a spare place here, have you got half an hour or so to play a game [you've never heard of]?”
“Well, I was… Sure, why not!”
- Came across a few variations on this one throughout the day.
If anything, I think that last quote highlights what I felt was right about the day. By the nature of the beast, the kind of people you get wandering by are those who are willing to try their hand at something new with a moment’s notice, or inversely, follow the thought “This is cool..” with “..who can we share it with.”
Okay, there’s always a lot of folks at these events, who are up to their eyeballs in fandom which I personally have no truck with – either through ignorance or taste. It cuts both ways, I’m sure there are many of you out there for whom the idea of cross-referencing a series of score tables does not constitute a good time. The point I’m slowly coming around to is this: Despite playing host to such a wide range of interests, I can’t recall having ever heard a genuinely disparaging remark at one of these gigs. That’s a good thing.
I’ll wrap up here by saying I do have a bit of a soft spot for cosplayers. Anyone brave enough to indulge in a little make-believe in this day and age, gets a tick in my book. (Besides, if I claimed otherwise, the next post we’re putting up will reek of hypocrisy)
Live long, prosper and may the Force, uh… well, you get the idea.
Related links: Queensland League of Extraordinary Gamers (LXG) Auscon Gaming Expo MS Queensland (Multiple Sclerosis) 501st Legion - Redback Garrison (Have a link to something in this article? Let me know).