Fans of gaming, anime and comics will be coming out in swarms this weekend for SwarmCon, SCAD’s first student-run geek convention.
SwarmCon, which runs Jan. 14 – 15 from 10 a.m. – midnight will hold concurrent events at River Club and the Oglethorpe House ballroom. Similar to more mainstream conventions, such as Dragon*Con in Atlanta, the weekend’s activities will include gaming tournaments, anime screenings, workshops and industry panels.
An Artists Alley, held Jan. 15 from noon – 6 p.m. at the Student Center, will allow SCAD students to sell their work.
“Students will be selling anything from prints to mini-comics and bookmarks,” said John Thompson, a graduate student in interactive design and game development. Thompson is chairman of the event and president of Gamer’s Guild, one of six clubs sponsoring the event.
SwarmCon is free to both students and the public, however, only students will have access to the Artists Alley.
Unlike SCADCon, the SCAD-run comics convention, SwarmCon intends to fill a different niche.
“SCADCon is more of a professional event, whereas this is meant to be primarily something for the students to enjoy,” Thompson said.
The idea for SwarmCon developed from a desire to expand upon another inter-club project, the Geek Dance, which has run for the last two years.
This past November, members and alumni from six SCAD Clubs: Gamer’s Guild, Kamikaze Sushi, FPS League, Cosplay Club, Pokemon Peach League and Shoujo Phonebook joined forces to organize the event in three months. The event now has around 50 volunteers including other SCAD students, faculty, alumni and outside sponsors.
Professors from the sequential art, animation and game design departments will be holding a panel discussion called “Alternate Industry” on Jan. 14 for students who wish to cross over into other disciplines. “For example in sequential art, a lot of people want to do conceptual art for games or animation,” Thompson explained. “It’s all about what you need to know.”
Game design alumnus William Thrasher now runs a production group, Kettle of Fish, which is running the Pirate King live action role-playing event Friday night.
One does not need to be a full-fledged geek to find something to do this weekend. A lot of the events including a voice acting panel and the aptly named “Newbie RPG” are pointed towards people who have little or no experience.
It’s been a lot of work, but volunteers are optimist about everything that is planned. “I hope people come—we’ve ensured our best to make sure people have what they need,” Thompson said.
For schedules and updates, visit the official SwarmCon website.Contact Susan Kemp.