Costumes are encouraged at GeekCon this Saturday, June 22, at Nanaimo’s Harbourfront Library. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Geek culture will be cool at Nanaimo’s GeekCon

Cosplay and gaming convention to be held Saturday, June 22, at Harbourfront Library

Geeks and cool kids will be one and the same, and encouraged to come to the library for GeekCon.

The annual one-day celebration of cosplay, comics and gaming takes place this Saturday, June 22, at Nanaimo’s Harbourfront Library.

Customer services librarian Steinunn Benjaminsson called it a day of fun and an occasion to celebrate hobbies and interests.

“It’s our big-name event that we look forward to every year,” she said.

Jonathon Bigelow, library manager of creativity commons, said GeekCon brings together community members who might not otherwise get a chance to meet and interact.

“One of the things that we really like about it is it kind of showcases what’s happening in Nanaimo for people,” he said. “And the fact that we try to make sure everything’s free and accessible gives everybody a chance to come out…

“Part of our mandate is creating a place that’s welcoming for everybody, but we also want to have community engagement where people can learn and develop and foster new ideas and skills.”

GeekCon goes from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and organizers plan to pack a lot into that time frame. From 10 a.m-noon there will be a virtual-reality Beat Saber tournament.

“Which is kind of like using your light sabre to smash things to the beat of the music. It’s pretty cool,” Benjaminsson said.

A Minecraft play zone will take place between 1-4 p.m., when participants will be given challenges to craft something in a set amount of time.

Also at 1 p.m., a Super Smash Bros. tournament starts, and at the same time is the cosplay contest. After the cosplay contest, at 2 p.m. or so, there will be a cosplay panel discussion on costume techniques.

Some of the other activities include a Magic: The Gathering tournament, a make-your-own Pokéball workshop, retro video games, a board game zone and a foam archery tournament. There will be Lego smash-up derbies every hour on the hour, and roving cosplayers including Stormtroopers throughout the day. An interactive movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, will be shown, with props for viewers to act out some of the scenes.

Everything at GeekCon is free unless people choose to purchase something from one of the vendors. There will be 30 different vendors, and Bigelow said the variety of the vendors brings “a lot of neat vibe to the event.”

For photos from last year’s event, click here.

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