Ancient City Con: Nerd Sanctuary

By: Daniel Ciccarello and Rachel Duncan

Ancient City Con took place this past weekend at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. The convention focused on anime, with video and board games on the periphery. The majority of attendees dressed in colorful costumes, representing their favorite anime, movie and game characters.

The convention had vendors in two rooms selling a large variety of wares. Many of the vendors sold collectibles and homemade crafts, much like the type of items you may find on Etsy. Items included board games, costumes, paintings, drawings, photographs, key-chains and collectible toys. There was also a large room for board games–with selections that ranged from classics like Scattergories and Trivial Pursuit to more intense games like a Star Trek card game and the Lord of the Rings board game.

Ancient City Con hosted a number of panels–ranging from tips on cosplaying to gender issues in geek culture and even a Pokemon trivia panel hosted by a popular convention personality, Pikabellachu, who holds the Guinness World Record for owning the most Pikachu items. She even owns a Pikachu themed Volkswagen Beetle, which appeared at the event. A small, independent movie production studio discussed its experiences creating and distributing the low budget science fiction film, Flashback, which it screened on Friday evening.

In addition to panels, a number of performances and special events took place. Noise Complaint, a group of tap dancing teenagers, dressed up as video game characters and performed a dance routine set to iconic game music. Afterwards, the band Jig to a Milestone played renaissance style melodies. Two of the most popular events were the annual costume and cosplay contests. Winners walked away with awards and prizes. Ancient City Con also held a number of interactive events including audience driven roleplaying games from COO-Interactive Entertainment.

Smaller rooms rounded out the experience. In one room, attendees were encouraged to play both classic and current video games on a wide array of consoles provided by the convention. Even with the selection, most attendees chose to play fighting games, with Smash Brothers being the apparent favorite. Beside the console gaming room, the convention had a bring your own PC LAN gaming room, with attendees playing popular games like Counter Strike and League of Legends. At the end of the hall, convention goers had the opportunity to experience the buffer arena where they could learn how to safely fight with foam weapons. The event offered a standard concession area and local food trucks such as Delish Kebabs, Manila Stix, The Blu Claw, and Mobile Muncher.

At any given time, dozens of convention goers gathered in the halls of the Prime Osborn to talk, dance, show off their costumes, play card games and hang out. Ancient City Con offers a fun and exciting time for anyone who enjoys anime, board games, video games or nerd culture in general.

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