By DJ Shuman
If you’re old enough to remember playing role-play games in your basement or reading comic books, you might think that today’s youth have let go of these pastimes.
But the geeks and nerds of yesterday will be pleased to know that the torch has been passed to a thriving group of youngsters. Coupled with hobbies from the nineties and today, such as anime, video and card games, and a rise in cosplay, the nerd-subculture has never been more diverse.
Nova Scotia is no stranger to Sci-Fi and Fantasy conventions, as Hal-Con and similar events have been happening for years now. What is new on the radar, however, is the Auburn Drive Sci-Fi convention, dubbed “AubCon.” The yearly event, a non-profit run primarily by students, has been attracting a lot of youth attention lately. This year’s AubCon took place at Auburn Drive High School, and I was glad to be part of a group from ESDH that made the trip into town to see what the daylong convention had to offer.
We found plenty to do. One local student took part in a Super Smash Bros. tournament, a brawling video game based around classic Nintendo characters. We wandered across the vendor floor, and checked out the board game tables. The shops on hand were selling items geeky-collectables, TV memorabilia, books, and other niche items. When it comes to board games, there were lots of titles spanning the last 50 years, as well as fan favourites, like the infamous Settlers of Catan.
For the youngest attendees, there was the Nerf zone, where kids were having fun blasting each other with foam-dart launchers. If you had a mind for strategy and duelling, the Magic the Gathering tournament was a must-do. If you were someone who likes food, then the canteen, ripe with fresh chilli, was your place to go.
AubCon is an event for all ages, and helps to bring geekdom into the sphere of my generation, and keeps old traditions in the hearts of more grown-up kids all around. It was wonderful to see a student-run public event that was so well put together. There will definitely be another vanload of Shore kids on their way next year. Though attendance wasn’t massive, with less than 200 at an odd guess, there wasn’t a single guest who didn’t leave without a smile.
DJ Shuman will be a senior at Eastern Shore District High in September.