Attention Madison geeks: start practicing your Elvish, polishing your best works of fan fiction and putting the finishing touches on your costumes, because Geek.Kon is coming to campus this weekend.
The two-day convention, organized by University of Wisconsin students, will give attendees the chance to celebrate the many aspects of “geekdom.”
Movies will be screened, multiplayer computer games will be played, Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero tournaments are planned and games like Magic the Gathering and Risk will be available.
More than 600 people from across the country have preregistered for the convention, according to the convention's official website.
Guest speakers lined up for the event include Madison locals Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda, nationally spotlighted for their short films featuring Chad Vader, among others.
"We’re planning a heated debate, between myself and [my partner], about which is better: the movie ‘Alien’ or the sequel ‘Alien,’" said Benjamin Heckendorn, an independent film producer scheduled to speak at Geek.Kon. "I think any movie involving Bill Paxton and machine guns duct-taped to flamethrowers is inherently better, but he disagrees — should be quite the battle."
UW juniors Louise Behnke and Jackie Lee dreamed up the idea for the convention in early 2007.
In charge of the science fiction and anime student organizations respectively, the two decided to apply for a Wisconsin Experience Co-Sponsorship Fund grant last year, which they hoped would provide funding for their organizations to hold a joint event.
Although Behnke and Lee were denied the grant, the idea for an integrated geek get-together had already caught fire with their clubs, and a planning committee had been formed.
The committee went forward with convention plans, and slowly Geek.Kon was born.
“Geeks or anybody, you get caught up in what you’re interested in," Behnke said. "Geek.Kon will let people try new and different things that they will hopefully enjoy.”
UW sophomore Alex Larsen, a computer and electrical engineering major, said he will be attending the convention.
“[Geek.Kon] appeals to a lot of different people," Larsen said. "The anime crowd and the sci-fi/fantasy crowd is probably bigger than you think, but I’m more into the gaming aspect of it — especially the tournaments.”
According to Monte Cook, one of the game designers of Dungeons & Dragons, who is scheduled to speak at the convention, geeks are those willing to take the time to "look beyond what everyone else is looking at."
"Geeks are nonconformists who follow their own path," Cook said. "Geeks are knowledgeable, curious, enthusiastic, and often funny, smart, and creative — what’s not to like?"
Not only is this the case for the geeks who will be attending the event though, but also for the geeks slated to speak.
“For a lot of the people coming to Geek.Kon, a dream job would be working in the comics industry or film industry," Behnke said. "Our speakers are people who managed to do that.”
Although preregistration is no longer available, participants can register at the door on the weekend of the convention. Geek.Kon will be held Saturday, Oct. 6 and Sunday, Oct.7 in the Humanities Building.