No, you are not seeing things. Pikachu was standing in line for the trolley, and that was Jill Valentine battling a zombie in the Argos Grill and Game Room. Rest assured it is not the onset of finals insanity, it is the second annual FAN:dom convention at the University of West Florida.
Held on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, over the entirety of the Commons, FAN:dom is a convention that embraces all things geeky and is the brainchild of the UWF club Con-Quest.
Linda Barnhart, a senior theater and film double major, explained the origin of the club.
“Con-Quest actually started during a random trip to Pensacola Beach back in the fall of 2008,” she said in an e-mail interview. “There were six of us on the trip, and we all had a similar interest in starting a club. We had all bounced the idea around a bit before that, but this trip was when we really got down to business. So, we came up with a clever name and went to get the club approved the next day.”
Amelia Pate, one of the club’s founders and a senior marine biology major, talked about the club’s name.
“That’s why we’re called Con-Quest,” she said in a phone interview. “We were on a quest to hold a convention.”
So, what is FAN:dom, and what does it entail? Barnhart offered this definition: “The best way I can describe FAN:dom initially is like a Star Trek convention or Comic Con where everyone dresses up and has an awesome time with fellow nerds,” she said.
“Since we’re called FAN:dom, we’re a lot different than most other conventions out there. Most conventions are restricted to one area like anime or comic books, but we strive to accept and represent all nerdy fandoms out there.”
According to FAN:dom’s website, they have done just that with the inclusion of a costume competition, and panels on topics from video games, art tutorials and anime.
Not to neglect the Harry Potter fans, FAN:dom will hold a Quidditch tournament on the Cannon Greens. The tournament will be on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., and Pate describes the game as a “cross between flag football and basketball.”
Another of the club’s founders John Ricks, a senior elementary education major, said he had high hopes for the convention to grow as large as the ones held in larger cities, such as Otakon in Baltimore or Metrocon in Tampa. Both Otakon and Metrocon boast thousands of attendees in a single weekend.
He did add that there was a problem with growth.
“Hosting a con of that size at UWF would be insane,” he said in a phone interview.
For tickets and information see the FAN:dom website at: http://www.fandomcon.com.