Con-Ect 2016 event coverage

Con-Ect 2016 event coverage

While many will know that last weekend saw the second Electronics & Games Expo (EGESA) in Cape Town at the CTICC, our fam down in Port Elizabeth had their very own weekend festivities, Con-Ect. Although not as large as EGE, the event has grown steadily since its first year and is supported by many from Nelson Mandela Bay and its surrounds.

“The Con.ect annual convention brings together aficionados and lovers of geek and pop culture in Port Elizabeth, to celebrate common interests and passions. Given phemonenal attendance of 700 at Con.ect 2015, numerous activities are planned for 2016.” – Con-Ect Site

Con•ect is the annual geek convention held in Port Elizabeth. People who are into all sorts of geekery you might or might not have heard of come together to interact, have an awesome time and maybe even learn about some more up and coming sub cultures.

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Last year was the first time I attended Con•ect. I had read about it on Facebook but basically decided to go on the spur of the moment. My aunt managed to join me. I remember I wore a Guardians of the Galaxy t-shirt. On my way there I was worried I might look like “that guy” who though it would be cool to wear a licensed t-shirt. To my pleasant surprise, there were full-on cosplayers. I met a Zatanna, Harley Quinn, Green Arrow and more. (Sidenote: I know many folks really feel Harley’s steez but my heart belongs to Zatanna). There were cool stalls selling board games, vintage comic books and posters. There was also a Mortal Kombat (the recent remake) tournament being held. I enjoyed the few hours I spent there. I was definitely going to attend the convention this year and was hoping it would improve on my first experience. I had heard that the first Con•ect was basically held in a room with about 5-10 cosplayers who ended up playing video games on a single Xbox 360. Onto bigger and better things…

This year my aunt joined me again and my cousin decided to join as well. When we arrived, we saw a Ramona Flowers walking to the entrance with giant hammer and all. “Yeah. We are in the right place.”, I told my aunt. The first 400 people through the door would receive 4 x A4 Avengers or Star Wars posters for free. Nice little touch. We made sure we were there in time for the doors to open.
The first clear difference was that the area with a few stalls from last year had evolved into a full-on indoor sports stadium filled with various sections. After the entrance and ticket area, there was a guy selling some novelty items.. bobbleheads, collectible figures, keychains, vintage comic books, masks and more. A few of these items really stood out to me.. a Kingdom Come Magog collectible figurine, an Orion New Gods figurine and a Jessica Drew Spider Woman figurine. What really stood out to me though was that I recognized the guy selling the items. We used to attend school together back in the day.

Moving onto the other sections we saw some girls who had their own line of alt fashion items. When they passed my aunt a flyer, we laughed at the fact that their store is actually located a few streets away from my house. Some other sections included a Pokemon TCG tournament area, a LEGO display as well as a LEGO engineering challenge, a few computers rigged up for HearthStone, an elderly couple who were incredibly friendly selling steampunk-inspired jewelry and a few food stalls among others. I thought the food stalls were a nice addition. It showed the intention was to make you stay a while. Belgian waffles, Oreo fudge and awesome coffee will make you stay a while.

There were many more cosplayers this year as well. There was an on-stage cosplay masquerade. I recognised the girl who works at the admin office of my ISP as part of a cosplay crew who each dressed up as a character from Danganronpa. There were many other characters from Pokemon trainers to Kylo Ren to Princess Mononoke to Harry and Hermione. We managed to take a few photos with the cosplayers. My favorite moment was with a young Jedi who remained in character throughout taking the photo and afterwards simply said “May the force be with you” before walking away.

“I met new people and spoke to people who I hadn’t seen in years but we were all brought together through sharing these awesome similar interests.”

We then decided to participate in some of the LEGO activities. My aunt completed the LEGO “firewalk” and we participated in the LEGO mind puzzles. We took one last walk around to buy anything we still wanted. There was a section dedicated to board games and I was glad to see one of my favourite games, Dice Masters, present there. The Uncanny X-men edition of Dice Masters was for sale. Hells yeah. My favorite section was a guy selling items which he had 3D-printed. I bought a mini replica of The Iron Throne while my aunt bought a Star Trek Starfleet Captain’s badge. I really regret not buying those replica Lantern rings. Damnit.

Captain America Cosplay

Our incredibly balled PJB hangin w/ Cap

One of the last sections we stopped at had Captain America selling signature pens. Good ol’ Cap mentioned that his wife was “somewhere here dressed as an anime girl”. I also saw an old high school friend with his wife and daughter. This is what stood out about Con•ect this year for me. Throughout the five hours spent there, I met new people and spoke to people who I hadn’t seen in years but we were all brought together through sharing these awesome similar interests. Around Port Elizabeth there is not much opportunity for people who share interests such as these to really gather. This is what makes Con•ect a very welcome event. I’m glad that the convention is growing and expanding and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the next one.

 

Collaborator/author – Peter J Brookes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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