Saturday, August 17, 2013

Family Fun - Space City Con

While on a campout a while back, my wife asked if there were any family activities that I enjoyed. I listed off a few but she wasn't satisfied with my answer. I like camping. I even enjoy it. But it's unlikely you would ever see me jump up and say "Let's go camping!"

For those of you who miss the obvious, I'm a geek. I enjoy more cerebral endeavors. I love all things in geekdom including science fiction, fantasy, and role playing games. I am, however, alone in my family. No one else actually enjoys those like I do, or so I thought.

I also enjoy writing. I've written several novels, published a novella titled  The New Moon Murders, and try to write a few blog posts a week. When the Space City Con announced that  Tracy and Laura Hickman would be running a writer's workshop and Jim Butcher would teach two writing classes I began lobbying the family for a weekend pass. To my surprise, both Zack and Debbie wanted to attend.

It turns out that Space City Con has something for everyone, even the non-geeks.

Zack enjoyed the Mech Corps. These were videogame pods set up so you felt like you were in the cockpit of a giant walking robot. The behemoths fired rockets, lasers, and other weapons at one another while running around the simulated battlefield. If you've ever seen the move Robot Jox or played the game Battletech you know what this videogame is all about.

In theory there were two teams but I didn't see anyone spared who walked into the crosshairs of another player regardless of which side they were on. As far as I could tell, the tactic that worked best was to run around, avoid fire, wait for two other Mech's to mix is up, and pounce on both of them.

While I never stepped into a battlepod, Zack stayed spent most of two hours playing in one.

My son also enjoyed the Live Action Role Play. This involves people running around with foam-covered weapons and beating each other. This is right up Zack's alley since it involves constant movement and simulated violence against his fellow man.

The gave him a Paladin to play first. This character class has healing, is tough, and can soak up a lot of damage. The problem with Zack playing a Paladin is that he would hang back and wait for a large adults back to turn. He would then run up wail on them from behind. I'm thinking rogue might be a better option for the next convention. They get bonuses for attacking from behind.

My wife Debbie enjoyed the cosplay and seeing some of the old TV stars that make celebrity appearances at these events. The shopping was also plentiful with costumes, jewelry, books, and all sorts of things Zack would like for Christmas. She probably enjoyed the hotel and its pool most.

As for me, I enjoyed all of the above along with the writing session. If you enjoy science fiction films, books, or video games, you could do worse than spend a day at Space City Con. It's set up as a family event with a wide variety of panels and people. But to be honest, its the fans I enjoy most.

They have clubs, create costumes, hold panels. What they do mostly is have a great time. If you attend Space City Con, so will you.

Related Links:
Jim Butcher's Writing Advice