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CODCON celebrates the world of Sci-Fi

Caroline Broderick, Features Editor

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For 21 years, Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Gaming club has brought together hundreds of community members to celebrate their love for anything between video games to manga, Dungeons and Dragons and beyond.

 

No other time on campus will you find live action roleplay (LARP), cosplay, furries and multitudes of video games at the same time besides at Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Gaming Club’s annual convention: CODCON.

 

This year, the theme was “Down the Rabbit Hole,” based on the fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland.

 

The convention took place throughout COD’s main campus for three days. Various events occurred throughout the day, proving there was a spot for everybody. Artists sold their merchandise, friends battled in Dungeons and Dragons, Diplomacy, Artemis and more. Event goers were even able to demo a game brought over by a Nintendo representative. Then when you needed a break, CosPlay Club had their own “maid café” where they sold food to fund their club.

 

In a world where this Sci-Fi love is part of a much smaller sub-culture, these clubs are a place where everybody is welcomed and brought into a family.

“It helps people who feel uncomfortable,” said vice president of Sci-Fi/Fantasy club, Alyssa Smith. “We try to be super open; acceptance is mandatory to the club. People can be super judgmental, and it’s a place where people can talk about what they love.”

 

Sharing a common love and creating a family-bond was a strong aspect to the convention. Fantasy Revolutions, a LARPing game based on a Steampunk theme located in Yorkville, had their own dungeon in the student life lounge that its dedicated members helped put together.

 

Members made their own costumes, weapons and designed a scene representing going down Alice’s rabbit hole and meeting the Red Queen.

 

Owner of Fantasy Revolutions, John Mellos defined the “steampunk” genre as, “basically Western Victorian style industry before electricity where steam is the power source. It’s not for everyone, but we encourage everyone try it once. We try to make it safe for everybody.”

Members defined LARPing as, “basically living your imagination,” and, “taking a favorite roleplaying game and acting it out.”

 

Brought together by their love for LARP, it became much more for some participants. “After high school, I started meeting with different people and never heard of comics or anything before,” said current COD student, Jordan Piper. “Fantasy Revolutions became a new family.”

 

Fantasy Revolutions prides itself on having a large range of players from ages 12 to 50 and up. Besides ages, they pride themselves on the types of members. Some were in wheelchairs or even army veterans, all there to channel their frustrations a different way.

 

Mike McMeekin is a medically retired army veteran who is also the business partner of owner, Mellos. McMeekin was in the army for over five years and is diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and brain trauma.

“I’ve LARPed for 18 to 20 years; I started at age 12,” said McMeekin. “In the military, I had a very stressful job. It helps you.”

 

“The doctor said to [LARP],” he continued. “It helps with my PTSD, and the memory aspects helps me with my brain. You’re able to separate yourself and get away for a weekend.”

 

Andrew Sharp, member of Fantasy Revolutions, served alongside McMeekin in the army. McMeekin introduced Sharp to LARP. “For a moment it helps us be and just forget,” said Sharp.

Finding a family and becoming somebody new was a theme that also proved to be true for furries.

 

Furries are a subculture centered on fictional animal characters with human-like characteristics and personalities. Furries dress up head-to-toe in a large furry, mascot-like costume. Individuals commission their full-body furry costumes or make their own. This process takes hundreds of dollars and sometimes years.

 

“It’s hot; my vision is limited, but for some reason it’s stupidly fun,” said North Central College student, Ash SaLee. “In my suit, I feel different. I can’t dance when out, but in it I feel like someone who can dance. When in the suit, you can be whoever you want.” These statements were followed by huge smiles and agreements from fellow furries, dressed as an otter, Rainbow Dash pony sitting with SaLee in her own creation of a tiger, bear hybrid.

 

The 21st CODCON brought together members with varying interests under one roof of COD for three days of a fun and welcoming environment.
The Sci-Fi/Fantasy club has been run by Dr. James E. Allen since 1994. The club meets twice a month and plans for the convention throughout the year. To get involved with the club and join the family, you can find them on ChapLife.

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College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967
CODCON celebrates the world of Sci-Fi