By Cassidy Tyrone
“We define ourselves as the nerds of campus,” says Aggiecon director and Cepheid Variable Officer Andrew Evans.
Cepheid Variable, founded in 1969 by a group of astronomy enthusiasts, is a Texas A&M University social club fostering a deeply-rooted appreciation of science fiction. The group hosts the annual Aggiecon, a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention. Aggiecon 46 will be held at the College Station Hilton Hotel & Conference Center on March 27 starting at 12noon. The convention runs through March 28 and 29.
The founders, affectionately referred to as the Elder Gods, created the first version of Aggiecon as a science fiction week. The small, yet popular, gathering featured nights of science fiction films and tabletop gaming, including the ever popular Dungeons and Dragons.
As pop culture evolved, so did Aggiecon, which was quick to adopt anime culture when it appeared on the scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. As the horror genre melded with science fiction, it too was added to the Aggiecon program. Gaming systems like Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and Sega also become an early driving force in the community, Evans says. Each new development expanded the Aggiecon program and drew in a new fandom which has led to Aggiecon’s wide following today.
As one of the few remaining student-run conventions, Aggiecon strives to stay true to its roots. “Aggiecon is a nerdy con. We don’t try to fight it,” Evans says with pride. There is a unique personality that owes itself to Aggiecon’s comparatively small size to that of the popular San Diego Comic-Con. “Higher level [conventions] have bigger guests but a decrease in interaction,” Evans says. “Smaller cons add a sense of community you don’t really see in larger conventions.”
Aggiecon 46 will have a full dealers room with products ranging from books and comics to weapons and wearables. Cepheid Variable will also be selling t-shirts.
The gaming room will feature the best in tabletop gaming as well as games just breaking into the market. “It will not just be Candyland and Monopoly,” Evans says. “It will definitely be something you haven’t played before. It can range from two-minute card games to eight-hour tabletop games.”
Cosplayers are welcome to imitate all of the pop culture favorites. “Cosplay, in the most holistic sense, is dressing and acting like a character that you like,” Evans says. “People dress like the character regardless of race or gender and we endorse that at Aggiecon.”
Guest speakers will discuss a variety of topics about sci-fi, fantasy, and comics. Convention events will include a video game tournament, “Rocky Horror Picture Show” screenings, and an art show with live and silent auctions.
Volunteers are needed. “Last year we had 80 general workers and that was just enough to get by,” says Evans. All volunteers get a free badge to attend the convention.
“There will be something for everyone as long as you have that nerd bone in your body,” Evans says. “And if you don’t think you do, trust me, we will find it.”
WHAT Aggiecon 46
WHEN March 27-29
Friday, 12 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE College Station Hilton Hotel & Conference Center
To preregistration is available online at www.stuorg-sites.tamu.edu/~cepheid/aggiecon/registration
Questions about school groups, special rates, or the registration/badge claim process should be directed to Ben Caudill (firstname.lastname@example.org).