Several student organizations at East Tennessee State University are working together to bring ‘nerd culture’ to campus Feb. 17 and 18. The sixth annual ETSU-Con is a celebration of pop culture, comics, anime, fantasy and science fiction for fans of all ages.
“We strive to bring some of the biggest and most entertaining in ‘nerd culture’ to campus, ranging from voice actors to game developers, and animators,” said Zack James, ETSU-Con chairperson. “Additionally, we also shine the spotlight on particular programs of study such as Japanese, digital media and theater, among others.”
Virtual characters will come to life at the D.P. Culp University Center. Con-goers are encouraged to take part in the cosplay (character costume) contest with categories ranging from top novice costume to best craftsmanship. Special guests include cosplayers Hanging Zodiiac, Sparrow Moose and Crash Candy Cosplay.
“Whether you enjoy comics, video games, anime, we think you’ll find something to enjoy at our show,” James said. “Our group works hard to bring an enjoyable and memory-filled weekend not just for ETSU, but the entire Tri-Cities community and beyond.”
Voice actors Nolan North and Courtenay Taylor will greet fans at ETSU-Con. North was cast as Dr. Chris Ramsey in the General Hospital spin-off, Port Charles. Today, he is best known for voicing Nathan Drake in the “Uncharted” video game series. Taylor is known for her work as “The Female Survivor” in the video game “Fallout 4.”
Video game tournaments will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, and include Super Smash Bros., Team Smash, Overwatch, League of Legends and Hearthstone. There will also be a vendor hall and panels led by special guests. Each attendee is guaranteed at least one free autograph.
ETSU Con is sponsored by the Student Government Association, Buctainment, and the Buc Anime Club. The event is free for ETSU students. The public can purchase weekend passes for $25 through Thursday, Feb. 15 at midnight or $35 at the door. Emergency responders and active military get in free with valid ID, and admission is free for children 10 and under.