I’ve had a challenging time trying to explain to non-attendees just exactly what TempleCon is, and what it’s about. Trying to come up with a short, pithy response has been difficult, as there is so much to say! The blurb below, paraphrased from the Providence Journal’s article on TempleCon, I think says it best: “Founded in 2006, TempleCon is a celebration of all things science fiction and retro-futurism themed; a three day festival of sights, sounds, tabletop games, classic arcade action, live music, and a ton more in Warwick, Rhode Island”.”
What can I say about my experiences at TempleCon 2015? It was definitely one of the most fun (funnest? funtastical???) experiences of the geeky side of my nature (yo yo GeekLife represent!); in fact, the Providence Journal wrote an article about TempleCon with tons of awesome photos that capture the scene far better than I could with my smartphone. Click here and here to check out the articles and photos!
I met lots of new and interesting people, saw a ton of cool things, learned a lot from the various workshops, seminars, and exhibitions I signed up for, and had a great time hanging out and partying down with my friends from our game store who made the trek to Rhode Island for the Con. Tons of bragging rights for actually getting there — AND getting home in one piece — this year, as the weather was incredibly cold and blizzardy (or as we say in Canada, a regular winter weekend). All in all, even though the timing was poor in relation to some things going on at home, I’m still happy I went, as I not only promised the Hubster that this year I would go, come hell or high water (we had to cancel last-minute last year), but I also really, really needed a sanity break and to have some fun.
So, what did I do? What did I see? What’s this TempleCon thing all about, anyway?
Well, there was the 80’s-90’s arcade room, where they had all of the stand-up videogames from my mis-spent youth, that anyone could play, for free (I’ll admit that I played my share of Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac Man, Dig Dug, and Galaga that weekend, heh…).
Then there was the Open Gaming Room, where there were quite literally hundreds of boxed games you could “check-out” like a library and play for as long as you wanted with whomever you wanted, then “check-in” again and go do something else. One evening, I played a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity with some new American friends…nothing like getting to know someone super-well super-fast than playing CAH with them! Another evening, Monique and I played a new version of Munchkin (Munchkin Pathfinder),which I loved and must add to my growing collection of Munchkin paraphernalia.
Speaking of Munchkin, I had previously signed up for the weekend-long Munchkin Tournament, where the winners of each Qualifying round (I think 6 were scheduled) got to play each other in a final round Invitational for the prestige of winning the all-round Munchkin title…and OMG Pelicans I won!
Um….which wasn’t really all that challenging, since for whatever reason I was the only one that showed up for the Invitational. Schmeh.
Happily for me, Monique popped by to keep me company while I waited (in vain) for more Invitational challengers to arrive, so to pass the time we played a brand new Munchkin game the organizers had brought, called Munchkin Treasure Hunt. Super Fun! Can’t even get this in the stores here yet. Another wantwantwant for me!
My guess for the reason for the no-shows – not that I’m complaining – is that the final round Invitational was scheduled for too early in the morning (10AM – gasp!) after what must have been a pretty boffo night-before for any Qualifier winners. ProTip: I saved my crazy drunky-drunk super-late-night action for later that evening (go cheap American booze!), so I’m guessing my “plan” worked out for the best for my win…if not my liver.
Miss Kitty and I also went to a Steampunk-style live cooking show, where the entertaining and easy-on-the-eyes Chef Choux treated us all to tea, delicious scones and two styles of special tea cookies, all using “the power of steam”. We dressed in our favourite steampunk outfits and drank tea with pinkies up!
As a side note, making scones is one of those “so-simple” recipes that, like muffins, I have yet to master. The trick is to play with the dough as little as possible, in order to not activate the gluten too much in the flour, but often my scones turn out hard as rocks, and my muffins have tunnels running through them. I guess I like to play with my food too much (ba-dum-BING!). However, Chef Choux’s (a professional chef in New York State) scones were perfectly delicious, flaky, tender, and everything a scone should be. I will be working with his recipe in the near future to attempt to perfect my own. :o)
I also attended a Steampunk fashion show with Monique, which was super surreal and amazing! I only got a few worthy shots of the models walking by, because trying to take quality shots with a smartphone in a darkened room with moving targets is unsurprisingly harder than it sounds.
The retail opportunities at this event were wonderful, and I had to be careful where I spent my money, as I could have blown it all in one massive shopping orgy quite easily. I was also a little worried about my suitcase’s capacity, as well as fretting over the horrible exchange rate that made my lovely pile-o-MadMoney turn into a kinda-pathetic-pile-o-MadMoney. So I like to believe I didn’t blow my financial brains out at my first ever Con, though I definitely spent more on certain things I would be sure to not do the next time I attend a Con.
Privateer Press were selling ALL THE THINGS to do with the Warmachine/Hordes minifig tabletop game, and their available-at-TempleCon-only pins were the first thing on the Hubster’s radar. As far as I can tell, they are Geek swag for those interested in playing Warmachine…not that this is a bad thing…got a few of my own too for the faction I (pretend) to play…lol!.
Although there were tons of vendors with truly amazing costumes and accessories for sale, I ended up buying just one Potter-head t-shirt and a really beautiful bracelet, made of thin black woven leather strips and silver dragon “charms”, that looks like the dragon is trying to eat its own tail around my wrist. I instantly loved this bracelet, as it reminded me of someone very close to me, so I just had to have it.
As for game stuff that I bought, I actually kept it very simple; I ended up buying the five expansion decks for my CAH deck I got for Christmas, which was pricy enough, let me tell you!
As for pics of me wearing my costume that I had previously promised, I didn’t manage to get a good shot of me wearing my entire costume, only a couple of slightly inebriated selfies I tried to take that are definitely not post-worthy (ew), Happily, I *was* able to have my beloved (and slightly squashed) mini top hat grace the heads of some of my friends on the last day of TempleCon, when everyone was completely exhausted (and malleable to suggestion). I can say in all honesty, they pulled off the look I would never have been able to achieve, and I’m so pleased they were such sports about their mini-papparazzi photo shoot!
Well, that’s all for now; this blog post is long enough as it is. I will do one more post referring to TempleCon I think, then I shall close off and post about more recipes. Miss Kitty and I have a cool idea we are developing when it comes to food, so watch this space!