Bay gaming convention draws fans galore
FROM the curious to the bizarre, characters from various genres and different levels of imagination mystified hundreds of people who attended the Con.ect Convention in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
Lauded as the most successful event of its kind in the Eastern Cape, the convention – which brought together a number of cosplayers, gaming enthusiasts and comic book fanatics – enticed a record crowd to view and enjoy the festival.
“It was wonderful. We did not expect so many people to come out to the event,” co-organiser Janelle Vermaak said.
More than 650 people attended the two-day event held at NMMU’s south campus.
The convention, which started on Friday evening, saw more than 80 diehard traditional table-top game players engage in two separate tournaments, Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon.
On Saturday, PlayStation gaming tournaments kept a number of people occupied while others, kitted out in their best costumes, mingled with other attendees before the highlight of the weekend’s programme, the Cosplay Masquerade.
“The amount of effort some people put into their outfits was phenomenal,” Vermaak said.
Several recognisable characters from movies, comic books, games and television series entertained the audience, while others left some people bewildered.
Natalie le Clue, 29, of Algoa Park, said it was her first time attending a cosplay masquerade which she thoroughly enjoyed, even though she had not dressed up.
“It is great to see so many people here and the passion for the craft,” Le Clue said.
The term cosplay is a blend of the words costume and role-playing and is considered a form of performance art.
Participants in a cosplay event or masquerade are referred to as cosplayers.
They dress up in costumes and fashion accessories of a specific character and will interact with each other as such.
Jean Giddy, 24, of Westering, who came as Varric from the action role-playing video game Dragon Age: Inquisition, was part of a group of friends dressed as their favourite characters from the game.
“This is great entertainment. We get to dress up and have fun,” Giddy said.
Chelsea Barnard, 21, of Mount Pleasant, who attended the event dressed as DC Comics’ Batman adversary Harley Quinn, said she loved the event and the exposure.
“It is a great way of expressing yourself in a safe environment,” Barnard said.
Other notable characters at the masquerade included crowd-pleasing Marcel Gouws as DC Comics’ fictional superhero The Green Arrow, Jesica Slabbert as Lucy Heartfilia from Japanese manga series Fairy Tail and Alexandros Karantzis as JRR Tolkien’s fictional character King Thranduil, from Lord of the Rings.
Vermaak said she was most impressed with the incredible work some people had put into their costumes.
“We will definitely be having a Con.ect event again next year,” she said.