A girl in a distinctive orange shirt goes running by, a piece of paper clutched tightly in her left hand. Looking rather exhausted, she makes her way from Morey Hall to Douglass Dining Center.

She is just one of a whole crew that has been taking over those buildings, along with Wilson Commons and even the Interfaith Chapel in order to host SIMCON XXIX, one of Upstate New York’s largest gaming conventions.

Every year, SIMCON comes to the River Campus, hosted by the UR Simulated Gaming Association. You may have noticed them in the week leading up to the big events, all clad in the bright orange “Ask Me About SIMCON XXIX” T-shirts.

This past weekend displayed the fruits of their efforts.

This year’s lineup of games was as large as ever, with 108 listed events over the course of Thursday night to early Sunday morning, in addition to the presence of an anime room in Wilson Commons and a Merchants’ Bazaar that spanned most of Douglass and contained hundreds of items for sale.

This year’s event garnered a good attendance with an estimated 150 people taking part. Participants came from all over the Upstate New York area, though most arrived from the Rochester area and nearby colleges, including Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe Community College.

For those not savvy with what exactly one would play at such a convention, the list may seem daunting at first. The biggest event was the Warhammer 40K tournament, a competitive tabletop wargame.

Another popular attraction was the Warhammer Fantasy tournament, and the other major events were two Live-Action Role Plays, affectionately known by some as a LARP, in which players wear costumes and act out a battle.

The games, and others that were included in SIMCON, such as the popular Dungeons & Dragons, may bring about images of people who, in the words of one role-player, were “not the most popular kids in high school.” But they appear completely down-to-earth, relaxed and are the first to joke about themselves and their hobby.

“I was playing D&D with a friend and he got upset and started yelling, and I’m like ‘You do realize we’re playing a game? Put the mace down,'” a player named Matt from the local area said.

The URSGA crew settled into a steady rhythm by Saturday, after a last-minute miscommunication with Wizards of the Coast, the creator of the “Magic: The Gathering” trading card game, a popular pastime at SIMCON. The problem occurred shortly before SIMCON kicked off, when word came in from Wizards of the Coast that the tournament would no longer be official.

“Our Magic [The Gathering] tournament suddenly got un-DCI [the tournament arm of Wizards] sanctioned? it was a clerical error on Wizards’ part,” URSGA business manager and sophomore Henry Garcia said.

After fixing the problem, though, the rest of the weekend went off without disaster, and also without rest. The events went for the entire duration of the weekend, around the clock, so that even at 2 a.m. on Sunday, players were wide-awake via heavy gulps of Full Throttle.

“I only slept for an hour between Thursday and Monday,” Garcia said.

The event managed to raise a solid $500, at least some of which will go toward touching up the URSGA office, according to Garcia.

Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.



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