Each year, Whitworth’s Gaming Club hosts WhitCon, a small-scale convention inspired by national conventions such as Comicon. “WhitCon is a convention put on by the students of Whitworth for everyone in the community to come and join us to celebrate geek and nerd culture,” according to the Whitworth website.
On April 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., WhitCon events will be happening all around campus. A $5 fee covers admission for both days.
“[WhitCon is] a bunch of nerdy people doing nerdy things and hitting each other with foam weapons,” Hannah Wiltsey, a senior and Secretary Whitworth’s Gaming Club said.
One might assume that WhitCon is an event only open to people who are already involved in the gaming culture, but that’s not entirely accurate.
Although there will be a lot of aspects that could be overwhelming to the non-gamer, plenty of activities will be available for those students who are not hardcore gamers.
Movie rooms and television show rooms will be placed around campus, featuring a variety of movies and shows, said freshman Brian Bentley, who is a member of the Gaming Club.
There will also be a tabletop room with an assortment of card games and board games and staff to teach inexperienced gamers.
The highlights of WhitCon in past years have been the LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) competitions and the League of Legends tournament, said senior James Giltz, president of the Gaming Club. These are activities that not only draw competitors but also a substantial audience.
“Watching LARPing is actually pretty entertaining,” Wiltsey said.
For the competitive spirit, there are plenty of tournaments and other competition. Gaming rooms, including League of Legends and a new game from Blizzard Entertainment called Heathstone, will be conducting tournaments.
LARPing competitions will be held sporadically throughout the tournament.
“[LARPing] is essentially like improv acting with a few different game-type rules,” Bentley said.
There will also be local artists, food and a costume contest, Wiltsey said. The Gaming Club has really tried to have something for anyone and everyone at WhitCon.
“WhitCon is one of those things where it just depends where your interests lie,” Bentley said.
WhitCon is meant to be a community event, Giltz said. Last year, the event drew about 90 participants.
This year, the Gaming Club is looking to increase that number, advertising at local gaming locations and cooperating with the Eastern Washington University and Spokane Community Colleges gaming clubs to bring in community participants.
“It’s really for anyone who wants to come and would enjoy a convention,” Giltz said.
Although WhitCon can seem daunting from the outside, the gaming community is quite friendly and inviting, Bentley said.
“If you’re not involved in the culture, for the most part it’s very friendly and inviting. If you come in with an interest, we will take you in, and we will teach you everything. We love having new people come into the community. It’s a very friendly and supportive community,” Giltz said.
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