Fans of gaming, movies and fantasy came together on the weekend of April 18 for WhitCon, Whitworth’s annual gaming convention in Dixon Hall. The event takes place every year on the third weekend in April and is a celebration of games and fantasy for the students of Whitworth and the Spokane community. Both Saturday and Sunday, the event ran all day.
Whitworth’s on-campus Gaming Club is the event’s main sponsor.
WhitCon featured opportunities to play board games or video games, watch movies, and attend clinics and masterclasses on popular video games or role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.
The highlight of the event for most, however, was the live action role playing, or LARPing, which involves competitors engaging in mock combat in a tournament setting for a chance to win prizes.
The LARP contest featured one-on-one and two-on-two style matches between competitors dressed in homemade armor, whacking one another with foam-padded sticks and swords. Epic battle music accompanied the spectacle to set the mood.
Senior Ian Chivers, one of the main event coordinators, said that putting the event together is no small task.
“We coordinate with the League of Pirates and the Anime Club and also on top of that we use a lot of staff from the Gaming Club and that is like herding cats,” he said. “A lot of moving parts from a lot of different places and getting our ducks in a row can be a tall order.”
Freshman WhitCon staff member Scott Price said the effort was worth the rewards.
“I joined Gaming Club at the beginning of the year. My older brother told me about it. I’ve been playing RPGs [role-playing games] and board games before that though,” he said when asked about his gaming background. “Gaming Club was the first time I’ve been in a community.”
Price said that the fellowship he feels with other gamers is special to him.
“I suppose what draws me to it is that I can be comfortable just playing games with people,” he said.
Senior staff member Daniel Rogalsky agreed.
“Part of Gaming Club is when you show up you just kind of become friends with everybody,” Rogalsky said.
Freshman Ian Trefry, a WhitCon attendee, shared what makes gaming culture so exciting for him.
“There’s all kinds of great arguments about the canon and different kinds of stuff and then people start shipping [pairing romantically) characters and it gets way out of hand,” Trefry said.
The Whitworth Gaming Club meets every Saturday night. League of Pirates meets on Fridays and the Anime Club watches Anime every Friday night, according to the Whitworth Clubs website.