A couple of years ago, if you called someone a geek there was a strong possibility you might be slapped. But luckily, that has all changed thanks in part to geek culture becoming more socially acceptable, even being incorporated into mainstream media like television shows and Hollywood blockbusters.
South Africa is no exception: the past weekend played host to ICON 2014 – one of the longest-running geek culture festivals in the country.
While it might not seem apparent, there really was something for everyone, no matter how geeky you consider yourself to be. The central hub for the festival was the large amount of stalls that were erected in the Jabulani Recreation Centre. From there, the festival branched out in all directions with activities scattered throughout the grounds.
“It is somewhat ‘deep geek’ and a bit alternative culture, but we are attracting more mainstream visitors and the event has taken on a bit of a family-friendly environment. The board games are slightly geeky, but that depends on your taste,” organiser Grant Charlton told us before the event.
The weekend comprised of visitors dressing up in their best cosplay outfits, battling each other in a variety of board games, and even making battles a reality with Live Action Role Playing (LARP) skirmishes. But don’t worry – all the LARP weapons are made from wood or polystyrene.
Check out this video from the cosplay competition from Jonathan Bester:
[Images – Chanel Rossouw, Kaleem Rorke]