I haven’t been to E3. Never been to Comic-Con. I haven’t been to any gaming convention. These are all things on my list of things to do.
In Ghana, it’s hard to find events for people with common interests like video games and comic books. But this weekend, I got to go an event which brought together individuals who were fans of japanese art, comic books, video games and movies. This event was dubbed Nerd Con. It was basically an event to celebrate animation, movies, comics, video games, costume playing (Cosplay) and related popular art forms
At iSpaceGh in Labone, a group of individuals had decided to organise this event for the “nerds” population in Accra. Think Comic-Con but on a lot smaller scale. So on my birthday, I decided to treat myself and see what the Ghanaian version of Comic-Con was like. I decided to see what Nerd Con
At the Nerd Con event, there were a series of panels which was open to anyone who was interested. The first panel was for Japansese culture and other things related to Japanese art, comic books (manga) and cartoons. A representive from the Japanese Embassy even took time from his busy schedule to give a bit of a talk about applying for scholarships to Japan, their culture, technology, on going events in Ghana and a bunch of other things Japanese related. As a Japanese supporter, this was a great panel for me.
A second panel was for comic books especially the ones related to the African audience. Reps from Leti Arts showed off some of their new comics, new characters they were working on and a video game. Just imagine Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat with African characters.
Another fun panel with fans of comic books. I wish it was a bit longer.
Virtual Reality: Mind Blown
I’m always watching tech events online and seeing bloggers talk about their experience with virtual reality either with the Samsung VR, Sony and the Oculus Rift. At NerdCon, I got a chance to finally try out a VR. Outside of the panels, there was a table with some VR devices. The device were Samsung Galaxy phones with the VR Cardboards.
Experiencing VR in real life and talking about VR are two different things. You just have to try it for yourself. You basically step into a virtual world which allows you a full 360 view of the world you’re viewing. It was an awesome experience. I can now see why people are hyped about it. I’m now very interested in the whole Oculus Rift device. I’ll definitely keep an eye on that.
Movies and Comics Pt 2
There were two different panels I attended after my VR experience. The first was a movie panel where we watched movie trailers and talked about upcoming movies. I saw the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Man, Michael Bay just goes all out on his movies…..
In second panel, we had more in depth conversations about comics and art in relation to the Ghanaian and African marketplace. One of the panelist happened to be Hanson Akatti. He has done some cool work. You should check him out.
Our discussions revolved around the Ghanaian marketplace and whether or not there was a big enough audience for comic books which featured African characters. I wish we could have had this debate on a much wider scale but the Nerd Con event would have to do for now because I think it was an interesting topic for discussion.
Outside the panels, many of the attendees were moving up and down, some were cosplaying, some were playing video games, others were trying out the VR gear and some were watching video game trailers which were being displayed on a wall by a projector.
Here’s my overall review for Ghana’s first Comic-Con aka Nerd Con. I will describe it as organised chaos. It was very free flowing, not strictly organised but you could easily find your way especially given the fact that the venue wasn’t very large. But for the first event of its kind, you have to give props to the organisations for even setting up an event like this.
I’ve always look at events like E3 or Comic Con and been envious of the attendants. If Nerd Con could grow organically to the point where the venue is bigger, it got more panels and attendants, they could easily create their own unique version of Comic-Con, but for the Ghanaian base.
Nerd Con was cool. I wish it was a bit bigger. But for the its first try, there’s no way for Nerd Con to go but upwards. I’m down for that.