The Design, Illustration & Adventures of Nancy Steinman
Now that Wyrdcon 6 is finally upon us (Yay!), I thought I’d post something I wrote after Wyrdcon 5. I hope it conveys some of the unrestrained exuberance of the weekend. But there are also more studious tracks, for those less inclined to wildness.
By Nancy Steinman
Once upon a time in a magical land called Los Angeles in a castle called The Westin where the good king Ira Ham ruled, a group of storytellers gathered for a five-day adventure. On the last weekend of the month of Mayday, they came from far and wide – flying on giant silver eagles or driving chariots of steel.
Once their trunks, stuffed to the brim with enough costumes to last a week (or more), had been unpacked, and their foam weapons stowed, they gathered in Limbo. There they raised a toast to the days to come – days to be filled with merriment and magic, battles and bofurs, LARPs and ARGs and a live arcade game. And stories, of course.
From the moment the adventure began until the final farewell, sleep was in short supply. There were just way too many enticing activities to fill the hours. Even though time travel was part of the package, it could not meet the demand of trying to be in two places at once. And so the attendees made their choices and then put heart and soul into whatever they participated in. Like the arcade; a live action puzzle-solving, story unfolding maze.
The walls between the worlds grew thin as the days wore on. Warriors roamed the halls as war cries rang out and swords clashed. Dystopia rose. Battles broke out in Belegarth. Wizards cast mighty spells to rid the realm of ghosts and demons. Fairytale characters held court. Andy Warhol and Frank Sinatra debated and sang karaoke. Pirates sailed the seven seas. Meanwhile in the farthest realm of the future, the Oculus Rift was encountered at the unthinkable complexity of a cyber ball. And somewhere a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Jedi and smugglers roamed the Court of the Hutt. And the bloody arcade vexed us. Again.
From room to room, from world to world, we slipped in an out of character. We slept on bean bags and had cobalt nightmares or dreamed of battle in Lannerea. We crafted armor and living dreams. We puzzled over clues, flew on a Starship and left the “real” world behind.
There was discourse on matters of utmost import from renowned storytellers such as Jim Butcher, Todd McCaffrey and Barri Evins. Technical wizardry was demystified by Conducttr Robert Pratten and AIL Fellow Geoffrey Long. And stories were mystified by True Thomas.
And we listened, rapt. And we fought with mad abandon. And we danced in El Wire trances. And we gambled with our imaginations…
and won friendships. And we took home transmedia memories and killer ideas for LARPs and ARGs – and arcades. Enough to do it all over again next year. Which seems ever too far away in the distant future.
But no longer! Wyrdcon 6 is here!