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6 reasons teens geek out over PhenomeCON, a free fandom convention

Sally Quinn
July23/ 2019

Teen fans of fantasy, gaming and cosplay will have a blast at the free PhenomeCON, hosted by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Aug. 3. The day-long, teen-only event fills the schedule with gaming, hands-on activities and interactive fandom fun.

Here are 6 reasons teens geek out and explore their fan passions at this wildly popular annual event.

1. Trivia tournaments

Think you know your stuff? Compete in a pop culture contest with your mastery of fiction, fantasy, movies and TV shows. Or step up and show your expertise in an anime trivia competition.

2. Creation stations

If cosplay is your thing, begin a new costume from scratch at this workshop that includes guidance and sewing machines. A Costume Showcase will award prizes for creativity. Or kids can pay homage to their favorite topic with hands-on creative crafting. They can make buttons, for example, crochet a pink and puffy Kirby keychain or bind their own books.

3. Gaming

Whether teens want to learn a new game or flex their experienced gaming muscles, there’s a lot to choose from:

  • Dungeons & Dragons: Explore the imaginary worlds with a seasoned Dungeon Master.
  • Magic the Gathering: Learn the ropes with some award-winning Magic players or just meet and play with fellow Magic lovers.
  • Smash Tournament: Compete in an all-day Smash Ultimate Tournament. Controllers will be provided but bring your own if you like.
  • Puzzle Hunt: Solve riddles and decipher codes to explore the library and unlock secrets with Hidden Legend.

4. Fandom community building

Connecting with other teens is made easier with activities like the Fandom Singalong, where kids can belt out their favorite theme songs in a fun karaoke session. In the Fandom Showdown, kids advocate and argue for their favorite characters. As the crowd votes, the contest moves forward in this bracket competition.

5. Virtual Reality

Kids can play around with Virtual Reality equipment and learn new skills with videos and games. The green screen photography station gives them a chance to play with virtual backgrounds and landscapes for a visit to cool new worlds.

6. Free transportation

PhenomeCON takes place at the library’s main branch in Oakland and free transportation will be available from select libraries around town. Check with your neighborhood library’s teen specialist for details. Making new friends from across town is an added benefit.

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is an award-winning writer and editor who has been covering her favorite city for more than 20 years. She welcomes comments and story ideas for Kidsburgh.

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