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.
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.