A woman and man dressed as the characters Kurusu and Okabe from Steins;Gate do the classic arms-crossed-in-front-of-chest pose from the show
Conventions Cosplay Culture

CONvergence 2017 Roundup

It’s that time of year again, folks! Peder and I just spent a fantastic long weekend at CONvergence, one of the largest nerdy conventions that takes place in the Twin Cities. In my opinion, it was one of our best cons yet, made all the better by the fact that I did not fall terribly ill halfway through the weekend this year like I did in 2016 (thanks a million, strep throat…).

The theme this year was Space Operas — think Star Wars, Firefly, Dune, and other such sci-fi epics. We were much bigger fans of this year’s theme than 2016’s (which was titled “But How Will We Get There?” and focused on…nerdy transportation? It was kind of a hot mess, to be quite honest). Being the huge space opera fans that we are, we resonated with the aesthetic, and there were a lot more panels we were interested in this time around, both space-y and otherwise.

A white humanoid robot statue dressed as Sigourney Weaver from Aliens
Connie, the CONvergence mascot, doing her best Sigourney Weaver impression

Panels are always a bit of a gamble in terms of enjoyment value, but the good ones we went to were real good. Some of our favorites were an inspiring panel called “Geeky Careers You’ve Not Thought Of” (featuring a full-time knitting designer and a dating/social coach for nerds, among others), a panel on Asian folklore that was a wealth of fantastic stories and tropes I’d never heard of, and a truly delightful fan panel about Stranger Things.

In a dim room, letters are suspended on transparent strings, seeming to float toward the ground against a red background
Better grab one quick before Uncle Vernon sees you!

Beyond the panels, we got the chance to experience all our favorite parts of the con, like copious amounts of people-watching (so many great cosplays!), seeing a few of our good friends play in a taiko drumming show, and hitting up the ever-amazing party rooms. Along with our old favorites, there were some great new ones this year, including a Spider-M an-themed room and a Harry Potter one that was so detailed and just impressive as all get-out.

A man dressed as Spider-Man sitting at a cluttered desk and holding a camera up to his eye to take a picture
Spider-Man thinks that turnabout’s fair play.

As far as cosplay went, we definitely did our fair share, but we decided to keep it more low-key this year (no, not Loki…not this year, at least) — after constructing Groot and Rocket costumes at like 2:00 in the morning the night before the con for the first year and fabricating/otherwise putting together so many pieces for my Rey and Raven costumes last year, I was ready for comfy clothes and zero body paint this time around. Nevertheless, we had a great time with our costumes! I was femme!Fourth Doctor on the first day, and Peder and I went as hipster!Beauty & the Beast on the second day, with our friends dressed as other assorted hipster-ified Disney characters (Smee, Tink, Ariel, and Hook, to be exact). Saturday was our favorite cosplay day–we went as Okabe and Kurisu from Steins;Gate, a new favorite anime of ours (which Peder reviewed a little while ago). It’s by far the most obscure cosplay we’ve done to date, so there weren’t many people who recognized us, but that just made it all the more fun when someone did. And we even spotted another couple who dressed as the same characters the day before, which was so much fun to see!

But enough squeeing for now…time for more pictures!

A woman wearing a costume that is a gender-swapped version of the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who smiles at the camera in front of a cardboard TARDIS, holding up a sonic screwdriver
A Doctor and her TARDIS
A group of friends dressed as hipster versions of Disney characters stands agains a beige wall, looking unimpressed
Fairy tales are just so mainstream.
A woman and man dressed as the characters Kurusu and Okabe from Steins;Gate do the classic arms-crossed-in-front-of-chest pose from the show

All in all, this year’s con was highly successful — I felt like I got everything out of it that I wanted to, and planned things out well enough that I didn’t tire myself out in the process (something that must be learned the hard way, it seems!). We have all sorts of great memories from this year’s con, and are already starting to muse about what cosplays we’ll do next year.

If you’re in the Twin Cities area, did you make it to CONvergence this year? What were the highlights for you? If you’re not from around these parts, tell us about your favorite nerdy event to attend in the summertime!


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