Indiana Daily Student

Students share passions for comic books and gaming at annual Bloomingcon event

Pathfinder Society Venture Captain Mike Bramnik discusses gaming strategy during Union Board’s comics and gaming event Friday evening in the IMU.
Pathfinder Society Venture Captain Mike Bramnik discusses gaming strategy during Union Board’s comics and gaming event Friday evening in the IMU.

Annie Dill started her Saturday morning by blasting Harry Potter music and wearing her Slytherin robe.

She put on her interpretation of a Draco Malfoy costume, complete with a blonde wig and green-and-white-striped headband.

Dill headed to the Indiana Memorial Union for the third annual Bloomingcon convention presented by the Union Board. Bloomingcon offered students a glimpse into the worlds of their favorite comic book and video game characters. From 3 p.m. until midnight students could attend a variety of panels and compete in trivia games and a cosplay competition.

“We try to make this a place where people can be validated in their passions and have a community of people that are like them,” said Jack Harmening, Union Board director of games and electronic entertainment.

This was the event’s first year as a one-day program, Harmening said. The event scaled back to provide a better experience for students.

“Previous years I think we stretched ourselves too thin, but this year we’ve tried to make it so that for as long as you’re here, there’s something to do, some panel to watch and be a part of,” Harmening said.

Panels and discussions throughout the day covered topics like “Jackbox Partypack” and “Why we like anime.” The Astromech Club talked about how they build Star Wars droids. Their R2-D2 droid roamed around the halls for attendees to see.

During her time at the event, Dill participated in the trivia competition. The competition had a variety of questions with topics like superheroes, pop culture and anime. Dill worked with her partner to secure a third-place score.

She said she enjoyed that this event allowed people with similar interests to come together.

“When everyone is focused on a fictional environment, we can kind of escape the craziness that’s going on around us,” Dill said.

The event also helped her get out of the house and socialize with other people.

“People coming together with like-minded interests is really important and especially with people that don’t really get out and socialize a lot,” Dill said.

Harmening said he liked that a lot of the activities were interactive and that the event created a sense of community among attendees. Seeing what everyone gets out of the event makes the work worth it, he said.

Overall, Dill said she had fun at the event and thought others did as well. She said she was able to meet new people and share her passion for Harry Potter with them.

“It’s good to bond with people that have that sort of ability to journey to another world,” Dill said.

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