Like Storm Troopers making their way to the Death Star, there is now a convention for nerds to play games, win prizes and have the excuse to leave their mother’s basement.
The first annual SLC Nerd Show will take place Mar. 24 in the Rockwell Room at the Complex on 536 W. 100 South in Salt Lake City, allowing nerds of all ages to join together in an epic quest for geek-like entertainment.
The show will consist of open table-top gaming, LARPing (live action role play), a costume contest and live music by local artists including Rotten Musicians, Rev Mayhem, Baby Ghosts and Funk Toast. The nerd fest provides an open and friendly atmosphere where geeks can network and have fun with people who share similar interests.
The show will also be visited by several published fantasy authors who have been nationally recognized for their work, including Dan Wells, Larry Correia, Steve Diamond and Nick Dianatkhah. They will participate in a role playing game exhibition called “Legend of Five Rings,” similar to Dungeons and Dragons, but set in a feudal Japan type world while the audience can observe the masters work.
Paul Genesse, who will be taking part in the in the role playing, says the group meets about once a month and uses each individual’s writing experience to cultivate the game. There will be opportunities for the crowd to get involved during the game and individuals will be pulled on stage to play minor characters who are killed quickly.
“Some people paint themselves red and go to football games, other people play computer or role playing games or listen to Weird Al Yankovic,” Genesse said. “I think people are just going to have a good time.”
The SLC Nerd Show is a product of the company mediaRif, a local digital creative agency that has had their hand in film production and has sponsored events like The Gangrene Film Festival, which features work by new and upcoming directors with no profanity, vulgarity or sexual content.
Craig Nybo, the CEO and creative director of mediaRif is one of the producers of SLC Nerd. Nybo, who is also an open “Whovian” (someone who watches the TV show, “Doctor Who”) emphasizes the event is family-friendly, but still an event where participants can have a good time and let their hair down and wear Jedi robes.
“We believe in the adage if you can’t say anything funny don’t say anything at all,” Nybo said. “There are a few great events in SLC but we wanted to do something to celebrate the nerdiness that we all have a little bit of. We wanted to create an event where people would feel comfortable wearing ‘Doctor Who’ clothes or ‘Star Wars’ stuff.”
Jon Clark, who is emceeing the event, has been a stand-up comedian for 12 years and has worked with Media Rif in the past. He admits although he is not a hardcore nerd he is looking most forward to the live music portion of the event.
“It’s really going to be geared toward the sci-fi and print gaming community, then a big portion of this event is going to be bands,” Clark said. “The bands are really fun. All of them have a nerdy twist and it’s all a little comedic.”
To make sure everyone at the show stays in line, it will be enforced by Salt Lake City’s own superheroes, The Black Monday Society. This is a group of average people who have discovered their talents and desire to help fight crime and apathy in the area they love. The team is led by Red Voltage and includes heroes by the names of LunarWolf, FlameWing, IronHead and Professor Midnight along with other members.
The Black Monday Society’s leader, Roman Daniels, goes by the alter-ego “Red Voltage” and has admired superheros ever since his childhood when he would watch Batman (the Michael Keaton version) and later admire X-Men and Daredevil. While he refers to the group as a “glorified community watch,” Daniels believes every person has the capacity for good and uses the superhero persona to help those in need.
“I think we have a lasting impact on people by the way we look,” Daniels said. “They’ll have a longer period of time thinking of you in your flashy suit than just normal clothes. Maybe we can inspire them to do something bigger and better for the world.”
Admission is $8 if bought in advance or $10 at the door. To learn more visit facebook.com/slcnerd.