NerdFest 2.0 Builds on Last Year’s Smashing Success

It was game on at NerdFest 2.0 at Stony Brook University.

The Gamers Guild, collaborating with several other clubs, hosted the second annual NerdFest in Student Activities Center Ballroom A on Feb. 13 from 5 to 10 p.m. It attracted over 100 people interested in all things “nerdy” throughout the night, like video games, science fiction, books and anime.

Science Fiction Forum President Anya Skylarova, 22, described NerdFest as something bringing “the nerdy clubs” together as a community.

“It’s basically sort of ‘anti-Valentine’s, but not really,” explained Science Fiction Forum President Anya Skylarova, 22. “We’re personally celebrating something we really, really love. We’re celebrating our passions, our fandoms, and that’s really what NerdFest is about.”

Board games like “Eldritch Horror” were stacked on chairs and round tables. Playing trading card games was also an option for some. It was also an opportunity to just chat and listen to a steady stream of gaming music pumping in the background.

But curious onlookers and gamers alike huddled around televisions, where “Super Smash Brothers” was a hit from the word “go.”

“My friends are coming here, so I thought I’d take a look,” said Jeremy Jacob, 19, a psychology major. “I’m into the [“Super Smash Brothers”] Brawl, Melee scene and it’s pretty cool.”

People generally came in casual attire like T-shirts showing off their interests, but some took it to the next level. Dumbledore’s Army club members behind their assigned table seemingly jumped from the pages of the Harry Potter series, as they helped other people make wands with sticks, paint and super glue.

Marion Johnson, 20, an English major in a blue TARDIS dress, paid tribute to both Doctor Who and Harry Potter.

There were also a few cosplayers, people dressed up as fictional characters, who put more than two days into their craft and attracted major attention.

Tristen Terracciano, 18, a freshman Computer Science major, fully dedicated himself into creating his costume to become Zero, a character from Borderlands 2. He views it as an extension of himself.

“I chose Zero because I think he’s a badass and I figure I emulate him very well,” Terracciano said. “He’s in the shadows and he’s an assassin. It took me about 50 hours to make this entire costume.”

Alice Quiros, president of The Gamers Guild, weaved through a myriad of obstacles to set up the event. It involved getting the contact information of all the other clubs and finding funding for such a large event- not an easy task, considering “a few more clubs” were involved than last year. While it was “still good,” there was one small issue.

“We don’t have a sandwich bar sadly, which was a favorite last year,” Quiros said.

But it was still good enough for Jonathan Stein, a recent SBU grad, who returned just to see his old friends at NerdFest 2.0. To him, it seemed “even bigger than last year.”

“It’s gotten more people, it’s gotten more games and things to do everywhere, more clubs doing things, making wands, doing puzzles, playing video games, ‘Smash Brothers’- I need to do that later,” Stein explained.

But there was one thing people definitely weren’t doing here.

“It’s NerdFest,” Stein joked. “It’s not like anybody’s dating one.”



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