Feb 032014

pcon2013 bb9q4730Were you there for Penguicon 2013? We wanted to take a look back at the experience that Sparrow (2013’s con chair) and her staff diligently put together – over 1,100 people came together for a weekend of laughter, sharing, learning, and getting their nerd on.

The event took place at the amazing Auburn Hills Marriott at Centerpoint, who took care of us like no other hotel has before, solving problems before we even knew they existed.  They even changed the prices of their drinks mid-weekend to better accommodate our crowd, and we repaid them by drinking and eating everything they had to offer, and then some.

The 2013 Guests of Honor covered diverse interests, and tell us they had an awesome time this year, and hope to come back again.

pcon2013 bb9q5145Jim Hines, author of the Magic ex Libris series, the Jig the Goblin trilogy, and the Princess series, was there to share his experiences in writing fantasy and becoming a successful author. Along with writing tips, Jim shared some of the history behind his campaign to highlight sexism on fantasy book covers.

We interviewed him that weekend, and he said, “I’m having a blast!”  We are right there with you, Jim.

Jason Denzel discussed the challenges in setting up and running his website dragonmount.com, which is the largest fan site for the Wheel of Time fantasy book series.  He told us in the opening ceremonies that coming to Penguicon allows him to just “be Jason” because we represent so many of his nerdy interests.

pcon2013 bb9q5142

Author Michael Lucas, author of DNSSec Mastery, focused on tough troubleshooting situations in tech, and how to approach them with humor.

On the open source end, Maik Schmidt taught us how to create video games using Arduino, and Nick Farr shared his experience as a hacker activist and hackerspace nurturer.

Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, explored the combination of cooking and science to make delicious, delicious, nerdy food. He also helped people discover whether they were a “super-taster” or even a “non-taster” when it comes to taste buds.

pcon2013 bb9q4820Our nerd music bases were covered, with people dancing to Piko Piko, Inverse Phase, Wax ChaoticTom Smith and more, all day and night.

As Inverse Phase put it, “I’ve been blippin’ all weekend!” It was great to hear some of the artists wander the halls with their custom-rigged Gameboys, blasting out the chip-tunes.

pcon2013 bb9q4924We had our second annual Geek Prom, where our fellow nerds dress up however they want for an epic dance party.  We had a game of Zombie Tag shambling through the halls (a screaming good time!).

Of course we had our traditionally exotic and sometimes alcoholic liquid nitrogen ice cream, but we also had a fantastic bourbon tasting!

pcon2013 bb9q5048Anyone who was there might have seen the dancing robots in the lobby, experienced our community-run room parties and our typically kickass ConSuite with breather balcony – but did you see the tiki bar?  The hotel set one up in the main lobby, featuring a dance floor and cocktails made from energy drinks.

Even the wedding party (also at the hotel) came out and danced with us!

pcon2013 bb9q5099The makerspace was hopping all weekend, with All Hands Active and i3Detroit helping people learn to solder and put together circuit boards.

Many people created LED Penguicon badges, the software of which is, of course, open source.

We’re really proud of the Penguicon we put together in 2013 – it was another weekend-long adventure into all worlds of nerd, and it just gets better every year.

If you’d like to relive the experience once more, check out our What is Penguicon? video!

Some other Penguicon 2013-related web links:

And check out YouTube for various recorded panels, video podcasts and more from 2013!

We can’t wait to do it all over again this year, with your help.  Join us for Penguicon 2014, May 2 – 4, at the Southfield Westin.  You are going to love it.