Fans gather for celebration of games geekdom
Geeks from across the country overdosed on fantasy fare at the weekend's Armageddon Expo at the Claudelands Event Centre.
The event is in its third year in Hamilton and continues to gather momentum with pre-booked ticket sales up 20 per cent on previous years.
Audiences trekked in from across the country and many of them indulged in a little Cosplay, the popular art of dressing as someone from movies, books and video games.
Cosplay has caught on of late and is now a big feature of the expo.
Armageddon fan Blair Hamilton said dressing as character Squall from Final Fantasy VIII was something he had always wanted to do.
"I grew up with the game and he was always my favourite character," he said. "There is a lot of culture to this".
The price tag on dressing for Armageddon isn't cheap. Hamilton said his costume cost between $200 and $300, but friend Joshua Thompson spent upwards of $2000 on his King Leonidas costume.
Chantelle Meagreness, who dressed as Bellows from Suisei no Gargantia, said she gets dressed up for Armageddon Expos all around the country.
"I've been going to them for five years. Every time I go as a different character, sometimes two characters. There are a lot of friends I have that I only really get to talk to online and I get to see them all here in costume."
Special guests, such as Stargate SG1 star Christopher Judge, Percy Jackson star Jake Abel and Supernatural star DJ Qualls charmed audiences at signings and photo sessions.
Actor John Callen, who spoke for an hour on his role as the dwarf Oin in The Hobbit trilogy, delighted the audience when he handed his prosthetic mask, ear trumpet and an especially minted ring, around the crowd.
J-Pop performer Chii Sakurabi, who has just released her album Moon Princess, said she looks forward to seeing more of New Zealand. "This is my first time to come to New Zealand so I am so excited. The people are so nice and I'm definitely going to go check out lots of sheep."
Armageddon creator Bill Geradts said they always aimed to make the event bigger and better every year.
"Our unofficial motto for the show is ‘every show is the best show'. So next year has got to be bigger than this year. We've got no idea how we're going to do it because we've made this one as good as we can."
Geradts said much of Armageddon's success had come from a shift in the audience and the satisfaction organisers got from showing people something new.
"Some people leave with a comic they had never heard of, or a book they haven't seen, or something they are interested in that they weren't before, and that's when we know we've done our job. It's almost like religious indoctrination of geekdom."
Audrey Ellis is a Wintec journalism student
More on expo, pages 12 and 7.