Multigenre Fan Convention Pyrkon (pol. Festiwal Fantastyki Pyrkon) (commonly known as Pyrkon) is a Polish fan convention held annually in Poznań on the first weekend after the spring equinox and dedicated to an integration of Science fiction fandom and a promotion of science-fiction/fantasy literature, comics, film, television, video games, RPG, LARP, board games, collectible card games and miniature wargaming.
Ok, so I’ve been to this convention and it’s been two weeks since this happened, my beard has grown again, so it’s high time to write a summary/opinion/something like that.
This was my first Pyrkon, so I have no comparison with previous editions. However, I have to say that I didn’t notice any problems with organization. I arrived at 8 p.m. and therefore I wasn’t worried that I would stay in a long queue, but long queues were actually eradicated at any time, espacially on Saturday, the most busy and queue-causing day during the convention. I know how hard it is to make such number of people not-stuck in the most unpleasant way on events I co-organised, which were for, at most, 350 people. This event was, like, 120 times bigger. My respect.
Well, as some people might excpect, event for 50k people must have something. And by something I mean 8 pavilons full of attractions, two courtyards and 4 support pavilions.
The biggest hall was full of merchants, sellers and artists, who see the festival as a great way to make profit. As you might have noticed, this hall is actually in the background of the note. The photo shows only a tiny fraction of the whole space. On the mezzanine a short-lived comic reading room.
Hall 5A hosted video games, old computers and consoles, esport and Nintendo (actually their Polish distributor – Conquest Entertainment, but nobody noticed, so nm). The opportunity to use the old hardware which only fine collectors possess and to milk a cow on Nintendo Switch’s game 1-2 Switch (a.k.a. game nobody bought, because who wants to pay 50€ for a modern Wii Sports) is truly unforgettable.
Pavilion 7 contained not only contests, some lectures and a lot of post-apo cosplayers but also an arena, which was a place for many battles and… a Japanese (performers were actually just cosplayers, but hey, songs were Japanese) idols concert. I cannot say it was a disappointment, but a lot of mistakes, late start and other issues marked the stigma.
Some people say that you shouldn’t focus on lectures when you’re on a big convention. But actually, I like attending them and learning things connected to my hobbies, so they filled my schedule quite significantly. And well, if you made a lecture on such big event, you wouldn’t make it a big mistate, would you? (actually sometimes you would)
The lectures were divided into sections – English-speaking, for beginners, literary, scientific, RPG, video games and so on.
As the festival is held in Poland, the majority of lectures were in Polish, which is not a problem as long as you know Polish. Apparently I know this language, so that wasn’t a problem. For the sake of cohesion all titles will be translated.
I planned to attend more lectures, however they caused one problem – queues. Some of them demanded a 40 minutes waiting, which was unacceptable. Furthermore, for some people a lack of nightly attractions was a drawback, but as I like to, well, sleep at night (pretty reasonable, huh?) and I hate being aware that I missed an interesting or funny lecture, I find it nice.
Discover the Secrets of Cryptography – this lecture was actually the worst of these I attended. It used only half the time reserved, was pretty dull, however the speaker tried to put at as many information as possible, he just did it poorly.
Video Games As a Subject of Study for the Art Historian – an interesting discourse about the way how the game developers use art to tell the story of their games. The author concentrated on the examples from Assassin’s Creed and many indie games. This was truly a refreshing look at the industry.
Arcade games in Japan – allegedly the industry of arcades is still running in Japan. There’re of course sociological and technological reasons for that, well illustrated by the speaker.
Who has been reading Marvel and DC comics in the People Republic of Poland? – the world of comics filtered by the communist propaganda and silly translations. Are super heroes facists, is Superman actually a Nietzsche’s Übermensch?
Has 9/11 changed the world of comics? – a youtuber described how popculture has changed after September 11, 2001. How to face a tragedy with a comic book? How Patriot Act and mass surveilance after the incident raised questions about security and privacy and how the cartoonists put this dilemma in their works?
Do you like conspiracies? – YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO READ THIS
Well, the organizers (actually their partner – Eventory) provided an app for attendees, which was great, because no one really wants to carry a A4 brochure about everything that happens on the festival. It was good, but as it was made by a third party I’m not surprised.
Ok, so that’s it. Thanks for reading.
This summary is a specific way to store memories. Normally, I’d use photos made on the event, but this time I forgot to take my camera, so… yeah. I hope you enjoyed it.
But hey, I made few videos and photos, but they’re astonishingly shitty – Pyrkon 2017