Nerdy Happenings – Corvallis and Vicinity

star trek theatre companyCorvallis, thanks to its status as a college town, is home to a great variety of events for an even greater variety of people. Music, art, and sports are all well represented in Beaver Town, but those of the nerdy disposition will be happy to hear that there are more than enough gatherings of like-minded individuals in and around Corvallis.

To start, the Pacific Northwest is home to a great many fantastic conventions. Locally, Corvallis plays host to Just a Game Con, a tabletop gaming convention hosted by the folks at Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics. The event is held biannually, with its second showing this year coming on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4. Tickets are $8 per day or $12 for both days. Convention-goers can expect to play the latest and greatest that tabletop gaming has to offer with friendly folk around to help introduce you to new gaming experiences.

For those willing to take a little bit of a drive, Oregon also plays host to a number of comic conventions. Eugene, Portland, and Salem all hold various permutations of the tried and true comic-con formula. Each con attracts the usual fare: a variety of B-list celebrities with cult followings, vendors with all your nerdy interests, cosplayers enjoying the year-long Halloween experience, and a mass of your fellow nerds. The next Comic Con is on Sept. 19 and Sept. 20 in Portland. Each con is of varying prices, but for the most part affordable. As an avid con-goer myself, I can attest to the incredible value of these conventions.

If you’re interested in comics, but just looking for a little discussion, then our very own library has the answer for you. The Corvallis-Benton County Library has assembled the Graphic Novel Book Club for those who have come to understand the nuances behind their favorite superhero’s actions. Meetings take place on the first Tuesday of every month at New Morning Bakery and the library provides copies of the month’s latest highlighted book.

For those looking for something a bit more digital, Corvallis Game Devs has you covered. Informative game development meetings and semi-regular game jams should keep you satisfied. A game jam is a game development gathering where attendees plan and develop a full game within a short span of time, usually taking place over a 24- to 72-hour period. No experience is needed and the event is completely collaborative. Game jams are perfect for those even vaguely interested in how video games are made. There are even contingents of developers who make tabletop games at these events. The next jam is being held during Startup Weekend, Nov. 13 to
Nov. 15.

Lastly, nerdy artsy folk have a few interesting local events to look forward to as well. Central Park has been the spot for some great music this summer, but on Sept. 13 at 5 p.m., the nerds take over with a stage adaptation of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Eugene-based science-fiction theater troupe Trek Theatre is bringing their show to Corvallis with their take on the TNG episode “Darmok.” The show is free and family-friendly, and it sounds nuts in all the best ways possible.

OSU also has a fairly interesting exhibit on display in the Valley Library that both history and gaming nerds may enjoy. The Nuclear Age exhibit is currently being hosted in the Archives Research Reading Room on the fifth floor of the library and features original materials from the Atomic Age, including Geiger counters, original newspapers, and manuscripts and letters from both Linus Pauling and Albert Einstein. In conjunction with the exhibit, OSU is hosting a talk from Hiroshima survivor Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider on Oct. 22. Both history nerds and gaming nerds familiar with the Fallout series will find this exhibit enlightening and will have until March 2016 to enjoy it.

 No matter what subsection of the greater nerd community you lie in, Corvallis and the greater Oregon community has you covered. From video games to comic books, let your passions fly freely and find your new best friends at one of these events through the rest of the year.

By Nathan Hermanson