Return of Joy Con

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Building off the success of their inaugural conference last year Joy Con returned to Dryden last weekend for their second event, which this year stretched over two days.

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Dryden’s own charity pop-culture fandom convention once again proved it has staying power in the region and organizers confirm it will be back next year.

This year the convention grew to include panels with various experts, game rooms including board games and virtual reality, more vendors were added and the costume contest returned to feature a slew of creative cosplayers.

Jamie Young was one of the vendors and panelists who once again made the trek from Atikokan to be a part of Joy Con. Young runs Foamtastic Creations, which makes prop replicas from repurposed foam floor mats.

“Andy has really put something amazing together, this is only the second year and it’s absolutely tremendous. The support that has come out is great,” said Young.

“People see my builds and they ask about it, when they find out that it’s actually just the foam floor tiles you buy at Wal-Mart they’re quite surprised at the level of detail that goes into it, I mean some of the items I spent over 300 hours building. It’s great for them to be able to see the stuff, interact with them, some of them are animatronic, they move around and it’s just great to see.”

Panels ranged from local creator Logan Royer teaching 3D printing 101 to game designer Tony Coculuzzi who was live streamed in from Australia to talk about his role as lead programmer on the popular vide game ‘Cuphead.’

It’s exciting to see the next generation pick it up because it is a good game but it’s a socializing game; it’s not a video game, which I like the best, it’s sitting in a room with your friends and actually interacting with them which is what the game is all about

Local Dungeon Master Greg Gardiner ran a few panels over the weekend teaching the basics of the game he as played and loved for over 30 years, ‘Dungeons and Dragons.’

“It’s exciting to see the next generation pick it up because it is a good game but it’s a socializing game; it’s not a video game, which I like the best, it’s sitting in a room with your friends and actually interacting with them which is what the game is all about,” said Gardiner.

Organizer Andy McIsaac was once again in his element with a smile on his face and the occasional tears of joy. He said he is thankful for all the support he has received since the last convention and he hopes to make Joy Con better every year. It’s safe to say he succeeded this year.

“I’ve said this many times the only two goals we have at Joy Con are to have a huge party where we can all geek out and be friends and network and learn new things and have fun but also to raise funds in this town that we live in and that we love and to try and always shed nice shiny lights on this place that we live in,” said McIsaac.“I love it here and I don’t know a whole lot of people who live here who don’t.”

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