Hi Iggles, it’s Belette, your favorite French Iggle -mostly because you don’t know the others, ahah. Last weekend, I went to Geekopolis in order to represent IGGPPC. What is Geekopolis, will you ask ? I already explained it in another blog post, but I’ll make it short for the ones who don’t want to click : a super-geeky convention, meant to merge all kind of fandoms, which took place in Paris. As part of the street team, I wanted to spread the word about IGGPPC in France and Geekopolis seemed the right place to do so. It’s over now, and it was awesome, so here’s the text of the huuuuuge postcard I wanted to send to all of you from the “City of Geeks”.
Where the geek universes collide
Clémence -your other favorite French Iggle- and I came to Geekopolis early in the morning on Saturday. The people working there were finishing putting everything in place. We were amazed by their work : the convention center was full of wonderful decorations like a Tardis, a Giant Spider, squeletons (and even a poor Totoro) suspended in cages, a giant paper Hulk… Mostly villains were represented since it was the theme of the whole event.
The Agora, at the enter of the convention center, led to five quarters, and also to workshop rooms, conferences and concert halls. As usual, Geekopolis was divided in five quarters, one for each part of the global geek universe :
– Nautilus, a place dedicated to retro-futurists community, especially the Steampunk one
– Metropolis where we could find everything Science-fiction and super-heroes
– Avalon, a place of magic and fantasy and beautiful (pseudo)medieval stuff
– Little Tokyo, where all the Japan fans could gather and talk manga and anime together
– Teklab, the quarter where science and technology ruled
Hidden at the back of the convention, you could also find a Playroom with table-top and role-playing games!
Inside the quarters, the booths were well decorated, especially in the Steampunk quarter. In Geekopolis, everything is so classy and beautiful! Most visitors and exponents played the game by wearing their most astonishing outfits and cosplays, so it felt a bit weird when people were wandering around in normal outfits, like shirt and jeans. Like they were tourists in a colorful and variegated city.
We didn’t have a booth ourselves but luckily, we were shown to a VIP dressing-room inside the Nautilus quarter. It was very practical not having to go everywhere with all the giveaway goodies and the “Play the Female Villains Quiz” and “Join the IGGPPC” signs! We didn’t see nor do everything there was to do during those 2 days, but we’ve seen enough to really enjoy our time at Geekopolis. Just between you and I, it was the third time I went to Geekopolis and I’ve never loved this place this much. The convention has never been so full of geeky content, and the organisation was nothing but perfect.
What we did there (and there was so much more to do)
We saw things in Geekopolis… We saw a Steampunk club showing us stupid yet beautiful weapons and strange communication methods (I loved the one sending radishes). We saw combats in the Arena, waltz lessons, tea duelling, Magic Wand laser-tag, robots, Lego sculptures, real-life R2 droids, paper sculptures, giant video-game pad, costumes and even a planetarium. We saw dinosaurs walking in the alleys, wonderful cosplays, French geek celebrities, strange machines…
We went to concerts: the Negitachi, a choral group who sings geeky songs while doing hilarious choreographies, were present during the whole event, and I think they sang in every single place -maybe not in the toilets, but that’s all. Inside the Nautilus Quarter, the steampunk artist Mansara was singing live. On Saturday, the zombie rock-band Magoyond was in the concert hall with the Naheulband, an old and well-known parodic and rollistic music band. It was fabulous! Then, on Sunday, there was this incredible classic music concert where La Séga played famous video game themes.
We talked to people – a lot. We discovered a French podcast called “Pourquoi Buffy c’est génial” (Why Buffy is awesome) which tries to make audio commentary for every episode of the show and tries to explain how awesome the show is. We met the people behind Mageek, a classy Fanzine mocking the classical feminine magazines with style and humor. We found geeky postcards from geeky places like Gotham and Hill Valley at the booth of a shop called “La Tamponneuse”, and I wish I could send one card to each of you guys! We heard about the old movie Logan’s Run, about Free culture, about planets and stars, about privacy on the Internet. So many things to see and to do!
The IGGPPC stuff we did at Geekopolis
But of course, we weren’t only here for fun (yes, we were): we were here to represent IGGPPC, which meant a lot of work during those 2 days. We gave away more than two hundred business cards and explained the concept of the IGGPPC to hundreds of geeks we met in the alleys of the convention. What was really amazing was the fact that everybody seemed so pleased to hear about IGGPPC… We were a little bit anxious of men’s reactions to the name of the club, but they were all absolutely OK with the idea of joining a group run by women. Yeah French geek boys, I’m so proud of you for behind so open-minded! Most of the women we met talked to us about feeling alone, having difficulties to met new geek girl friends so the very idea of a community like ours was good news!
We did more than 35 quizzes during the week-end, 75 persons played with us and we had so much fun asking them those tricky questions about Female Villains in pop-culture. They loved every single small gift we gave to them – it was so cute to see their reaction when they took them, even if it was just a sticker or a badge. To answer, people had to do an evil laugh: we heard everything, from the nasty little giggle to the terrible cackle! We sadly discovered that girls were way more shy than boys when it came to laugh out loud in a convention or even to talk to strangers (obviously, us). So, here is the message for you, shy girls: come on, be proud of who you are! Geekopolis is such a safe place, you should totally let it go. The idea of this whole evil laugh plan was to make people turn around and ask themselves what was going on. It worked perfectly, since every time we started a quiz, Clémence had to answer questions and talk again and again about IGGPPC. She did the best job!
But the quiz was not our most famous activity…
On Saturday, Clémence did a great panel about Female Villains in Pop-Culture. The room was full -almost one hundred persons were here- and the panel was a huge success. At the end of the panel, some people stayed with us outside the conference room to discuss the subject and more. At this moment, we realised that some French Iggles we new only from the Facebook page were here to meet us, so it felt like a small IGGPPC meet-up. Three Iggles (and Iggle-to-be) wore gender bender cosplays of Disney Villains, isn’t it awesome?! We all stayed together for almost an hour after that, discussing and then taking the quiz in batte royale mode. Best moment ever! Don’t be sad if you weren’t here, I actually filmed the conference and we’ll translate the video as soon as we can!
On Sunday, I was doing a writing workshop named “Write a letter to your Nemesis.” Ten people came into the room, and I paired them -yeah, that’s an Iggle thing- to be a hero and his/her Nemesis and started to tell them how to write a letter… To a person you really don’t like, which is not usual. One hour was very short, so after they finished the letters, we ended up in the alley to read the letters out loud, and I have to admit I was quite impressed by their work! They did well, their letters were funny and well written. Some of them kindly send me the letters by e-mail so we’ll translate them to share their awesome work with you.
After all that week-end, it wasn’t enough for us: so we also helped the Geekopolis staff with the ending-event. Every year, the convention ends with a themed event, like a zombie walk or a monster march to walk the people to the exit of the convention center. This year, we dressed up as the Men In Black, wandering in the alleys with a sonic screwdriver to “flash” people and tell them, “You had a good day in Geekopolis, but it’s late and you will go home.” That was fun!
It was an honor to represent IGGPPC at a convention and I hope lots of French Iggles will join us in this awesomeness that is our club. Maybe you’ll be able to do the same in your local convention one day, just because sharing with strangers the feeling of discovering the IGGPPC, it’s priceless. And Clémence and I, plus other French Iggles, are ready to do it all again next year! I published a lot of pictures of the event on the French Facebook page, most of them have English comments but feel free to comment them and ask questions if you need explanations. The conference and letters will come soon!
Thank you for reading!