Hack3rCon 8 The “Ocho”

The 8th Hack3rCon and 3rd SecureWV cyber security conference is this Friday November 17th through Sunday November 19th at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in South Charleston.  The event is run by 304 Geek.

The event will have three rooms of speakers and classes: Speakers track for “normal” talks and presentations, Teachers track for those new to InfoSec, Forensics track partnering with Marshall University Digital Forensics department.  Plus a room of Villages this year: Hardware Hacking Village sponsored by SME Inc., Voting Machine Hacking Village, Lockpick Village.  There will also be a Capture The Flag area and Amateur Radio Technician Test given on Sunday.  Panels include such topics as ransomware, Python scripting, WireShark, BASH scripting, network forensics, and more general IT and technical discussions.  During the evening they will have a PGP Key Signing Party and karaoke to take part in.

This year’s Keynote Speaker is Information Systems Security Association Hall of Fame award winner Ira Winkler.  Ira is the President of Secure Mentem, author of Advanced Persistent Security, and co-host of The Irai Report.  He is one of the world’s most influential security professionals and engages in espionage simulations for companies all over the world.  He will give different talks on Friday and Saturday about fighting Advanced Persistent Threats and Learning From Failure.

There are also plans to stream Speakers talks on the Internet via IronGeek.

Registration to attend is $50 or $35 for students with valid IDs, both high school and college level attendees.  You can also pre-order t-shirts.

If you have an interest or job in computers, hacking, and security; this is something you should try to make it too.  A much more formal event than what I usually post about, but a great chance to learn and connect with others.

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Two Cons For Good Causes

This Saturday November 4th two different cons will both be running in Charleston to raise money for charity.

At the Capital City Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police in Charleston will hold this year’s Extra Life Con, a board game convention to raise money for WVU Children Hospital.  The event goes from 11am to 11pm and is part of the Extra Life charity Game Day.

From 2pm to 8pm there will be raffles for over a dozen donated prizes; such as board games and two passes to the Lock & Coded Escape Rooms.  Entry to the event comes with five free tickets and you can buy more for $1 each.

There will be pods of Magic Commander, with free booster packs given out, through out the day as they get enough people.  No extra fee to play.  A tournament table will be set up with different games you can join for $2.  Winners will receive an extra ten raffle tickets.  Games will be played as they fill up.

The board game library from CharCon will have around fifty games for anyone to try and play.  Donate old games and buy news ones, with the money going to the WVU Children’s Hospital.

Entry to the event is $25.

Mountain State Pop Expo will be at the South Charleston Holiday Inn and Suites both Saturday and Sunday.  It is a celebration of fandom and a benefit for the Children’s Home Society of WV.  The vendor room is open from 10am to 6pm with events in the panel rooms going even later.

Set up will be artists, writers, cosplayers, comic and toy dealers, the 501st, nerdy craft makers, video games, video production companies, Ghostbusters, table-top games, and more fun stuff to buy.

There will be a performance from Final Form Fusion belly-dancing, a cosplay contest, raffle prizes, and panels (including one on Nerd Music from myself).

Tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for both.

Either event looks like fun and helps out a good cause.  In fact you could do both if you really wanted.

 

WV Game Developers Expo 2017

The 2017 West Virginia Game Developers Expo will be this Friday October 27th from 9am to 5pm at the Mountwest Community and Technical College in Huntington.

The event brings companies, speakers, programmers, artists, players together from around West Virginia and surrounding states to learn about the filed of video gaming development in professional and passionate environment.

The keynote speaker for this year is Justin McElroy, the host or co-host of several podcasts such as “My Brother, My Brother and Me” (now a TV show), Sawbones, and The Adventure Zone; and on YouTube series “Monster Factory” and “Things I Bought at Sheetz” .  He co-founded the gaming site Polygon where he writes and makes videos for.

There several sessions on different topics to help guide people in video game creation. There will also be workshops on Unity Fundamentals and Advanced Creation Tools in Unity sponsored by 28:12 Studios, and an advanced level workshop using SOLID sponsored by Lasso Games.

Exhibitors at the event include 28:12 Studios, Lasso Games, Multithreaded Games, Isotower, Wraith Games, Vandalia Softworks, Sleepy Owl Software, Stonicorn, Marshall University, Mountwest College, Collins Technical Center, and others showing off their works and games.  There is also an artist alley and an e-sports area sponsored by eSports @ Mountwest.  Mountwest Cafe will be open for breakfast and lunch purchases.

Junior and Senior high school and college students get in free.  All others are $15.  Since this is a professional event so those under seventeen are asked not to come.

If you have an interest in video game creation or the people behind it, I would suggest making a trip to check this out.

WV Book Festival 2017

The West Virginia Book Festival returns this Friday October 27th and Saturday 28th at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston. There are a few authors and features fans of the blog might find interesting.

Featured authors for this year include R.L. Stine writer of the Goosebumps series and other children horror books, Joe Hill writer of the comic series Locke & Key and various horror books, Henry Winkler writer of a series of children’s novels and collection of anecdotes and observations.  Winkler was also in some TV show or two.  Several WV authors of more mainstream writings will be there as well.

They will each be giving a presentation followed by a book signing.  Stine on Friday, Hill and Winkler on Saturday.

There is a Festival Marketplace of book sellers, publishers, individual authors, and other literary vendors on Friday and Saturday.  A Word Play area for kids will be open on both days.  There will be craft tables, a Storybook Costume Parade on Saturday, Turtle Lady Nancy Lockard, story readings, and more for the kids to learn and play with.

The big library used book sale will go on Saturday.  There will be thousands of books, movies, CDs, and other items will be on sale including some rare and old selections.  Regular prices for books will be from 8am to 3pm, they close down then for half an hour, and then open at 3:30pm for the reduced price sale.

There will be two writing workshops on Friday: Starts and Stops: Building a Story from Beginning to End and Romance Writing in West Virginia.  Register for the workshops to guarantee your spot.

Fans of all literature genres should give a look at this event for new reads or learn about getting into writing.  By the way, the event and all sessions are free.

Tsubasacon 2017

Tsubasacon is back this Friday October 13th through Sunday October 15th at the Big Sandy Superstore Area and Conference Center in Huntington.  This year’s theme is “Feudal Japan.”

Voice actor guests for this year are Leah Clark (Deadman Wonderland, Soul Eater), Kristen McGuire (Assassination Classroom, comic artist), Robert Axelrod (Power Rangers, Digimon), and Austin Tindle (Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan).

Other guests are cosplay band Eien Strife, professional panelists Vitamin H Productions, The Carolina Manga Library, Japanese arcade machines from Tokyo Attack, foam weapon combat group Sleeping Samurai, game show host Greg Wicker, and pachinko machines from Pachinko Fever.

They will have all the standard anime con events: panels for learn and/or fun, cosplay contests, rave, artist alley, vendor room with a kinds of goods, cosplayers, autographs, game shows, masquerade ball, concerts, viewing rooms, guests Q&A, AMV League, maid café, and plenty of chances to meet fellow fans.  There will also be areas, tournaments, meet-ups, and more for video gaming, pachinko machines, mobile video and phone gaming, collectible card gaming, Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Warhammer and other war miniature games, and a board game library from the Huntington Unplugged Gaming Society.

Convention Registration is $45 for a weekend badge, $30 for Friday only, $40 Saturday only, and $20 for Sunday only.  Children between 8-12 badges are $20 for the weekend.  Children under seven get in free.  They also have a gaming wristband that only that only allows you into the gaming area of the con for $35 for the weekend.  Single day gaming wristbands available too.

The con is great for fans of anime, cosplay, table-top and video gaming, and a bit of general nerdery.  It is I think the most varied and diverse cons in the state.  Though sometime loud, crowded, and full of young people having fun.  I am not a big fan of “fun.”

Parkersburg Pop Con

The 2nd Annual Parkersburg Pop Con is this Saturday September 30th at West Virginia University at Parkersburg in Parkersburg from 11am to 5pm.  An event about all of pop culture.

Guests for the con are actor Jeremy Ambler, comic creator Tim Shinn, and illustrator Rusty Shackles.

Vendors and artists will be selling figures, comics, toys, memorabilia, collectibles, handmade crafts, clothing, food, anime and manga, shoes, art and prints, pezes, books, movies, jewelry, video games, knitted items, leather items, buttons, and plenty of other geeky items.  Also there will be Bunny Bombshell, Crooked Letter Creative, WV Ghostbusters, Hades Ladies of Hell’s Orchard Roller Derby, games, James Patrick, Jason Lewis, Shawn Langley, Stephen Hines, Wilson’s House of Cosplay, podcasters What’s Going On plus charities and publishing companies.

Events include table top gaming library, cosplay contests for adults and youths, cosplay panels, Super Smash Bros and Injustice 2 video game tournaments, live podcast recording, audience movie riffing, and more.

Crooked Letter Creative and the Astral Theatre Collective will be performing their new work “Carmilla” based on the horror classic by J. Sheridan LeFanu at the WVU Parkersburg theater at 8pm the same day.  The show is $15.

Admission for the con is only $5 and children ten and under get in free with an adult.

Nice little some event with several different genres covered and people to see and meet.

16th Annual Mothman Festival

The 16th annual Mothman Festival returns this Saturday September 16th and Sunday September 17th in the heart of main street Point Pleasant.  The event is a combination of town fair, comic con, and paranormal conference.

Things to see and do at the festival include bus tour of the TNT area, visit the Mothman Museum and the other museums in the area, the Mothman Statue, live bands, cloggers,  face painting, games, Hillbilly Zip Line, obstacle course, meet the AIMS Team from Destination America’s “Mountain Monsters” show, Mothman hayrides, Mothman 5k, the Mothman Pageant, and general sights to see.
There is also presentations from guest speakers at the Historic State Theater for free.  There will be talks from paranormal professionals, artists, and authors on topics covering local events and history, 2017 Chicago Flying Humanoids Wave, Southern Sasquatch, Black Eyed Kids, portals, and more.  On Sunday they will have a round table discussion answering questions from the audience.

Special costume appearances from the 501st Legion Carrison Corellia, Ghostbuster chapters from both WV and Ohio (includes giant 40ft Stay Puft Marshmallow Man), Bigfoot, the Men in Black, the Flatwoods Monster, and of course the Mothman himself.  If you have a costume of your own you would like to wear they heavily encourage you get in on the fun.

You can also find vendors selling all kind of merchandise.  Artists, authors, crafters, foods of all kinds, lemonade, and more with a paranormal theme going on.

The festival is free, but some events and places do cost a small fee.  But just hanging out seeing and meeting people is totally free.

A great time if you are interested in the paranormal, county fairs, or something you could bring your norm family too.