OctopodiCon is a convention for the aspiring and gifted steampunks, as educational as it is entertaining.
Freshman rush - steampunk style, that's OctopodiCon 2012.
In 3 days, we (and our charming spokes-octopod, Baron Octavian von Calamari, Esq.) offer a pseudo-collegiate experience. In between learning about corsetry and top hats in the classrooms, you can take in a performance by Professor Elemental, then relax over tea in the Tea Parlour. Visit steampunk authors in the Scriptorium, stroll through the Promenade, have your portrait taken for the Yearbook, then watch airship captains challenge one another's remote control airships through a daring and complex course.
As an attending student, you receive a badge number that you keep from year to year because this is your student ID number that allows you to earn credit hours towards a novelty steampunk degree (frameable!) by attending panels, makeshops, demonstrations, and performances not just at OctopodiCon, but through Tentacle Classes held at other conventions around the country.
Younger students (between 6 and 10) can spend time with the Junior Sprockets investigating dinosaurs and musical instruments, creating art, listening to stories, practicing their “mad engineer” laughs, and being entertained by a magician.
Slightly older students (11 - 15) can enter the Artifact Club to turn pennies into gold, make a spy decoder, build an orrery, make quicksand, make a Chinese seismometer, and plan a death-trap laden lair, among other things.
All students of every age are assigned to a team (we call them Pods, because really, calling them “suckers” was just not right) so they can enjoy the camaraderie and competition belonging to a Pod can create – it gives even the newest steampunk a connection. Best of all, as the weekend progresses, this first year, everyone gets to contribute to the symbols and mythology of their Pod, name their Pod mascot (one of Baron Octavian's Calamari Kidz) and earn Pod Points so their Pod gets honored throughout the year. Whatever symbols and colors and such they devise for the winning Pod will set the theme for OctopodiCon 2013
Lots of local talent will be there, too - the Cutie Carny Variety Circus, Roscoe and Red, and Triskelion will be among the entertainers, and artists like Hugo award winning Brad Foster, who created our logo and brought Baron Octavian von Calamari, Esq. to life and Melia Newman renowned for her crazy quilting as well as her ink drawings, not to mention college professors like feminist geographer Belinda Beatrice Pinhiero and Egyptologist Amelia Ann McAlden. Those are just a few of our Visiting Professors.
We are making great connections in the community - the Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System is giving us space to hold monthly steampunk Teas and sponsoring an author to appear at OctopodiCon, as well as hosting a Steampunk Day to help promote us and running a steampunk film festival leading up to OctopodiCon and during OctopodiCon. Local museums are offering us research information and academic support. Professors at colleges around the country are coming to OctopodiCon to share their knowledge relating to steampunk. Artists and costumers, artificers and entertainers will also be there to educate, delight, and fascinate. The Society of American Military Engineers is sponsoring 2 contests - the junior/senior High School Automaton Contest and the adult Airship Captain's Competition with remote controlled indoor airships. The OHM is sponsoring a Mad Engineers Contest for attendees of any age. We're also working to qualify as a Themed Science Cafe because OctopodiCon isn't just a 3 day convention, it's a year round event with Monthly Teas that are hilariously educational and always delicious.
If you've just heard about steampunk and want to learn how to get involved and how to do the basics, OctopodiCon is definitely the place to start, with costuming classes and steampunking up accessories, with history and cultural information, and with lots of places and time to socialize and meet other steampunks. And if you've been steampunk since K.W. Jeter coined the term, you'll get a chance to show off all you've done and participate in the competitions and social activities.
There's always shopping at the Mercantile and the Art Gallery, the Masquerade, and the Saturday night SteamMaker's Ball.
We've come so far, with so much incredible support from so many amazing people who didn't even know what steampunk was when we first started talking to them. And now, we've got schools involved in making automatons and the library reaching out through steampunk to interest readers and future authors, and we have plans (cue evil laugh) for future OctopodiCons (Mad Scientists, Aeronauts, Tentacle Classes, and more). We've got the Teas and the interest and the attention of the local community.
Now, we're in the home stretch. We're so close. We've paid the deposits and fees and operated in the black so far. We need your help to cover those final supply costs to bring OctopodiCon 2012 to life (It's alive, Igor, aliiiiive!).
We have some nifty little rewards for helping us out but the best reward of all will be the excitement on the faces of the people who will get to come to OctopodiCon. We'll share pictures and videos as we go along so you can see what you've helped bring into existence.
Some people might say it's for the kids (and we have plans for extending the Junior Sprockets and the Artifact Club), but it's not just for the kids - it's for everybody. We all get to do things and make things and show off and meet people and have a jolly good time doing it all.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.