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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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AggieCon 53: A Midsummer Night’s Con

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  • The cosplay contest award-winners at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Caitlin Hullett as Rosetta won Best in Show at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Royal Aces perform during intermission at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Contestants waits for awards at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Olivia Moody as Skull Kid from the Legend of Zelda won Best Novice at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Luigi wins Judge’s Award at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Cosplay contest judges Little Squid Prince and Stitch Crimes at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Assistant Director Jade Torres at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Olivia Moody as Skull Kid from the Legend of Zelda won Best Novice at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Caitlin Hullett as Rosetta won Best in Show at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • The three cosplay contest winners of the Judge’s Choice awards at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Savvy Malone as Cupid won Best Journeyman at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Olivia Moody as Skull Kid from the Legend of Zelda won Best Novice at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • The cosplay contest award-winners for Best Novice, Best Journeyman and Best in Show at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
  • Caitlin Hullett as Rosetta won Best in Show at AggieCon in the Rudder Forum on Feb. 3, 2024.

    Photo by Karis Olson
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Skirts swayed across the carpet and vibrant wigs filled rooms as guests moved throughout the Memorial Student Center and Rudder Forum at the 53rd AggieCon

With voice actor panels, video game tournaments, board game rooms, an artist’s gallery, cosplay contest and trading-card game tournaments, the convention had events from Friday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 4 for all nerdy and geeky hobbies and interests. Hosted by the student organization Cepheid Variable, AggieCon 53: “A Midsummer Night’s Con” had more than 500 guests this weekend. 

Dating back to 1969, AggieCon has evolved dramatically from its roots as a Star Trek convention to include more games, events and panels. This year, the convention added trading-card game tournaments, an upgraded cosplay cafe with pastries from Koala Bakery & Cafe, Rudder Forum as the cosplay contest venue and an expanded dealer’s room, where attendees shop for fan merchandise and trinkets. 

Forensic and investigative sciences junior Emma Tuttle served as AggieCon 53’s director and organized the event along with the Texas A&M Cosplay Club. 

“What I like about AggieCon is more interaction,” Tuttle said. “We’re definitely more of the intimate vibe [where] you can meet new people.”

Tuttle said she particularly enjoys the tournaments at the convention which help connect people with similar interests. 

“Just being able to sit down and play card games with other people and meet people that way is kind of one of the bigger draws,” Tuttle said.  

Communication sophomore Jade Torres served as assistant director where she assisted with photography, public relations and provided support for other officers at AggieCon. 

AggieCon is just one of the ways that Cepheid Variable works to connect its members to other people with similar interests in the community, Torres said. 

“Cepheid never wants you to feel without community … we want to be able to give people an outlet to meet people that are like them,” Torres said. “It’s something that I find very special about Cepheid.”

Blue Lock anime voice actors Alex Hom, Bryson Baugus and Drew Breedlove ran individual panels and a collective panel together at AggieCon. 

“We invite guests here and most of the time they end up being voice actor guests from animes because we have a lot of big anime recording studios in Texas,” Torres said. 

Panels were also held by students and volunteers which Tuttle said allowed for a wide variety of content. 

“A lot of panelists are other students or volunteers or professionals, people who want to come and have fun doing things,” Torres said. 

Other guests included three professional cosplayers who judged Saturday’s cosplay contest, such as Samantha Study, known professionally as StitchCrimes.

“Some of the stuff that you see in cosplay contests are just mind-blowing, like StitchCrimes — [Samantha Study] — she just won Best in Show at Anime Frontier and she made everything from her wig to her big props, which were like some big scissors. She even cobbled her own shoes,” Torres said.  

At AggieCon, contestants were required to create at least 50% of their cosplay to enter the novice category. To enter the journeyman category, contestants must have made at least 75% of their costume and have won at least one award prior. 

“The thing about cosplay contests is they’re not store-bought,” Torres said. “You have to make everything by hand for a cosplay contest to compete, or at least 50%, but it’s mostly homemade things.”  

After a month of creating her intricate paper mache, plaster and foam mask, learning to sew her dress and crafting a wooden belt, astrophysics junior Olivia Moody won Best in Novice for her cosplay as Skull Kid from “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.” Moody had never entered a cosplay contest prior to AggieCon.

“I can’t believe that my first time I won … I’m just shocked,” Moody said. “I’m really really proud of myself for winning and for this entire costume.”

Caitlin Hullett, Class of 2023, was last year’s Best in Novice winner and moved up to the journeyman category this year, winning Best in Show for her cosplay as Rosetta from “The Fairies of Pixie Hollow.” 

“Pretty much everything I’m doing is new,” Hullett said. “I’ve never made a structured bodice … I’ve never made a boned corset, I’ve never wired a skirt before, I’ve never dyed shoes before, I’ve never made wings or used LEDs, I’ve never used foam or made a prop so everything was completely new. The only thing I knew how to do was use a sewing machine.” 

Hullett said she was a harsh critic of her costume and refused to believe she could win, contrary to family and friends saying she would. 

“If I hadn’t known pictures were coming, I would’ve cried,” Hullett said. “It was insane. I wasn’t expecting to place at all.”

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Nadia Abusaid
Nadia Abusaid, Life & Arts Writer
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