In this age of information and technology, geeks have taken their rightful place in the global mainstream. Hawaii has its own unique and delightfully eclectic geek community. It’s difficult to say exactly what “geek” means, but it certainly no longer has the stigma of contemptible, brainy recluse that it once did.
In fact, particularly here in Hawaii, geeks love to congregate to share interests, costumes, games, and gadgets. Cosplay, anime, manga, Star Trek, electronic gaming: all corners of geek-dom and fandom are represented in Hawaii. Here are a few geek resources and conventions (or “Cons”) to consider if you’d like to get your geek on during your Hawaii vacation. Hawaii’s geek community is inclusive and friendly, full of aloha.
The Hawaii Geek Meet is an informal annual event that takes place at Ala Moana Beach Park. Recently, the 7th Annual Hawaii Geek meet attracted hundreds of like-minded enthusiasts of all things geek. HAM radio operators, cosplay devotees, Lego lovers, tech lovers, drone enthusiasts, and others come together for a potluck atmosphere of food and fun under the sun. Just as at major conventions in mainland cities, the friendships made at Hawaii Geek Meet tend to last.
Kawaii Kon is an annual, 3-day event that takes place at the Hawaii Convention Center just outside Waikiki-proper. The convention celebrates fandoms emphasizing Japanese gaming and animation traditions. Begun in 2005, Kawaii Kon now attracts thousands each year and features, a wide variety of panels, workshops, discussion groups, presenters, cosplay, and gaming.
Kawaii Kon is particularly popular with Hawaii residents, as anyone who grew up in Hawaii during the 1970s watched Japanese cyborg superhero programs like “Kikaida” and “Ultraman” long before they became popular in the rest of America. (Even I had a Kikaida-themed 6th birthday party.)
The Hawaii Scottish Festival is held each year by the Saint Andrew’s Society of Hawaii. One of the highlights of the 3-day event is the deep involvement of the Society for Creative Anachronism’s Hawaii chapter (or, more accurately, “Barony”). Robed in marvelous recreations of the elaborate attire of Renaissance royalty, participants stage battles, give weapons demonstrations, and tell tales of their rule in a replicated Renaissance camp. All things Celtic are represented at the Hawaii Scottish Festival: arts, crafts, folklore, music, and cuisine.
HawaiiCon at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on Hawaii Island bills itself as “the world’s first Science, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Vacation Convention.” Taking place in September, HawaiiCon will feature guests from popular sci-fi and fantasy programs such as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Babylon 5,” and several respected members of the scientific community. Also scheduled are panel discussions, workshops, photo-ops, and autograph sessions.
For more information on these events and fandom in Hawaii, visit:
Posted by: Jamie Winpenny