February 15, 2018, BY Michelle Choe '18

A student wearing a suit of armor plays pool at BisonCon.
A suit of armor did not prevent this knight from playing pool at the fourth annual Bison-Con event. Photo by Reid Sanchez '18

What happens when a knight, a Pokémon and Harry Potter walk into Uptown on a Friday night?

You get Bison-Con, a yearly event held to connect fans from all walks of life and celebrate their passions. Nearly 150 enthusiastic fans of Game of Thrones, anime and more — many sporting their favorite costumes and fan apparel — joined in the fourth annual event, held Feb. 2 in Bucknell's student-managed event space.

Bison-Con was produced in partnership with campus organizations including C.A.L.V.I.N. & H.O.B.B.E.S., Fandom United, DRAGON, the Japanese Society and the Magic Association of Noble Amateurs (M.A.N.A.). C.A.L.V.I.N. & H.O.B.B.E.S. is a student club that focuses on providing the Bucknell community fun activities that are substance-free. DRAGON, the Dramatic Role-Playing and Gaming Official Network, provides a community for those interested in role-playing and tabletop games.

Alexis Colon '19, dressed as Pokémon character Flareon, shared her thoughts on Bison-Con. "It was a cute little 'con' and I really enjoyed it," said Colon. "It was especially cool to see someone sport a full-plate suit of armor!"

Bison-Con was inspired by various Comic-Cons held in cities around the globe, which draw hundreds of thousands of attendees. These conventions often feature previews for new movies and video games set for release in the coming year along with pop-up shops and smaller exhibits of items such as vintage comic books and collectible figurines.

Activities at Bison-Con included a viewing of the Japanese animated fantasy film The Tale of Princess Kaguya, games such as Magic: The Gathering and Catan, a trivia competition and a butterbeer tasting.

But Bison-Con's creation was about more than playing games and watching a movie, said Guelmi Espinal '18, Uptown's co-general manager. He shared that it is a part of a broader mission to create a space for underrepresented cultures and hobbies for all Bucknellians.

"Uptown has always been about casting our net wide as opposed to deep," said Espinal. "We constantly run smaller-scale events because we want to be there for people who want to do something different from the rest of the campus."

Michelle Choe '18, who majors in markets, innovation & design, is an undergraduate executive intern in the Division of Communications.