LEWISTON — The Bates College club Discordians will be holding its first BatesCon event Saturday.

The public welcome convention is the first of its kind featuring speakers, board games, video games, role-playing games, how-tos, vendors, food trucks and more.

The Bates College Discordians will hold its first ever BatesCon event Saturday. Bates College Discordians photo

Discordians co-president Jeremy Schrieber said originally setting out for a large-scale free admittance event that isn’t a dance, he landed on the idea of a convention and fell in love with it.

“I wanted to make a space where people could come together to enjoy their interests and maybe find some new ones and I wanted that experience to be open to everyone,” Schrieber said.

Despite dreaming up the idea, the reality of it has been a huge team effort, he said. Schrieber, co-president Caroline Norman and vice president Max Olson, are just three of a team of more than 10 who put effort into the convention.

Norman, also the club’s historian according to Schrieber and Olson, said the first of the event’s two speakers will be Bates College Class of 1988 alumni Keith Baker, a founder of the club. Baker is an award-winning game designer who most notably created Eberron, a fictional world in the third edition of Dungeons and Dragons.


The club started as a force of chaos, Norman said, as Baker and his friends would perform around campus forcing people to do double-takes and to get them thinking. They would host games and events that might appear strange to the average onlooker who weren’t “in the know,” she said.

“Such as Ice House, a fast-paced game played with lots of little pyramids,” Norman said. “(It was) designed by Andrew Looney and made to look like it could have been played by aliens. There was a giant version of that game on the quad with big pyramid-shaped pillows.”

Norman said Baker and his friends, after making campus just a little weirder, focused on making peoples’ ideas for games or events come to life.

“If someone approached the club with an idea for an event or a game they didn’t know how to run, the Discordians would do their best to make it happen,” Norman said.

The club is now more focused on gaming, but now and again, the club will take on some of those out-of-the-box ideas.

Olson said his opinion on the convention isn’t one all Discordians share, but the turnout will come more for the speakers, which also includes table gaming guru Alex Teplitz, than the games.

“This is the first, we hope, of many,” said Max Olson, Discordians’ vice president. “It’s been a ton of work, but hopefully this means in future years, we will have a good precedent set.”

Baker’s and Teplitz’s talks will involve several subjects including world-building, game design, getting into gaming, industry, building an online persona and queerness in the gaming industry. Convention events include video game playing and tournaments which will include Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., Tekken 8 and Nickelodeon Brawl 2; board, table and role-playing games including Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering and Nordic chess; and trivia and how-tos.

BatesCon runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Register and learn more about the convention and its offerings here.

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