The Symposium Games at the Steampunk Empire Symposium were friendly competitions between the several Airships (or groups) that attended the Symposium. Pittsburgh was represented by the Steel City Steam Society in many of the categories. Although we did not place in any of the categories, we all did have an excellent time.
The winners- Cincinnati's own Airship Passpartout- won the beautiful trophy pictured below:
I only took photos of some of the competitions. Tiddly winks was cancelled due to time constraints, I did not attend the Verbal Dueling, and during the Costume Contest I was actually the announcer for the two members of our airship who were in the contest, so I was too busy with my duties to whip out my camera. But what I do have I will explain briefly and mostly let the photos speak for themselves.
The Mustache Parade involved judges determining who had the most impressive facial hair. I am not sure what the requirements were or who won, but the gentleman in the second photo below made an excellent effort on behalf of the SCSS:
Nerf Dueling was a good old fashioned High Noon type duel, shown below between the two finalists:
Croquet was exactly as described. Brass-looking wicks with real croquet mallets and one small change- spiky balls- made for a small twist on an old classic.
Tea Dueling was the sport in which I personally participated. I did rather decently in my opinion. It was so much fun that several of the airship members are now discussing having tea dueling competitions in our homes. The best part is even the loser walks away with a butter biscuit and tea. Win-win all around if you ask me.
Below I've depicted the final duel in photographic detail:
Umbrella Dueling was a really bad idea. There were real umbrellas with points with which the combatants whacked each other in sabre-style fencing moves. Near the end the rules were quickly changed after my friend Narla nearly took another girl's eye out. The combatants were told to use the rounded handles, instead of the pointed tips, with which to whack each other to prevent any possible eye injuries. Next year there is talk of asking participants to wear goggles as well- not a bad idea for a convention where such objects are in plentiful supply.
A video clip I took of one of the duels before the rules were changed is featured below:
The airship races were quite entertaining, as most of the ships' progress through the convention aether seemed to be directed by drunkards. The SCSS also planned to have an airship in the competition, but the engineer of the airship reported that the remote controller sort of blew up when he first tried to operate it. His hotel room had a proper smell of burned plastic and metal parts to reinforce the veracity of his tale. For the races there were an impressive assortment of ships and balloons- even including a motorized flying fish:
I promised to write about the panels as well, but I'll save that for its own post to prevent this one becoming longer than it currently is.