If South African cities were siblings, Johannesburg would be the over-achieving A-type first born; Cape Town the supremely cool hipster middle child; and Durban the self-conscious laat lammetjie, who splits their time between surfing and getting stoned. Put another way, Durban gets overlooked, a lot. Fortunately, in terms of geek lifestyle that seems to be changing. Next month, Durbanites can attend the third annual ICON By the Sea.
Taking place from Friday, 7 April, to Sunday, 9 April, ICON By the Sea 2017 is the coastal equivalent of ICON, Joburg’s long-running games and comic convention. If you’ve ever been to an ICON, you’ll have a very good idea what you can find at the East Coast event. Unlike rAge, with its focus on electronic gaming, tabletop gaming takes centre stage at ICON.
Some of the things you can look forward to at this year’s pirate-themed ICON By the Sea are dozens of board game demos (including giant board games), and a chance to experience role-playing in the form of Pathfinder and Ultimate Werewolf. For competitive gamers, there will be tournaments for everything from Settlers of Catan to Warhammer 40K, Star Realms and, of course, Magic: The Gathering.
Aside from gaming, attendees can also check out the two-day cosplay competition (entry is first come, first serve), browse Artists’ Alley, and just generally pick up comics, collectibles and other geeky wares. With the return of the Durban Sword and Shield Society, the most adventurous visitors can even go toe-to-toe with a fully armoured knight, and see what full-contact Medieval combat is about.
After two very successful conventions, ICON By the Sea moves this year to a new venue – the much bigger Old Mutual Sports Hall at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Entrance fees for attendees are R60 per day, or R100 for a weekend pass.
For more information on the event, check out the official site, or the event Facebook page. The full event brochure promises to be uploaded soon, so you can start planning your weekend timetable.
Your chance to WIN tickets.
Critical Hit has one pair of ICON BY the Sea weekend passes to give away (i.e. a ticket for you and a partner).
To enter, simply leave a comment under this post stating what aspect of this year’s ICON By the Sea you are most looking forward to. Please only enter if you will be in Durban on 7 – 9 April.
The competition closes on Thursday, 30 March, at midnight. The winner of the two tickets will be drawn randomly from eligible entries and announced on Friday, 31 March.
Good luck, and hope to see some of you coastal dwellers there!
Last Updated: March 31, 2017
March 28, 2017 at 12:04
HOLY SHI!TAKE MUSHROOMS!!!!
SOME LOVE FOR DURBANITES?! ON CH? Someone pinch me… quick… QUICK DAMMIT!
I’m stupidly keen to check out some new Boardgames for the collection. See if there’s any Pathfinder stuff around as well, maybe even dust off my old Burn or EDH Magic decks and play a game or two…
March 29, 2017 at 10:02
I’d say Joburg is more like the second child that was always jealous of the praise heaped on its slacking older sibling (CT) and so it worked hard at school and got good grades and ended up making a massive success of itself but still everyone only cares about CT and it’s just there with all those achievements, unwanted and lonely.
Durban is the prodigy younger sibling that nobody thinks will achieve anything but it’s making waves all on its own, and other families (countries) have taken notice.
As for ICON, I mean yeah I’d like to check it out because it’s in my city and I’m curious is that a good enough reason I don’t know.
March 30, 2017 at 08:22
To be honest everything, this would be my first ICON by the sea and i am looking forward to seeing what it has to offer plus cosplay has been getting really good in SA so i am keen to see the skills on show.
March 30, 2017 at 17:00
Been there every year for the board gaming tournaments – Ticket to Ride and Memoir 44 again this year.
Out of interest, I had a flash-back on the weekend, I was looking at some certificates for WH40k. I was awarded them a long time ago when Oubliette was Durban’s annual gaming convention.