MEXICALI — Thousands of self-proclaimed local geeks are uniting for a three-day festival to learn about everything geeky during the fourth annual Geekfest.
The free event began Friday and continues through Sunday with an estimated 3,000 people expected to attend at Centro Estatal de Las Artes.
The art and technology event by the collective NeoGeek grew out of the ever-increasing popularity of technology, Geekfest organizer Guillermo Luna Plaza said.
“At the beginning, everybody liked video games, Japanese animation, technology and gadgets so we started asking people to come to one place and that place is Geekfest now,” he said.
One of the most popular parts of Geekfest is its cosplay, short for “costume play,” which is the cultural phenomenon of dressing up in costume, typically as one’s favorite anime or video game character.
While people can dress up and come at any point of the festival, there will be a showcasing of costumes and performances at 3 p.m. Sunday. While many of the participants are from Mexicali or the Imperial Valley, others come in from as far as Mexico City and San Francisco, Luna said.
Past participants of the festival’s cosplay have gone on to bigger international cosplay events in Tokyo and England, he added.
A wide variety of speakers hold technology-related discussions at the festival, including university postgraduate director Eduardo Gómez, who will talk about cybertronics and robots or ComicCon winner Hecmar Gómez who will talk about the digital art trade.
“This year we’re trying to show people how they can do business with their hobby,” Luna said. “Sometimes people are really good at something like drawing or someone is good at writing and they can collaborate for something like animation.”
It’s also a chance to meet and have a good time with other “geeks.”
“Sometimes geeks are very shy or don’t like to be social. We try to change that vision of the geek and at the same time try to show them how to make businesses,” Luna said.
Various after-parties at restaurants, bars and coffee shops are also promoted at the event.
A Monster Massive Lan Party, where people compete at video games in one location, will begin today at 10 a.m. with a tournament for the winners on Sunday. Fourteen teams with five on each team will compete at video games such as Mortal Combat and Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition with prizes awarded to winners. It costs 200 pesos to enter.
“It’s very exciting to watch people fighting. It’s very interesting,” enginnering student Omar Tirado said.
Visit www.geekfestmexico.com or the “Geekfest Mexico” page on Facebook for more information and to see schedules of events and speakers.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What Geekfest 2012
Where Centro Estatal de Las Artes
When 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
This article was amended to correct a source's name.