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Majors & Degrees

Record breaking Nanocon brings in over 1100

November 17, 2023

Nanocon, Dakota State’s annual free gaming convention, broke its attendance record this year, bringing in just over 1,100 people throughout the four-day event.

“This is the third year in a row we’ve broken our attendance record,” said Chad Compton, a junior Computer Game Design major, and producer and director for Nanocon. Past Nanocon attendance has been under 1,000.

While over half of the attendees were DSU-affiliated, the gaming convention brings visitors from all over the Midwest.

“We had a group of guys drive out from Wisconsin,” Compton said. “They go to cons within 500 miles of where they live.”

In addition to increasing attendance, Nanocon 2023 also experienced growth in other areas. They expanded events, with 42 scheduled tournaments, opens, trivia competitions, and more, which was up from 39 the year before. They added more vendors this year, with nine vendors occupying 16 tables.

With the growth in attendees, the DSU Games Club also saw an increased need for concessions. Their inventory nearly sold out Friday and required multiple restocking trips to Costco. The club bought and sold approximately four times the concessions they did in 2022.

Sponsorships and donations help Nanocon remain free. With no entry fee, Nanocon helps engage and grow the gaming community, enabling gamers to share their passions for games with others, Compton said.  

“Keeping it free allows more people to have access to it,” he added.

While Compton is the producer and director of Nanocon, he has a lot of help with the event, from planning to completion.

“I am so thankful to have such an incredible board and volunteer group for Nanocon,” Compton said. “I’m blessed to have a plethora of individuals who are extremely committed to making sure this experience is awesome for everybody.”

This year’s success also includes funds raised for charity. Through a charity gaming livestream with Extra Life for Kids, Nanocon raised $1,300 for the Sanford Children’s Hospital, up from the $180 they raised last year.

Nanocon will return in November 2024.

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