Dungeons, dragons and fantasy rule at CODCON

This weekend you don't have to travel across realms — or even very far from home — to enter the magical worlds of warlocks, sorcerers and Druids.

At College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, gaming fans and novices alike can visit the mystical lands that are the basis of role playing staples like Dungeons & Dragons or Dominion during the 21st annual CODCON.

The event is the gaming convention for the College of DuPage Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club and this year's theme, “Down the Rabbit Hole,” plays on the “Alice in Wonderland” idea of being lost in another dimension.

“This started more than two decades ago, not only as a fundraiser for the club, raising money for events like going to sci-fi movies, the Renaissance Faire or Laser Quest, but because, at that time, there weren't these types of affordable gaming events in our area. So our officers thought it would be a fun thing to try,” said COD English professor James Allen, who sponsors the club.

The first CODCON was a one-day event that attracted a handful of people. Today, it has grown to draw more than 300 people over three days and features dozens of games, cosplay (including costume and makeup tutorials for those who want to learn how to emulate their favorite superheroes), a treasure hunt, art exhibits and more.

Art exhibits will include handmade jewelry from crafters Bree Strom and Alastaire Lunleen; Owl Post Greetings, which feature handmade greeting cards and bookmarks inspired by sci-fi and fantasy like Harry Potter, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dr. Who and others; and poster prints, small prints, stickers, small clay sculpts, watercolor commissions and more by artist Lizzy Spaulding.

But gaming is still at the heart of the convention, Allen said. Card games, board games and live-action role playing happen constantly throughout the convention. Some members and guests even debut their own self-created games.

Experienced gamers and novices are all welcome, and Allen said members are happy to teach new gamers how to play.

“It's always in our interest to get more people involved,” he said.

Behind the scenes, CODCON also serves as a leadership-building opportunity for students. They spend months choosing the theme, organizing the schedule, generating publicity and completing all steps to host and grow the event each year.

In addition, Allen says, CODCON has become a sort-of homecoming for the Sci-fi/Fantasy Club members, since many alumni return to the college each year for this special event — often to demonstrate their own original role-playing games.

“It's a great way for the old and new members in our club to connect, and it's an inexpensive and fun way for anyone interested in gaming, cosplay or just about anything nerdy to spend an afternoon or a weekend,” Allen said. “Even if you're just a little curious.”

The CODCON gaming slots are from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 8; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 9; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 10. Times may vary, however, and visitors should visit the event schedule at for full details.

Gamers and live action role playing buffs can enjoy old favorites like Dungeons and Dragons, or test new games, at the 21st annual CODCON this weekend at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Courtesy of the College of DuPage
Jewelry, sci-fi-inspired art and even baked goods will be for sale at the 21st annual CODCON, which focuses on role-playing games, this weekend at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Courtesy of the College of DuPage

If you go

What: 21st annual CODCON gaming convention “Down the Rabbit Hole”

When: 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 8; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 9; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 10

Where: College of DuPage Student Resource Center, Room 2000, on campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn.

Cost: $5 one day, $7 two days, $10 three days; 20 percent discount if registered online; free for children younger than 12

Info: (630) 942-3421 or

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