VERMILLION, SD (KTIV) – The VerminCon gaming convention is taking place this weekend at the University of South Dakota.
The convention first took place in 1991 when a group of guys gathered to play their favorite games. VerminCon is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The convention returns this year after not taking place last year due to COVID-19. Last year was the first time the convention has ever been canceled.
A club called Games @ USD hosts the event every year to provide a time and place where game lovers gather to play some of their favorite games.
Steve Thum, the founder of the game club and VerminCon, says it’s special to see how the convention has evolved over time.
“This is the 30th anniversary of this convention, and it all started with just a group of about a dozen guys that got together and formed a game club here on campus, and it’s still going strong after 30 years. And now we’ve got in some cases, some of our kids, you know, that are coming here to play games with us as well,” said Thum.
Even bigger than the fun of playing the games, the convention is also a time to support a larger cause by raising money for a charity.
“We raise funds for the Michael Rohan foundation via a charity auction. Various stores and artists in the area donate games and gifts and we raffle them off for charity,” said Thum.
The money goes to support the Michael Rohan Memorial Fund, which is a nonprofit organization based in Spencer, Iowa. The organization raises money to provide swimming lessons to families, after the Rohan family lost their son in a drowning accident.
For those who attend, it’s special to know gaming is making a contribution much bigger than the games themselves.
“This is definitely a community that gets very close with each other as most of these games, they’re one off sessions or so. But there’s plenty of others where you can meet weekly, monthly, or however you want to,” said Bryce Pape, volunteer and former board president.
The Convention will continue through Sunday at the Muenster University Center with gaming events, vendors, and raffles. Events start at 9 a.m. and go until 6 p.m. Tickets are five dollars at the door. More information can be found on VerminCon’s website.
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