Students show off cosplay at 2024 WREKCON

Two student attendees pose for a photo in their cosplay outfits. Started by the Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering clubs on campus in 2022, WreckCon draws a large crowd annually. // Photo by Kunal Sahoo Student Publications

In the heart of the Institute, amidst the buzz of innovation and the thrum of technology, a unique celebration emerges, one that encapsulates the spirit of collaboration, passion and student culture: Tech’s WreckCon. 

To gain further insight into the event, the Technique interviewed Smaran Mishra, fourth-year CS. In his capacity at the campus, Mishra played a key role as a lead coordinator to showcase the essence of WreckCon.

Mishra explained that WreckCon, first held in 2022, was not his original idea but a collaborative effort between the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and Magic: The Gathering clubs at Tech. 

The event, which saw about 60 attendees in the Midtown V room of the Exhibition Hall, was primarily conceptualized by the D&D club’s secretary, Parker Green, fourth-year BA who handled most of the logistics. Mishra, a co-founder of D&D club, assisted with basic organizational tasks. He shared his narrative of the origins of WreckCon.

“When I took over as D&D club as senior event officer, our officers wanted to do it again, but I felt like it needed to be an exec worthy of being called a ‘convention.’ I wanted it to be something like MomoCon (also founded by GT students), so I pitched the idea of getting more clubs involved and making it a larger event. I’ve discussed this tale on our podcast, the WreckCast,” Mishra said.

He further emphasized the trials and tribulations of organizing WreckCon. He explained that the club works towards one day a year, and generally, the event’s structure comes together and materializes during the last quarter of the planning process.

“An example I like to quote is the simple act of organizing food trucks, which involves upwards of eight groups: event services, catering, fire safety, GTPD, facilities, landscaping, SGA JFC, parent’s fund and, finally, the food trucks themselves. I would say about 80% of what we plan and put work into never comes into fruition, due to a variety of reasons, but we repurpose a decent amount of our ideas elsewhere,” Mishra said on the group’s nature. 

Katie Kim, fourth-year CS, and Alexandra Diaz, Illustration SCAD’23, reflected on their first time setting up a booth at WreckCon and how they prepared for it. 

“As a student without an established vendor background, I honestly just spent most of the day before preparing by abusing the printers at Price Gilbert printing little photocards to sketch on and hand out to guests. But I would say I’ve been preparing implicitly all throughout college by drawing during class, as those doodles were what I ended up presenting,” Kim said on her experience.

Diaz worked as a vendor in the Artist Alley portion of this year’s convention. As a freelance artist, she also had the opportunity to showcase her art of nostalgic media and networked with many new creatives in the area.

“My booth was filled with my original work and fanart of different series I love. I’m a big fan of nostalgic media, so I made a lot of Tamagotchi art and other miscellaneous characters such as iDog and Barbie. It was really great to be introduced to so many ATL based creatives I’d never heard of and also art fans that passed by my booth. Thankfully, they were all very well received, and it was great to meet people that enjoyed my work and the niche media I showcased,” Diaz said.

Aung Moe Sat, first-year BIOS student at Kennesaw State University, described his cosplay as Vinsmoke “Black Leg” Sanji from the long-running 1999 anime series “One Piece” and his intentions at WreckCon.

“I participated in cosplay, and I chose to cosplay Sanji from One Piece because he is my favorite character, and I always have such joy bringing him to life. Also, the day of WreckCon happened to be on Sanji’s birthday, so it worked out great,” Sat said on her in participation in the event.

WreckCon appears to be more than just an event; it’s a celebration of community, accessibility and shared passions that resonates with its attendees.

For Sat, the joy derived from winning second place in the casual cosplay contest underscored the personal significance and atmosphere of WreckCon.

Reflecting on the day, Diaz shared, “I had such a great experience! In terms of influence, I’d say I was really influenced by all the attendees this year.”

Mishra closed out on a positive note, reflecting on the impact he believed the team was able to have  on attendees that day.

“I like to think I’ve brought a sense of community to at least a few people, directly or indirectly. After the last few years, that’s been increasingly important to me, building a community one person at a time,” Mishra said.

Whether through the detailed planning by Mishra and his team, the artistic endeavors of Kim and Diaz, or the spirited cosplay of Sat, each story woven into the fabric of WreckCon highlights a unique facet of its allure. 

It’s more than just a convention; it’s a beacon for those seeking connection, expression and inspiration in a world increasingly driven by digital landscapes.