30th Anniversary VerminCon Gaming Convention at the University of South Dakota

VERMILLION, SD (KTIV) — The VerminCon gaming convention is taking place this weekend at the University of South Dakota.

The convention was first held in 1991 when a bunch of guys got together to play their favorite games. VerminCon celebrates 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 was canceled.

A club called Games @ USD hosts the event every year to provide a time and place where gaming enthusiasts come together to play some of their favorite games.

Steve Thum, the founder of the gaming club and VerminCon, says it’s special to see how the convention has evolved over time.

“It’s the 30th anniversary of this convention, and it all started with just a bunch of a dozen guys getting together and forming a gaming club here on campus, and it’s still going strong after 30 years. And now we have in some cases, some of our kids, you know, coming here to play games with us as well,” Thum said.

Even bigger than the fun of playing the games, the convention is also an opportunity to support a larger cause by raising money for charity.

“We are raising funds for the Michael Rohan Foundation through a charity auction. Various shops and artists in the area donate games and gifts and we raffle them off for charity,” Thum said.

The money is used to support Michael Rohan Memorial Fund, which is a non-profit organization based in Spencer, Iowa. The organization raises funds to provide swimming lessons for families, after the Rohan family lost their son in a drowning accident.

For those who attend, it is special to know that the game makes a much bigger contribution than the games themselves.

“It’s definitely a community that comes together a lot because most of these games are one-time sessions or so. But there are plenty more where you can meet weekly, monthly or however you see fit. said Bryce Pape, volunteer and former chairman of the board.

The convention will continue until Sunday at the Muenster University Center with gaming events, vendors and raffles. Events start at 9 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. Tickets are five dollars at the door. More information can be found on VerminCon’s website.

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