2012 Symposium Games: Descriptions

The Symposium Games are the annual gathering of airships and steampunk groups from all over the surrounding regions of the Midwest aether and beyond to compete in a series of “civil” brawls and contests. The winner of each individual contest is awarded a Champion Ribbon and scores a point for his or her airship or group; the team with the most points at the end of the weekend wins the coveted Symposium Tropy and four weekend memberships to next year’s Steampunk Empire Symposium to be trusted to the team’s captain.

Each airship or group participating in the Games must formally register at the Registration Desk. Requirements are that the crew be at least four persons from the same geographical region; sorry, a captain without a crew is not recognized as a captain at the Steampunk Empire Symposium.

If you are not a member of an airship, or your team lacks a person capable of fulfilling a particular contest, do not despair. Friday, in the Atrium Ballroom, between four o’clock and six o’clock is the Recruitment Fair in which solo attendees can find an airship willing to take them aboard as an honorary member for the weekend.

For the MMXII Symposium Games the contests are as follows:

Airship Races

Several teams have arrived with remote control replicas of their actual airships. This challenge will pit pilots against each other in an obstacle race around the Atrium dome.


The classic sport of mallets and hoops shall be played indoors around the Atrium Ballroom.

Mustache Parade

Gentlemen only please, and no fake mustaches. In this challenge chaps with long whiskers will pit the aesthetics and eccentricity of their mustaches against one another to impress a panel of judges.

Nerf Dueling

It just simply would not be a steampunk excursion without the presence of the ubiquitous Nerf Maverick. Sharp shooters from each team will stand back to back to another marksman and walk several paces before turning to fire.

Tea Dueling

The American Tea “Duelling” Society will run this sport that they first started this year at AnachroCon; a challenge of tea and dunking biscuits (aka cookies).

Tiddly Winks

Tiddlywinks is an indoor game played on a flat mat with sets of small discs called “winks”, a pot, and a collection of squidgers. Players use a “squidger”: a disk (nowadays made of plastic) used to propel a wink into flight by pressing down on a wink, thereby flicking it into the air. The objective of the game is to score points by sending your own winks into the pot and preventing the opponent from “squopping” your winks by placing your own winks on top of them. As part of strategic gameplay players often attempt to squop their opponents’ winks and develop, maintain and break large piles of winks. Quite the challenge.

Umbrella Dueling

Useful for fencing off the weather and eliminating moon men (see Georges Méliès’s “Le Voyage dans la lune” for documented confirmation), the humble umbrella is quite the versatile accessory for any lady or gentleman. Competing airships will put forth their best brolly-fencer for a knockout tournament of umbrella dueling.

Verbal Dueling

“I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see that you are unarmed.”

As part of the weekend’s contest each competing airship shall put forward their most cerebral warrior for the Verbal Dueling. Opponents will sit comfortably either side of a table while sipping tea (or some other beverage) and trying to fluster the other with witty insults. To win a round one must simply leave one’s opponent floundering for the right rhetorical come back, or else be deemed the wittier of the two by the umpire should time run short.

More detailed rules will be explained by the umpire of each challenge; see schedule for the times of each challenge.