The International Steampunk Symposium Endurance Race (Games)

SES2015 Games Button

The Symposium Games began with the very first Steampunk Symposium in 2012 and is the signature event of this convention; think of it as being the Steampunk Olympics! Over the course of the weekend, a dozen teams from various cities compete in a series of civil and definitely eccentric sports and challenges, accrue points, and stand a chance of winning the esteem Symposium Games Trophy and four weekend badges to the next year’s Symposium.

The 2012 Symposium Games Trophy

The 2012 Symposium Games Trophy

The most noted sport that we started are the Dirigible Races in which pilots race remote control airships around the arena, which has now spread to other conventions as well.

Starting this year, the Games will available to all, but only twelve registered teams will be officially competing for the glory and the prizes. The first hour of each game will be the official round, followed by a second hour of unofficial rounds just for fun.

The 2015 Symposium Games are going to have, as fitting with the theme of Around the World in 80 Days, a much more time based, or “they got there first” scoring than has been in the past.

The 2013 Dirigible Races

The 2013 Dirigible Races

That being said, below are the descriptions of the currently planned competitions for the Symposium Games:


Friday April 24th, 2015


4PM to 6PM – Airship Tea Reception

devon-cream-teaAt the very start of the convention, Airships and Steampunk Groups are part of the Tea Reception which is held in the Symposium Games Arena. Each team has a table and space to display their banners and flags, and this is a great opportunity to greet other members of the convention and recruit ladies and chaps to support you and even compete if you have need for another crew member.


8PM – Paris, France – Bocce Ball

boccenewyorkI say, we have just been charged with traveling around the world. I know time is of the utmost importance, let’s start with a nice game of Bocce in Paris shall we? The rules used will be the same as they were last year, which is to say “backyard” rules, which can be found in several places online; we shall publish the Symposium rules soon.


Saturday April 25th, 2015



10AM – Penny Farthing (Tricycle) Races

AntiqueTricycle_revAcross the deserts of Arabia our contestants will race on Penny Farthings . . . well mini-tricycles actually.

Last year’s penny farthing races were so much fun, and so much fun to watch, so this year we are starting off the race around the world with tricycles! The rules will be similar to last year, that is to say they’ll be ridiculous, but not exactly the same since the setting is very different. There will be a “road course” laid out in the game space, and there will be one or more persons pushing the pilot along. There WILL be foam dart guns aimed at racer’s though, just like last year. There will ALSO be another design competition in which we encourage teams to come up with a custom tricycle, be it custom built, custom modified, custom decorated or all of the above. Tricycles can often be found in yard sales or thrift shops, so you don’t need to spend a lot of money.  Tricycles must be “child size” (specifications on that to come later). Don’t worry, if you aren’t able to bring your own, we do have low tech symposium tricycles to loan for the races.


12PM – India – Umbrella Fencing

Umbrella_weaponIt’s monsoon season, one must make sure that one has an umbrella, but tensions are high between the Airships, and civil conflicts might erupt between these men and women armed with brollies.

Details are still being finalized for the most dangerous and extreme sport that the Symposium has ever had. Combatants will be required to take a fencing workshop that morning, required to wear chest and face protection (supplied), and sign a waiver for being crazy enough to fight someone with an umbrella.


2PM – Moscow, Russia – Toy Gun Dueling

NERF DuelThe balloons are hot, the weather is cold, but the “war” between the racing dirigibles is even colder. Sharp shooters from each crew will face off against each other until only one victor stands . . . well, actually they’ll stand back to back, take several paces and then turn to shoot. Dueling pistols will be provided in the name of fairness, but you might wish to bring your own foam dart gun just in case.


4PM – China – TEA Dueling

Tea DuelingWell, it looks like that OTHER sort of dueling hasn’t answered the question regarding the dishonor of those scoundrels who attempted to disrupt the start of the race. We’re just going to bring out the “big guns” with a magnum or two… of tea. Tea dueling, the event that to some has come to be REQUIRED at a steampunk convention, is of course again coming to the Symposium. Competition was fierce last year and I’m sure it will be so again this year. We’ll be using the same rules as before, from the Honourable Association of Tea Duelists.


6PM – Australia – Moustache Competition:

You’ve got to be tough to survive the Australian Outback, and what could be tougher than a finely groomed beard or moustache? We all know that you can’t have a contest of gentlemen without comparing facial hair! As in years past this contest will be judged by either panel or an individual with no skin (or hair) in the game and is sponsored by our good friends at Firehouse Moustache Wax.


8PM – Japan -Dirigible Races

2012 Dirigible RacesThis year our annual remote control dirigible races will be “back” to normal without any theme other than racing. Due to the ease of scoring with last year’s timed heat format, we will be doing that again this year as a qualifier for the final race. With the two fastest racing head to head. And I know you pilots will be happy, this year we have MUCH more airspace above the course, we will attempt to map out any drafty parts before official rules get published.


Sunday, April 26th, 2015



New York – Curiosities Exhibit:

The curiosities exhibit is a place to display your best accessories, gadgets and small weapons while possibly winning some points for your group.


London – Secret race:

We have a couple of different ideas for the final stretch into London, this last race will be announced at a later date.


Sign Up for the Games



symposium_games_pin3_2013-brassFor Airships and Steampunk Groups interested in officially competing in the Games it necessary to register your team with a $20 fee. Due to time limitations, there are only a dozen spots for official teams.

Registered teams will receive a feature on The Pandora Society dot com, a 2015 Certificate of Registration which will be presented to team captains during Opening Ceremonies, and the chance to win coveted Symposium Games Pins and ultimately the 2015 Symposium Games Trophy and four badges to the 2016 Symposium.





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