5 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
E3 in Los Angeles is one of the most anticipated nerdy events of the year. It’s when the big names in the gaming industry come together to show off the latest and upcoming consoles, devices, gadgets, apps and games to developers and the public. If you can’t make it to the event in person, you can attend virtually and free of charge via various apps. Sony’s PlayStation Home, for example, lets users with avatars attend the weeklong convention by making the exhibits available in a virtual hall, streaming live video feeds and offering game demos featured at the event.
Those who can’t get enough anime, manga and cosplay go to FanimeCon, one of the top 10 anime conventions in the world, according to Maximum PC. The convention is an annual event held in northern California where its participants spend endless hours sewing their costumes for the event, especially those who wish to win any of the costume contests. Features of the festival include celebrity guests, tournaments, karaoke, live music and lots of fake battles with plastic swords among participants.
3 Star Trek Conventions
Nerds can’t get enough of the Starship Enterprise and its crew, so Creation Entertainment offers about five “Star Trek” conventions a year throughout the U.S. You can always spot the actors who played the iconic space explorers, because they’re the only people who aren’t dressed up in polyester Starfleet outfits. Cast members who make appearances, pose for pictures and answer questions as part of a panel include Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, William Shatner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and Rene Auberjonois. While you’re there, don’t forget to pass up the chance to practice your Klingon.
2 Comic-Con International
With humble beginnings in the 1970s, Comic-Con International in San Diego, California is one of the most epic nerd fests in the world, with over 130,000 participants, according to the convention’s website. Comic-Con expanded from being a mere comic book gathering of 300 to include a pop art convention with appearances from actors on former and current popular television shows, sci-fi book authors, comic writers and film directors. In addition to hobnobbing with industry greats, participants also get to attend workshops, watch film and anime screenings, receive portfolio reviews of artwork and participate in the masquerade.
1 Penny Arcade Expo (PAX)
PAX is a festival that nerds flock to twice a year in Boston, Massachusetts or Seattle, Washington. All the big names in the gaming industry show up to demonstrate upcoming games and gadgets and to hand out tons of epic swag. When you’re not participating in the console free-play or the handheld game, you’re checking out the live music, exhibits or playing board games with fellow nerds from around the world.