Annual technology expo and self-proclaimed “nerd convention,” SuperNerd 2012 united USF’s technology and video game cultures in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom with hacking competitions, catered dinners and prized raffle items.
A crowded row of video game stations, representing old and new consoles, lined the north wall of the ballroom, and featured franchises like Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Modern Warfare and Sonic Adventure.
Students could also meet, eat and socialized over rounds poker at one of the event’s three poker tables, or set up their own online video game stations with their laptops.
A hacking competition, organized by USF’s own Whitehatters Computer Security Club, ran throughout the expo. The winner of the competition (by point-value, earned through a variety of CTF missions) received Raspberry Pi single-board computer.
Whitehatters Computer Security Club also set up tables and displays of interactive lock-picking activities, which many students used to test their nimble fingers in maneuvering handcuffs and padlocks.
“I honestly think that having the Whitehatters was a good idea, because a lot of people are interested in that,” student Eli Zucker said, as he loaded up a match of popular zombie game Left 4 Dead 2 on his computer. “As a Criminology major, I was interested in a lot of stuff they were showing there as well.”
Zucker pointed to Createch USF’s active advertising campaign as a possible reason for SuperNerd’s success, and also proposed some ideas for next year’s showcase.
“Maybe do a dance competition, or maybe do what they’re doing with the video game tournament. Have it be SuperNerd plus a video game tournament, 32-player brackets, that kind of thing,“ he said.
All attendees of SuperNerd received a free raffle ticket at the door after checking in, for Createch’s highly anticipated raffling throughout the afternoon. Prizes included a Kindle Fire tablet, Apple and Google Play gift cards, video game pre-order cards and Magic: The Gathering playing cards.
The SuperNerd event, now an annual tradition organized by Createch USF, began in 2010.
“People wanted to have a showcase of what web development was, and over time it became what it is now,” said Createch USF president Yasser Adnan. “This year we had a really good turnout.”
Createch USF, one of our university’s more prominent student technology organizations, is a relatively young group, with strong roots in computer development.
“There was a group of kids that felt there was no club that promoted web development, computer programming and such, and they made what’s called Web Developer’s Network. Over time, that became Createch,” Adnan said.