Last night on the top floor of the Sydney Park Pavillion, SMASH! had organised a spooky Halloween party, fit for Cosplayers and Anime fans in general. At the party, attendees found themselves partaking in many activities, some of which were general Anime themed, and some others, a lot more spookily themed.
Dusk and Despair was pretty cool in itself, with attendees given free Spiders (drinks combining ice cream and soft drinks (sodas)), a hall for socialising and an area designated for all of the Pokemon battles. Unfortunately, I had left my 3DS on my desk before leaving, so I missed out on some epic battles. However, for some events, the divided wall would be used as an impromptu stage, for example, with the Cosplay competition.
The night began with an Anime Q&A where everyone present had to head to one of two sides of the hall in accordance with an A or B answer to a question. This was quite fun, but, everyone really seemed to know their Anime, so getting people out was a bit hard.
The Cosplay competition was pretty successful with a pool of entrants, ranging from Anime to Zombies, entering. Each of the acts were fairly entertaining and the costumes were pretty well done. If Dusk and Despair continues next year, I can see this being a great attraction to the night.
In my opinion, the best event of the night was the wide game outside in the forest. In this game, the SMASH! organisers had taken members from each team and led them deep into the forest somewhere, whilst other members of the team were taken to a different end and had to essentially stealth their way through the bushes to find them without being caught. This game was fun for two reasons. First, is that the SMASH! organisers had to hunt us down; and the second is that I was dressed as a Ninja (as an aside, Anime Ninja may or may not be a thing from us soon, depending on where our research takes us).
So what made this fun was that, essentially, I was this hard to spot person in dark woods, and the organisers would walk past. I remember this one staff member shone his torch on me and was like “Is that a person?”. I jumped up and I swear I heard him scream. Classic. I was, of course, caught and captured, so I lost, but this didn’t stop me hiding around trees and ambushing the other two staff. Good times.
During this time, those remaining in the room were tasked with a game of wrapping people in toilet paper to make some kind of spooky uniform. Having been someone that’s done this at other parties, I can assure you that it would have been pretty entertaining.
After both of those events, we headed back up to the main hall where the winners of the wide game were announced. Each person that rescued a hostage got both themselves and their hostage a prize. Congrats to all of the winners, dodging those staff members with torches would have been difficult.
And then from there, we had a pretty fun dance routine from the dance club of UTS (IIRC) which segued into the ending of the night. This included a raffle draw and more prizes.
Dusk and Despair concluded with the organisers giving speeches about how this was the first event for them of this type and we all got to see who put in the effort behind everything behind the scenes to make it work. It was also really interesting meeting the current head of the SMASH! organisation, who was also invited to the stage to give a few words.
Throughout the event, I couldn’t help but notice that all of these activities seemed to be put together to get attendees to interact and have fun with each other. The only odd thing about this is that there was no alcohol being served, which is something that always helps lower that initial social barrier that people feel. But being a 16+ event, it’s understandable that alcohol was prohibited.
Overall Dusk and Despair was a really fun night. It is our hope that it continues onto the next year, and is bigger and better. Make sure to check out the photos we took in the gallery at the bottom.[nggallery id="5"]