So you forgot to apply for a badge to San Diego Comic-Con 2015, or you couldn’t afford it, or that friend who has a friend who works for that company that has a tiny booth in the far corner of the convention floor who swore they could get you one somehow fell through. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time in San Diego this week.
SDCC has become so bloated that the enormous convention center by the water can’t physically contain it, which is bad for traffic but good for nerds without badges. It means the events and celebrations have spilled out to the surrounding Gaslamp Quarter and beyond, and there are plenty of things for loitering geeks to do with or without a badge—things like these.
‘CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 3’ ZOMBIE ESCAPE ROOM CHALLENGE
The Call of Duty games’ zombie modes have become a fan favorite, and it’s confirmed that the next game in the series, CoD: Black Ops 3, will have its own spin on CoD Zombies. What that will entail has yet to be revealed, but the details will finally rise during San Diego Comic-Con this week.
In addition to finding out exactly how and why Black Ops 3 players will be shooting zombies when the game releases in October, those in San Diego will be able to experience the Zombie Escape Room Challenge across the street from the convention center, where “groups of survivors with solving a series of puzzles in order to escape a locked room before time runs out,” according to the games’ publisher, Activision. Just watch out for real zombies sneaking their way in among the actors.
ASSASSIN’S CREED OBSTACLE COURSE
Anyone who’s been engrossed in an Assassin’s Creed game knows how thrilling it can be to leap from rooftop to rooftop, scaling walls and dodging guards. There aren’t a lot of places you can do that in real life, but San Diego during Comic-Con is one of them.
Continuing a tradition that began last year, AC developer Ubisoft is dragging an entire obstacle course to the Gaslamp, including multiple elaborate runs and walls culminating with a full-fledged swan dive. It’s parkour without the risk of falling off a roof, and it’s available to anyone (as long as you sign the iron-claddest waiver ever, I’m guessing).
DRUNK HISTORY AND MINI-GOLF WITH COMEDY CENTRAL
Comedy Central always has a strong presence at San Diego Comic-Con, including plenty of activities for those who didn’t actually pony up for badges. This year the comedy channel is hosting #ComedyCentralCon at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center. To celebrate, watch the “Drunk History” video above.
The even is open to the public—naturally—and includes 9-Hole mini-golf, a Drunk History “360 Photo Booth Experience” (whatever that is, hopefully it involves actual drunkenness), a GIF Booth (again, whatever?), Comedy Central talent appearances, and giveaways. Also, a prize wheel. Definitely.
THE ART OF COMIC-CON
Held at the San Diego Central Library, “The Art of Comic-Con” is a historical exhibit that will showcase decades of exclusive Comic-Con art. You like art, don’t you?
Here’s the official description: “Providing unprecedented access to original art by over 60 comic artists, the exhibition showcases some of the finest examples of unique comic art produced for and assembled by the organization over the years.” And best of all, it’s free!
CONSUME A BUNCH OF CRAFT BEER AND FOOD
Comic-Con isn’t all about comic books and cosplay. There’s also that element where you get wasted and spend way too much money on beer and sliders. Now there’s a whole event to celebrate that.
Starting at $75 (unless you’re a $40 designated driver—good for you!), a ticket to Hop-Con 3.0: The w00tstout Festival gets you ten craft beer samples, a commemorative glass, a bunch of food, and more. Hosts include nerdy mega celebrity Wil Wheaton, Aisha Tyler, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman, and others.
STOP BY NERD HEADQUARTERS
The Nerd Machine’s Nerd HQ event may not be the actual official headquarters of all nerds everywhere, but it is a sick event for nerds at and around Comic-Con to stop by. This year The Nerd Machine partnered with IGN and The New Children’s Museum—not to mention celebrities ranging from Joss Whedon and William Shatner to the cast of Orphan Black (you know, the clone show) to sit on panels.
Tickets cost $22, but proceeds go to a good cause—Operation Smile, a charity that helps treat children’s facial deformities like cleft lips and cleft palates.
GEEK OUT ABOUT 'THE WALKING DEAD’ FOR LIKE TWO WHOLE DAYS
Good news if you planned your whole trip to San Diego before you actually got a Comic-Con badge (and you’re a massive The Walking Dead fan): you can spend a full two days geeking out about everyone’s favorite zombie show at the official Walker Stalker Fan Fest.
Actors from the show will be there for photo ops and actual zombies will be walking around, plus a lot more. For some extra fun, head here after you do the Call of Duty zombie escape room challenge and see how long you can last without punching a zombie actor.
PLAY LASER TAG WITH THE NERDIST
Comedian Chris Hardwick is unleashing all his pent-up nerd cred at Comic-Con this year for his “The Nerdist Conival”, a straight-up bonanza at Petco Park from July 9 to 12.
There are tons of different aspects and events to the Conival, several of which require badges or their own separate tickets. But most importantly, anyone who’s awesome can partake in a game of laser tag inspired by the upcoming game Battleborn, from the developers of Borderlands. Click through for all the info on the event.
GO TO THE ZOO
Lastly, if you find yourself in San Diego without a badge this week—or even with a badge—it’s not a terrible idea to simply peace out and go to the zoo. You’ll get outside, see some animals and learn something in the process. That’s better than camping out on the sidewalk to get into Hall H, isn’t it?
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