MarsCon - Forces of Darkness

Finding MarsCon

The Technology of MarsCon 2021

In the beforetimes, getting to MarsCon was a matter of getting your physical self to the convention hotel. For 2021, through the Magic Of The Internet, MarsCon brings itself to your coronavirus hideaway.

The benefits:

The downsides:

Note: Streaming video chews up bandwidth. If your device or ISP has data caps your MarsCon weekend could easily use up your monthly quota.

With that settled, what software will you need to take part? We will be using several platforms - now is the time to get them installed on your computer / tablet / phone and get familiar with them.


Cost: free (and up).
Runs on: Windows, Mac and Linux computers plus Android and iOS tablets / phones. You must register and be logged in for it to work.
Download at: or your device’s app store.

Features of Discord: two-way text (plus picture) chat plus voice and A/V chat / conferencing. Private messaging to another user. Conversations take place in multiple areas, a.k.a. “channels”.

When you first join MarsConline you’ll be taken to #registration. One of our adminions will give you access to more channels, which we have laid out in a convention hotel-like arrangement. You’ll find text and voice channels with a variety of topics/interests. Normal rules of civility apply.

Find MarsConline here:


Cost: free (and up)
Runs on any web browser.
A free account is required to play. Create it at
Features of Roll20: simulates board games in a virtual environment. Premade games are available, or create your own.


Cost: free (and up).
Runs on: any device with a web browser. Apps for mobile devices are also available.
You can watch Twitch streams without an account - just follow the URL to the channel. To enable chat and other features an account is required; go to and select Sign Up.

HowStuffWorks has an introduction to Twitch at

If you do not like the appearance of the mobile app, you can select Desktop View in your browser settings or append ?no-mobile-redirect=true to the channel URL.

Look for MarsCon events at... #MarsCon Panels


Cost: free (and up).
Runs on: any device with a web browser.
Once you go to YouTube Google will urge you to download an app and register. This is not strictly required but can provide some extra functionality.

Features of YouTube: high-quality one-way A/V streaming plus text chat. Automagic archiving of livestreamed events.

MarsCon programming will be found during the convention at and for those who want to take in an entire track. Check the schedule for YouTube links to individual program items.


Noun and verb of the year 2020.
Cost: free (and up).
Runs on: Windows, Mac and Linux computers plus Android and iOS tablets / phones.
Download at: or your device’s app store.
The software is required but an account is not strictly required. Logging in will give extra functionality.

Features of Zoom: two-way A/V conferencing, each user has a good deal of control over how a session is displayed locally, text chat and private messages.

If you are going to be a presenter or panelist at MarsCon expect to be using Zoom.

Website, FaceBook, Twitter

Our usual sites will be heavily used during MarsCon. Watch here for additions and updates.


All this new tech will help with some accessibility problems but create new classes of people with access woes.


Since you are reading this you have most of the requirements already. Welcome to MarsCon 2021!

The Forces of Darkness shall safely assemble in front of screens on March 12th - 14th, 2021

MarsCon is a fan-run science fiction convention for all ages held every March in the Twin Cities area. At MarsCon you’ll find panel discussions, parties, guest of honor presentations, music of many kinds, our art show, film/anime room, science room, dealers room, charity auction, and masquerade. Our comedy music track is virtually a con in itself, and attracts a nation-wide audience.

MarsCon 2021

“Forces of Darkness”
March 12 - 14, 2021
Virtual only

MarsCon 2022
“The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be”
will return to
Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America
3800 American Blvd E
Bloomington, Minnesota
March 11 - 13, 2022

Send questions about MarsCon to, we’ll do our best to send answers!

More about MarsCon may be found at...
  • Twitter:
  • FaceBook:
  • Dementia:

If you are searching for the Marscon in Williamsburg, VA click here.

© 2020 and/or 2021, FenSF