The Pros at Cons A Review of Convolution 2014: Halfway Home Part 7

Day 2 Continued: Star Trek or Star Wars, LARP, and making new friends.

Star Wars t-shirtsOn my way back down in the elevator, there was another convention-goer and a layman on the lift with me. The non-Con attendee asked us, “Are you guys with the Star Wars convention or the Star Trek Convention?” And we were like, “No, it’s all one big Science Fiction Convention. We’re with both.” (Image courtesy of the Star Wars t-shirt category)  After that, I had every intention of going to panels, but they were hard to find and I kept getting distracted. Plus, all of the panels were scheduled in blocks from 10-12, 12-2 and 2-4, and it was already around 3pm by the time I left the hospitality suite. There may have been a fourth block of panels from 4-6 on Saturday only, but the schedule guide and key to where to find things was small, poorly designed and hard to understand unless you had used it before. Then there was the mighty task of choosing between similar panels that were held on opposite ends of the hotel at the same time, which is something I always detest about the whole convention-going experience. So I went in search of LARP groups instead in order to pass the time until Day 2 was concluded.

I did not find the Firefly LARP group (that day) and it might not have mattered if I had since their game for the night was for 21 people and 25 had pre-registered, not including the people actually working the Con or helping to run the game itself. But I did stumble across the table of the Victorian World of Darkness game, “Gaslight”. They invited me to sit and have a cup of fresh brewed tea from a nice China tea set and I ended up spending the next 2-1/2 hours talking with them about writing, running game vs. playing NPCs vs. being a PC and having less control and less responsibility. Then I sat down with Glenn Barett, the only founding member of the group still on and running things after several incarnations, and we talked OOC about RL stuff, like family and feeling like a creeper at Cons because you’re getting older while fans are getting younger, and about feminism and the school system and California’s crisis with prisons and how that relates to youth, feminism and what we as individuals can do about it. That’s all not as deep or hysterical or even as liberal-hippie-fight-the-power as it sounds, either. It was just a gentle yet sweeping reminder that I get to be myself at these things. I come to Conventions to have fun, to spend money and to meet new people. Vendors come for the same reasons, but also to make money, to make inroads towards a better future and connections within their industries. Convolution was convoluted, poorly advertised and expensive, but it was also the single best experience I’ve had at a Convention so far yet, and it was for no other reason than that these people weren’t just other fans at the same place as me, these were my people. I went for work reasons and came out with new personal friends. That is not to say that I didn’t learn anything. More on that in my next post.

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