I’ve not always been into conventions. There was a time when I was a member of the ignorant majority that believes that Big Bang Theory accurately represents the average person at a sci-fi convention. I also believed D&D players were in that same category. I’m not sure what compelled me to think this, since I played Yu-Gi-Oh! in high school and thought nothing was odd about that.
Seven years ago, by best friend basically forced me to start playing role-playing games. He built a half-orc barbarian for D&D 3.5 and told me to sit down, shut up, and “act like Conan the Barbarian.” I’ve loved Tabletop RPGs ever since, but it still took him awhile to get me to a convention.
Wizard World Las Vegas was my first convention. The same best friend had already bought a mutual friend a ticket, but she wasn’t able to make it. He swung by my house on his way home from work the morning before, told me to pack for the weekend and get in the car. It was quite the adventure, almost like he wanted me to gain all of the experiences some convention goers live through in one weekend. Our hotel reservations were lost, but we managed to bunk with other friends. He dressed me as a S.H.E.I.L.D. Agent, so everybody wanted to get a picture with us, including an actor from the show. We got lost in Las Vegas several times and ate at some sketchy places. On our way home we almost ran out of gas and had to take a nap at Kramer Junction.
He’s convinced me to go to a lot of conventions since then. He now has me dressing up in other fandoms and shooting photos for him all over the state. What I’ve figured out is that I like the cons that require a little road trip. It adds to the anticipation and excitement. Plus, as an added bonus I get to eat fast food like the fat person I am.
This year was no different; we just couldn’t get our Star Wars cosplays together in time, so back to our old standby. When we got to the door, they checked our fake firearms, which took awhile as I looked like I was ready for a zombie game. As I entered the convention center and the noise of excited patrons and relentless vendors, I almost squealed with excitement, myself.
Saturday, to be honest, isn’t really my day. I know most things happen on Saturday at the majority of cons, but it’s a little overwhelming for me. Plus, I’d forgotten my new insoles in the hotel room and as a result, I was ready to throw my boots at Eddie McClintock’s publicist. I know they need incentive to come to these events, but I’m not interested in paying $30 just to talk to somebody.
What I noticed at Vegas this year was a decline from last year. There were fewer of both vendors and patrons. They also moved the convention to the north hall, which I swear is smaller. Even so, we wandered, we posed, we speed a bit, we even learned about a pretty awesome computer setup from HP called Sprout. By the end of the day though, I was tired, my feet hurt and I just wanted some sushi and a beer. I did at least get one of them.
Sunday: my day. I love Sundays at cons. I can’t place what is better about them, I just prefer Sundays. We tromped around all day, having a grand time. We harassed all the Deadpools… there were a lot, and did a rather impressive amount of shopping. My highlight came toward the end of the day, when we discovered and art vendor with truly spectacular geek art. Of course I didn’t find them until I’d almost completely bankrupted myself, but that’s not going to stop me from buying more artwork as the year progresses.
All in all, it was a great weekend, but I fear that Wizard World may not renew Vegas next year. It just didn’t seem as well put together and popular this time around.