Convention Coverage: MAGFest 6

With over 72 straight hours of events, concerts and games, it’s hart to know exactly where to start when talking about MAGFest. On the surface, the Music and Gaming Festival is just a small (around 1000 attendees) video game convention on the east coast. But if you actually dive below the surface and attend one of these annual events, the reality is so much more than that.

The sixth MAGFest, or M6, began on Thursday, January 3, 2008. At this early stage of the weekend, you can only get an idea of what’s about to happen over the next two and a half days. Only half of the attendees have arrived and not everything is completely set up. By about 1 o’clock Friday morning, things start to come together and the festival picks up the pace it will maintain until Sunday afternoon: crazy. Continue reading “Convention Coverage: MAGFest 6”

Con Report: Tandokucon 2007

Guest Post

As the latest addition to the “major” anime convention schedule for the East Coast, the first Tandokucon took place in the Pennsylvania Convention Center on the weekend of November 9-12, 2007. The convention staff had hoped to take the Philadelphia anime community by storm with an ambitious approach to making a convention that would be on the same scale as many of the well-established events in the region. That approach played no small part in making it one of the most controversial conventions in recent memory as well.

Almost all anime conventions tend to have rocky starts. The first year, in particular, is the most difficult, as often the people involved have little to no experience in planning such an event, a scarcity of resources with which to work and a general lack of understanding precisely what needs to be done and how to go about doing it. In this, Tandokucon was no exception, as it suffered from a host of issues pertaining to planning, location, timing, advertising and programming.

Unfortunately, some of the problems Tandokucon ran into came up long before the convention even took place. These were doubly unfortunate, as many of them were entirely avoidable and likely arose from misunderstandings as much as anything else. Continue reading “Con Report: Tandokucon 2007”

Convention Coverage: Diplocon 2007

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Although the existence of such fine information outlets as Amish Otaku belie the existence of a not-quite-underground network of gamers, anime-addicts and DDR freaks in Lancaster, PA, it’s not entirely unfair to say this network is rarely used to its full potential. This isn’t to say that the otaku of Lancaster go without their respective fandoms most of the time, but rather that the various pockets of these oft-linked fandoms remain largely distinct for the majority of the year.

Then, of course, there is Diplocon (the most recent instance of which was on Friday-Sunday morning, November 2-4). Continue reading “Convention Coverage: Diplocon 2007”

Convention Coverage: Video Game Expo 2007

Most video game conventions out there are nearly impossible to get to if you’re on the east coast. All of the big names, like PAX and E3, take place on the west coast. It only makes sense since that’s where the majority of the companies reside. Thankfully, Video Game Expo is there to fill this void on the east coast.

While VGExpo wasn’t as large as the big industry events out west, it still more than held its own in terms of guests, exhibitors and events. Plus there was the opportunity to play a few unreleased games – and a lot of other games besides. Continue reading “Convention Coverage: Video Game Expo 2007”

Convention Coverage: Otakon 2007

Guest Post

As mentioned in the July edition of Villain’s Exposition, Otakon’s premiere anime pickings were somewhat different than initially expected. While some of it was things we’d never seen before, the rest of the “premieres” would have been more accurately labeled “spotlights,” as they sought to draw attention to shows that the big four had already released.

That said, however much fun people had with the other shows at Otakon, it was the industry news – and the series/movies/OVAs that were part of it – that was on everybody’s mind. Continue reading “Convention Coverage: Otakon 2007”

Convention Coverage: Katsucon 13

In case you didn’t know, Katsucon 13 occurred on Presidents Day weekend (February 16–18, 2007). Katsucon, which has consistently been one of the largest US anime conventions for the past several years and has been located in the general DC area for most of the last decade, topped over 7,100 attendees. The convention staff was, once again, more than up to the task of making sure all of those present had a great time.

The Katsucon senior staff is large and very diverse, with people from all over pitching in to help ensure the convention goes off without a hitch. One of the senior members of this year’s con was Jim Miller. Miller has been involved with Katsucon for several years, starting as a volunteer with con security and moving up through the logistics department, which he later oversaw. Now, as vice-con chair, Miller runs “Katsucon Command Central,” the main hub that works to ensure that the convention runs smoothly. Keeping in mind what a large and sometimes difficult job it is to run an anime convention, why does Miller do it? Continue reading “Convention Coverage: Katsucon 13”

Convention Coverage: Con-going Hints

If you have never been to an anime convention before and you’ve decided that you want to see what it’s all about, here are some helpful hints about how to make the most of your con-going experience. If you want to cosplay, start on your costume as early as possible. A good costume is the best way to meet people at a convention, as everyone … Continue reading Convention Coverage: Con-going Hints