In 2011, my husband and I had the good fortune of visiting Anime Blues Con in its debut year. Neither one of us had been to a con before, meaning we didn’t know what to expect. We were warned by friends and acquaintances not to get our hopes up, because cons aren’t very good in their first few years.
Fortunately for us, ABC ended up being a rare exception. Its first year was phenomenal, and while we weren’t able to return for its second year, we were able to attend ABC3 over the weekend this year.
There’s something special about conventions. So many happy people, so many instant friendships forming as you walk the halls and ask people in costume (known as cosplayers, for those unfamiliar with the hobby) for pictures. It’s a warm environment with a sense of camaraderie. And for good reason, since conventions present a unique opportunity for people with unusual interests to simply be themselves.
Regardless of how popular things like super heroes and video games have become in recent years, there’s still a lingering social stigma against those society deems to be nerds and geeks. Conventions throw those stigmas out the window, the one time of year it’s not only okay, but actually encouraged for people to wear their favorite video game T-shirt, or go out in full medieval garb. They’re among like-minded people, people who won’t judge or laugh, people who will praise their efforts to recreate a favorite character’s completely impractical outfit.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
Have you ever had the opportunity to attend a convention? Which one?