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20 July 2007 @ 03:12 pm
Cons cons cons...  
Frank Wu posted an interesting comment on recent state of conventions. Are there too many? Are people getting burned out? Where are all the new young fans?

Däch: pimpcupdach on July 21st, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
Cons are like churches
The first one is started because there are a few people who believe in {concept} but have no place to express themselves. So they rent out a building. Soon, everyone in town who loves {concept} is showing up, having a lot of fun, and doing something meaningful with their lives. But as it grows, some different problems crop up. Either it's too big to handle so many people, or (more likely) someone in the leadership disagrees with how {concept} should be expressed, so they go off and get their own building. Maybe at first they're not specifically trying to compete by having it on a different day or in a different part of the country, but eventually the market gets too crowded, and some have to fold, because there is not enough interest.
Another thing that I think has hit cons pretty hard is the internet. One of the main reasons for going to a con was to buy things you couldn't otherwise get. Now you can find those same things on ebay pretty easily, so why wait until October for Xcon when you can get it now? If you're buying what you want when you want it, why bother going at all? I think a lot of people might be thinking that way, even though there is a LOT more to most cons than the dealers room.
Kevin Standlee: Manga Kevinkevin_standlee on July 21st, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Re: Cons are like churches
One of the main reasons for going to a con was to buy things you couldn't otherwise get....
I guess that might be a reason that I never left. That's never been a significant motivation for me to attend a convention. From the very beginning, the reason I went was to meet and see people who I wouldn't otherwise be able to to meet or see. Okay, yeah, there was some hero worship involved in my 1980s Elfquest obsession, followed by running the MythAdventures Fan Club, but it was never about the goods, but the people. And as time went on, I found that this community is something that means the world to me.

One of the reasons I got involved with LiveJournal is that so many of my fannish friends are here, so it allows me to keep connected with them and keep that "at con" experience going all the time. But it's only a poor substitute for the conventions themselves.
Hein: Readmanfub on July 21st, 2007 06:45 am (UTC)
We went to a few AmberCons, but stopped going because of the very high cost, along with the travel. It's easily EUR 500 for a single weekend -- as a comparison, EUR 500 got us through a whole week of Denmark, which isn't the cheapest country in the world either.
Sure, the people are nice, but my only connection to them is a mutual like for the Amber diceless RPG. Only with very few people who attend will my relationship with them ever go beyond that surface.

Last year, we went to an anime convention. If you're not really interested in playing video games (I have those at home as well, and I'm not entering a competition for a fighting game) or sitting down and watch anime (we can do that at home quite nicely, thank you), there was very little for us to do. Sure, the 'name that tune'-quiz was fun, but it only lasts an hour or so. DDR with insanely complicated moves isn't really my thing either.
After about four hours, we decided we had seen enough, and went. Was it fun? Sure. But not for a whole weekend.

But maybe I'm not outgoing enough to make the most of con experiences.