Bargain Gaming At Otakon 2011

Posted on Aug 05 2011

Hey fans! I dunno about you, but it seems like there are many things that can be said about which convention is the best, or the most interesting, or the most accessible. There are so many conventions out there nowadays that it’s hard to determine which one is the most important or pivotal to the industry it supports. Even if you break it into types of cons, like gaming or anime, there is still no clear front runner no matter how you slice it. However, one of these cons stands out for me personally, as it was the first convention I ever attended and the only one I have attended more than once to date. And that convention is Otakon.

Now, I could go on and on about my previous experiences at Otakon. The stories alone could fill an entire article! But instead I want to use my past experience in order to highlight the sheer quantity of things that are occurring at Otakon versus the meager number that I am able to relay to you, the fans.

Let’s start with what is probably one of the most common things in any con, the cosplaying. Honestly I’ve never really understood cosplaying. I did it once several years ago and still wonder to this day as to why I did so. It was tremendously uncomfortable in the heat, and having to stop every few feet so someone can take your picture doesn’t really interest me (I don’t care if you “have” to take my picture; I have to get to the bathroom!). And while some of the costumes are pretty neat, the vast majority of them are kind of boring. Honestly I’d be shocked if there was a single cosplayer at Otakon this year that made me want to stop and take their pic-

Is that DJ PON3?

Huh. Well, that was kind of cool. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I was just saying that the odds of there being any cosplays that really interest me this year ar- DOC SCRATCH?!

Wow, I didn’t expect that. I mean, I know Homestuck’s been getting more popular but dang. That was actually pretty awesome. Well, at least now that I’ve seen that I can rest assured that there won’t be any more that… That…

K-Kamen…. Rider. I… I love Kamen Rider. You… you magnificent son of a…

Okay, okay! So there are some really neat cosplays here at Otakon if you can manage to keep your eyes peeled. But I refuse to be side tracked any longer! There is no way that I am going to-

GUNDAM FIGHT!

READY!

GO!!!

All right, I give! I give up! I don’t even care about cosplay, and even I am impressed by some of these costumes. It’s a nice diversion between events to see the different costumes, especially if you’re a bit of a crowd watcher like some of my friends.

But let’s move on to two of the other big events going on at Otakon, the Dealer’s Room and the Artist’s Alley. If you’re like me and are looking for some sweet swag while you’re at the convention then these are two rooms you’ll definitely want to check out. The dealer’s room is full of different vendors, selling everything from anime and manga to figurines, games, and more! I would definitely recommend it as a great first stop for the shopping fan, but don’t just stop there. I know that the sheer amount of stuff in that room alone can seem overwhelming at first, but if you have a hankering for art then I cannot stress visiting the Artist’s Alley enough. It is full of many talented artists of a variety of different styles, selling anything from full scale fan posters to comics they’ve created. Personally I stopped by just to support two web comics I read on a fairly regular basis, The Devil’s Panties by Jennie Breeden (http://thedevilspanties.com/) and Kiwi Blitz by Mary Cagle (http://www.kiwiblitz.com/). And if you see that any of your favorite web comic artists are attending then I definitely recommend swinging by to see them. Even if you can’t buy anything like I did it’s always nice to show your support in person, and who knows? You might even see something that you never would’ve seen anywhere else!

But enough blatant consumerism! Let’s get into the room that fills me with the most pride, both as a gamer and as a fan, the Game Room! Honestly my biggest disappointment about the con this year is that I wasn’t able to spend as much time there as I would’ve liked. And while I can’t bring back the awesomeness which is several hundred gamers all coming together at once to play as a group, I can show you the scope of my personal sanctuary, my home away from home.

Behold! The glory that is the Game Room!

Ahh, Heaven. But no time for bliss, my memories will have to do for now! Because we have not yet gotten into the meat of my convention experience this year, the events that dominated most of my time as I ran around the convention center like a chicken with its head cut off. What am I referring to you ask? Why the panels, of course! It’s hard to believe, but this is the first time that I’ve actually attended a panel while at Otakon, and as such I had no idea as to what I should expect. It’s incredible. At any given time there are as many as six panels running simultaneously, each with its own unique content, ranging from fan speculation to industry insiders. Even with the bulk of my energies focused in this direction I was still only able to attend a small handful of the panels I wanted to, and even then I felt like I was being pushed to the limit. Suffice to say that if you’re bored while at Otakon, you just aren’t trying hard enough. I also brought back a few recordings of fan and industry panels as well, so be on the lookout for them over the next few days.

Speaking of content, one of the perks of going to the convention as press was that I was able to get an interview with Tony Oliver for you guys. It was a great experience and a real pleasure getting to speak with one of the industry’s most established voice actors. On top of that I was also able to attend a few press conferences for you, gathering new information on the upcoming series “Angel ScandyS” and meeting with Makoto Shinkai. And while I’ll leave the info on Mr. Shinkai up to my good friend Tyto, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what you think of the interesting new direction the anime industry is going in with a series like “Angel ScandyS”!

But you know what the scary part is? Even after going over all of that, I’ve still only scratched the surface of all of the stuff that’s available to do at Otakon! There’s still anime screenings, movie premiers, masquerades, and concerts to attend, not to mention workshops, karaoke, and manga libraries to hang out at! The simple fact is there’s far too much stuff going on at this con for meager beings such as I to cover it all adequately. I can only hope that what little coverage I have managed to bring back to you, the fans, is enough to sate you. And if not I highly encourage you to check out the con next year or even some time further in the future. There’s no shortage of things to do, I promise you that much!

Until then though, I hope you do enjoy the content we have procured for you and that I’ll see you around! Until the next con update this is Bargain Gamer, logging off!

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Comments
  • Gannon133 August 7, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    Man, that must have been one great convention with a ton of stuff to do that can’t be explained in one go. The game room is HUGE! Also, Kamen Rider OOO cosplay!!!!!

    • Bargain Gamer August 8, 2011 at 12:01 AM

      The game room is indeed massive! I remembered it being huge from previous cons, and figured what better way to share it than to show it off as it opened! It becomes that much more impressive when you realize the room’s been open for less than 15 minutes and is already flooded with people.

  • Kayarath August 7, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    I was there at Otakon too and I even hung out with Bargain Gamer for a while! I could have written an Otakon Intro post too but I’m lazy and BG and BK said everything anyway.

    • Bargain Gamer August 8, 2011 at 12:02 AM

      Heh, it’s all good Kay. It was good to meet you though! We’ll have to keep an eye out for future cons to hang at. ^ ^

    • Tyto August 8, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      I’m still bummed I never found the time to meet up with the two of you between running around from panel to panel. We probably could have gotten some lunch together or something.

  • nerdwerld August 9, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    It was my first Otakon and it was awesome. I actually found out how big the Hetalia fandom was… it kinda scared me a bit inside.

    • Bargain Gamer August 9, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      As it should’ve. As it should.

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