Is Comic Con Really Worth the Wait?
It's fan convention season! And that means waiting in line to meet some of you favorite celebrities. But have you ever really stopped to consider just how many hours get wasted in those panel lines? Perhaps none are worse than San Diego Comic Con, whose lines have become notorious in the convention space. So is there a way to HACK Comic Con? Obey the rules, but spend the least amount of time possible waiting for the big panel you want to see? Let's find out!
i have a problem with "cons"...i'll try and put it into words, but as i haven't quite woke up yet and the problem i have isn't really crystallised in my mind it might be a bit all over the place...
i'm sure Cons are very fun...and ofc announcements about games/geek media are our "news"...but i really wish the gaming press didn't focus on them so heavily as cultural touchstones for several reasons (in no particular order):
* "journalists" treat them as their touchstone with the gaming/geek community when actually the attendees of cons are a fairly limited and restricted group. this is further exacerbated by the fact that quite a few cons reported upon are not even open to the general public. in short the most common repeat attendees at all the cons (collectively) are probably "journalists" and media types.
in addition to this, outside of social media, it seems most games journalists exposure to gaming as a collective community is limited to the likes of xbox live + cons...which undoubtedly results in skewered perceptions...and imo i don't think in any way that allows them to have any true depth of insight into their supposedly specialist subject.
an all honesty i've long been of the opinion that people most excited by cons are the "journalists"...to them its parties, hotels, doggy bags, fawning and VIP treatment, meeting up with pals in the industry while simultaneously being gifted a stack of copy material that'll at least partially sustain them until the next one comes along.
* the string of cons that exists across any given year are almost an exclusively an American phenomena. gaming is not. and to a certain extent for those in the rest of the world reading about these events (as opposed to "news" from them) is like reading people enthuse about the super bowl. ie not actually that relevant their existence in any way but treated as a huge big deal by other people.
* unless you live locally in certain places attending one is undoubtedly the reserved who have both the money and the time to take time off work, fly across the country, book into hotels etc etc. in other words the fairly economically privileged...more economically privileged that probably most gamers (even the "core").
for people like me (who lives outside the US) a trip to a good, big "con" is probably akin to a poor Muslims wish of going to Mecca...sure we'd like to go and there is a draw...but it's probably never gonna actually happen.
i've been a gamer for 37 years. the nearest ive got to "a con" is either a travelling Star Trek exhibition that set up shop in Edinburgh once or standing in line on Princes Street for a midnight WoW expansion launch (which i've only done once and was basically dragged to)...its arguable Scotland is maybe a bit parochial...but the only place that arguably isn't in the UK is London...and even there i doubt there is a constant stream of notable geek/gaming "con" spread across the whole year someone could attend and fixate on like games/geek "journalists" do...not least because i would probably have heard about them via the UKs own London centric media...although no doubt there a couple of some description..pretty sure we have our own comic con now for example..wouldn't know much about it tho because only the US ones are really reflected in the media...
anyway i seem to be rambling now. best go make a cuppa.
Well, after this I know one thing.
I'm never going to comic con.
Unless I get some sort of pass that lets me skip all the lines.
I will forever damn Twilight until my dying breath for ruining Comic-Con. Daaaaaaaaaamn Yooooooooouuuuuuuu!!!
I only go to conventions for the panels anyway, and though I don't know how it is with others the Montreal Comic Con has basically none. It's all just guests who charge way to much for autographs, a few workshops and a lot of stores.
That's why I tend to limit myself to smaller conventions, and due to time and money always ones either in Montreal (where I live) or, if I'm willing to rent a hotel for it (which means others are going with me), Ottawa/Gatineau, Quebec, Toronto or Boston.
I remember back in my youth I wanted to go to comic con more than anything, no I'd never want to go period....
sooooo freaking glad the only cons I've ever dealt with, experienced, and will ever plan to experience are furry related. a FRACTION of the attendees of these giganourmous "mainstream" cons, people with universally shared interests, said interests created by the people there and not a big company or the like, and still more fun then finding out if X game is coming soon.
I only been to escapist expo. That was pretty good. They should one again.
I would never waste my time with SDCC. It's big and most of it has literally nothing to do with Comics. I say the people who wait in those lines are not superfans so much as mentally deficient human beings. I am just about ready to say goodbye to NYCC too. Not nearly as big, much bigger focus on comics.. but it sells out ridiculously fast and it's just become more and more crowded as time goes on.
Yeah it's suppose to be "We're" & "You're", but the coding acts weird when more than 1 ' in there. Still though almost everything that sounded awesome when I was younger sounds like a waist of time now.
I have been to the SDCC twice now and while it's definitely a great experience, it's too expensive and a bit too crazy now to justify a third go-round. I would recommend everyone try to go once for the sheer excitement. No, it's not great for the "hardcore" crowd, but it's nice to see so many people who love similar things gathered in one place.
Honestly I don't see the appeal of that overcrowded, inefficient waste of time.
And if zombie outbreak will ever happen, I'm pretty sure ground zero will be ComicCon >:)
I may one day attend to some smaller convention, but most probably even that will be huge disappointment.
I've gone to Comic Con almost every year since 2004 (and only because there was a regrettable ocean between me and it one year). I've always loved going...but I pretty much go solely to shop, watch anime, play video games, attend the annual San Diego Pops nerd concert, and watch more anime. I've gone to maybe three panels and two autograph signings in all those years, don't look for celebrities, and don't really care about announcements that aren't looping displays in the exhibit hall.
So now I feel like I dodged a bullet I never even saw.
I've been to over a dozen conventions during this increasingly long adult life of mine (I'm not even the prime demographic anymore ;_; ), and I swear some of the planning my friends and I have done felt like we were scoping out a bank heist. "Meet up by the Food Court at 11:25, coordinate who wants whose swag, have Steve get them locked up in the car while Jennifer and Damien secure spots in line. Rob can head down to here and price out the swag booths as Emily and Matt pose for pictures. Meanwhile-"
"Hey, remember when we used to go to these and just have fun?"
"... Yeah, I miss that too."
For this article to have been relevant it would have to have exposed the average cost of any single Expo goer. If that's just the 130 thousand people and the 100 million he came up with then the average cost is less than $1,000. If we dismiss the flawed logic of the average wage being applied to every hour (because seriously, most of us can't make that wage 24 hours a day, we're generally limited to 8 hours a day that may or may not overlap with hours waiting), then the number should be even lower.
We may also find some significant outliers that if thrown out drop that price even more.
I say this knowing full well that I'll never go to one of these Expos unless it was free. I just hate waiting and paying to do so sounds crazy to me.
You know, this really makes me appreciate Emerald City Comic Con a lot more.
I live near Seattle, I'm not willing to go out of state for cons, I pretty much only go to ECCC and PAX (if I can get in) and I've had a great time at both.
When it comes to ECCC, I don't do a ton of waiting. I don't go to panels, I don't do events, I meet any writers or artists attending that I want to see and swing by whatever else catches my eye but generally I just float around.
At PAX, yeah, I've spent a fair amount of hours waiting in line for games I really wanted to play but other than that, I float around there too.
I suppose it's that attitude that really allows me to enjoy them, go with the flow style.
And people told me "if you don't like Twilight, just act like it doesn't exist and ignore it".
Good luck ignoring the army of giant screeching titans with flatulence claiming the same places I'd like to go to, as they are constantly swarmed with clouds of screeching harpies who have mastered the art of line waiting.
But with or without them, really big cons are waiting games. I tried to get into The Witcher and the oculus rift corner on gamescom, but that would have taken 3-5 hours.