Alan Smithee

How Not To Convention

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A strange thing happened this week. I attended a convention and instead of feeling complete bliss at being around other convention goers who share a love for all things geek, I instead felt horribly depressed following my departure each day from the event. This is in no way part a reflection of the convention I was going to, by all rights and regards the Salt Lake Comic-Con FanX was a masterpiece of conventioneering. It was great…but I think there were a few outstanding issues I had and I hope to share a few with you in this article.

FanX Chris

First, as a dad, a full-time employee, a guy trying to run a website and other ventures, and as a person who genuinely has more interests than time (read that as poor time management skills) I simply don’t quite have the time to geek out as hard as I used to about certain items. Take for instance the fact that I’m only two episodes deep in on Game of Thrones, and this is the first season I’m speaking of. I haven’t watched the last two seasons of shows I used to adore like The Venture Bros., Bob’s Burgers, and Aqua Teen something something…seriously I don’t even know what it became after Hunger Force. I haven’t picked up a book in Crom knows when unless it’s a text book. I go to mainly kids movies and usually during a matinee because, well, I have kids!

This giant laundry list of excuses I’m making up there, of which I can’t afford to budge one way or the other, firmly cements the notion that I just don’t have time to get worked up about what’s happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or even what is new with gaming these days. Seriously, I stepped into the convention and it was literally the first time I saw certain games like Titanfall, I’m out of the loop in a bad way but I don’t see an end to it anytime soon, and that’s NOT a bad thing.

I’m unapologetic really because I want my kids to come first when it comes to my attention. I want my websites to succeed. I want to lose weight. I want to do so much more with my time than simply consuming pop culture…and that’s not to say that the latter there is a bad thing. I firmly support anyone who chooses that as their raison d’être because I did it for SO VERY LONG myself. I get it, it’s fun, it’s awesome, and it’s great to be part of that community! That’s reason #1 why I even started this website, to create community and discussion among people in that world.

Second, I didn’t attend one panel. I know. I even had a press pass and could essentially jump the line and get into any panel that was available. I don’t blame anyone for this, it was my own doing. I must have been a bit too overly critical about what panel interested me because I didn’t see many that related specifically to my geek-kink. I didn’t see one listing the distinctions between the Macross anime with Robotech, boo hiss!

So if you find your self at a convention, go to panels, they make the show that much better and if yours is staffed with all sorts of celebrities, they’re likely to be there too talking and giving anecdotes about the trade. Hell, now that I’m talking about it I’m kicking my own self in the ass for missing out on what could have been awesome.

Third, and finally, don’t be socially awkward. When out in the great wide world of geek, don’t keep living in your own head like I do so often. I work a late shift at my work with minimal people present and even fewer online while I’m awake. It causes a situation that I’d like to coin as solitary refinement where you learn how to be insular to the point where it takes a jackhammer to get your attention. I can go off and live in my brain for hours before blinking and realize the entire shift came and went without as much as a coherent thought besides “hurr hurr, meme pictures funny”. It’s a coping mechanism and it stifled my fun at what should have been a real blast.

These of course are only a few examples I can think of as to why I got hit with a brick wall of being bummed after being done wih the convention each day. Maybe your experiences are different, I’d love to hear your stories but in all honesty the SLCC FanX was a ton of fun whilst I was there and the sudden disconnect from that back into real life was just maybe all too jarring. I don’t know but at least you’ve got a bit to digest regarding how NOT to convention, so cut it out and plan your next.

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