Going to a Convention in Australia in 2016
Up until the start of 2016 I was a convention virgin. In my 26 years on this planet, I had never set foot on a convention floor. Now, as this year's circuit dies down, I can say that I've been to three conventions in the past 11 months.
In January I was on holiday in Sydney with RTX Australia being the focal point. This was the first convention held on Australian soil by Burnie, Gus, Matt, Geoff, Joel and the gang, so there was going to be some teething problems. The lack of air conditioning in an open air facility on one of the most humid weekends I've ever experienced is the first thing that comes to mind. There were also issues with autograph sessions, ATMs, and lines in general.
Despite all of that, the event itself had lots of things to do and people to see. Being my first convention I didn't quite know what to expect. I can still vividly remember the walk from Redfern train station and being blown away by the amount of people in line to enter the building as I turned the corner into the Australian Technology Park. It turns out that people are into the geek culture. Who knew?
You come out the other side of an event like that exhausted with sore feet, a smile on your face, and a new friend or two that you met along the way. Overall an experience I'm not going to forget anytime soon.
More recently I have been to Oz Comic Con and just last weekend I went to Brisbane Supanova, courtesy of the respective organisations as they provided me with media passes.
Going to a convention you're guaranteed to see a few things. Yes, you'll see a lot of cosplayers (Deadpool, Harley Quinn, and RWBY being the standouts to me), but there's also some similarities in the exhibitioners as well. The Sweet & Sour candy stall, TeeTurtle Shirts, Origin PC, and SO. MANY. POP VINYLS.
In particular I want to call attention to the second last one there. Origin PC have been a big part of Australian conventions this year, but I was disgusted to see this advertisement at Brisbane Supanova next to a line of a dozen people who were waiting patiently to try out the HTC Vive.
If you have read any of my articles then you know that I loathe the pay-to-win business models of the vast majority of free to play titles out there. This to me is almost like bringing that mentality to real life, and it sickens me. From a business point of view it's very savvy. From an ethical point of view it's deplorable.
Despite the lines, the crowds, and sometimes questionable business models of those involved, conventions in Australia are still a hell of a lot of fun. I find it kind of sad that there isn't much focus on gaming within the conventions held in Brisbane, especially considering the quality of talent we have on offer, but I am hopeful that that will change in the near future. Next year I plan to go to more conventions, with the holy mecca that is PAX Australia being a big one to cross off the list.