Monday, October 4, 2021

Return of the Cons Back at Otakon 2021!

In 2020 life hit the pause button, the pandemic hit the world like something we've never seen before. Movies had been postponed a year, we found out about Joe Exotic and conventions have been canceled. As 2021 rolled in we now have a vaccination, mask mandates, and the return of a few cons. So when I saw that Otakon was returning this year I knew I had to see this. I've always been a fan of Otakon and would love to be at a con again. Also, it would be nice to see my friends outside of a zoom meeting. Otakon 2021: The return of the con.

The Convention is still taking place in Washington D.C. Despite being in the nation's capital I'm quite nostalgic for its Baltimore setting. The Baltimore convention center has been home to Otakon for many years but is currently in the middle of an expansion project. One day we hope to return to Baltimore but for now, DC has been a very welcoming city. Lucky for us congress is usually on vacation but that would be a sight to see. 


Conventions have a bad stigma when it comes to hygiene. Especially in the gaming area. Sadly 

the stereotype associated with it tends to be more true than false. Smelling like corn chips, farts, and sweat. But the guidelines set by the con made a big difference. There was no mandatory vaccine ID checkpoint but there was a mask mandate that everyone followed to a T. Most cosplayers made sure their mask matched the cosplay. Masks are also part of some Japanese fashion subcultures so it wasn't a big deal. There were more hand sanitizers than ever and everyone was carrying their own. Since everyone was wearing masks if the game room had a smell I wouldn't be able to tell you.

When they announced they were doing the con I honestly wasn't sure if there were gonna be guests. I already was under the assumption that no one was flying in from Japan. The Guest came to have fun. We had great interviews with Adam Macarthur, Ricco Fajardo, and Joe Zieja three hard-working voice actors in the industry. Be sure to check out our interview with them here (183) Otakon 2021 - YouTube   Don’t forget to subscribe!! Also had a chance to talk to some cosplayers as well and everyone was very happy to be back at Otakon. Otakon had just over 70 days to plan and execute this convention which was a staggering challenge. How did it turn out? In 2019 they had 28’430 attendees in 2021 not even 90 days to pull it off 25’543 people showed up and showed out. That is amazing!!! It also shows how strong the fans are and how strong Otakon is. 

There were so many panels to sit in on. I found myself relaxing and doing origami for a bit. I did LARPing (live-action role play) for the second time in my life and I did better than the last. I enjoyed playing a new rail shooter in the game which made me wanna go to an arcade. It was great just to catch up with some old friends as well. Now that we're back in the regular world. We go back to our day to live, all while keeping our eyes tuned in about the Delta variant not sure what the future holds. But I'd like to thank Otakon for giving me a sense of normal, if only for a few days. It wasn't perfect but it was good to be back.  


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