So I’ll admit, I wasn’t as excited for Genericon XXIII as for last year’s con. This lack of enthusiasm stemmed mostly from the fact that the main guests announced were Echostream, OverClocked Remix, and Uncle Yo—the exact same lineup as last year. And since I don’t exactly have a deep passion for anime, gaming, or LARPing, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do to keep myself entertained.
However, despite my initial impression that there wouldn’t be much new going on that would interest me, since the novelty of the con had worn off since last year, I ended up keeping myself pretty entertained. Friday night was spent mostly soaking in the atmosphere of the con—unchanged and nerdy as ever.
A video game room was set up in the George M. Low Center for Industrial Innovation and an intense Rock Band competition was in progress. While I was thrilled to find and rent out an Nintendo 64 console and Mario Kart, the games room only had three functioning TVs—causing long waits before one was free. Our N64 also ended up being a dud, so the games room was a bit of a bust.
Saturday was the busiest of the weekend. The main cosplay events were also Saturday morning, meaning the costumes sported during the day were truly spectacular. I attended the “Music To Geek Out To” panel, which was mostly just geeks yelling at each other about video game music. I then enjoyed free cake (not a lie) for lunch at Jenny Blanchard’s Enjuhneer panel (see Comics). This was a calmer and more entertaining experience, since most of the webcomic’s readers are RPI students and we were talking about something I could relate to—life at RPI.
Later in the day, Uncle Yo entertained a roaring crowd with his nerd-specific comedy. His show was much bigger than last year and very well received—despite his propensity for heckling the audience (my pride still hurts a bit). Another guest that everyone was excited about was Robert Axelrod, most famous to con-goers as the voice of Lord Zedd from The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. (Oh yeah, flashback to the ’80s!) The voice actor missed his panel due to a delayed flight, but I saw him throughout the con talking to and taking pictures with fans.
The vendors rooms seemed a little less populated than last year, but there were still many goodies to be had. I enjoyed a delicious Kiwi-flavored Ramune soda, which is made interesting not only by its flavor, but also by the design of its glass marble cap. I was also tempted by other treats like Pocky candy and Hello Panda snacks. Many other games, cards, accessories, plushies, and items of clothing were also for sale. Even more interesting were the items in Artist’s Alley—featuring a collection of diverse artists specializing in merchandise de geek. Varying from drawings and sketches to jewelry made out of chainmail, there was something for every dork.
There was tons more going on at the con that I didn’t have time to catch—even things that appealed to someone less involved in the Genericon culture. I sadly missed a showing of Serenity, a Munchkin tournament, and the Echostream Concert (they are a really good band).
Despite my initial misgivings, Genericon still had plenty to offer, and it was just as crazy and weird as ever. I have to give credit to the con-goers—never have I seen such a display of nerd pride. And of course, my pirate-hat off to the Genericon staff; just looking at the schedule gives me a headache, so well done.