Back at the beginning of the year, I was pleased to present an open submission by a friend and colleague, Mr. Dakota Schuck. I met him at Anime USA last year where he was wandering around dressed as Rorschach. He found himself in my "Gone Connin" panel, where he shared with me some solid stories. I asked him if would like to write a short OP-ED for the site, he agreed, and gave me a wonderful editorial about friendships and camaraderie at the con. I asked if he would like to write another one.
Well, he returns today, with yet another musing on the nature of congoing. This time, I had asked if he knew anything about the differences between East and West Coast convention going, mostly because I have heard from a lot of sources that there are differences. Since I have never been able to afford to "Go West," I asked Dakota if he could provide me with anything, seeing as how he has been a veteran of the West Coast Con Circuit for a while, and has also been across the country.
So, without further ado, I present the return of Rorschach!
A little over a month ago I was asked for my opinion on the differences between west cost anime conventions and their east coast counterparts. I have been a long time convention attendee and participant at the organization level of west coast conventions for many years. Last year I went to my first con on the east coast, called Anime USA in VA (where I met our host, Charles Dunbar). I have also attended a convention in Denver CO, called Anime Wasabi as a special guest.
When I was asked how anime conventions on different coasts differ, I unfortunately had to answer that I hadn't noticed any particular differences. Then, recently, I realized something; I couldn't think of any drastic differences because there weren't any to think of! An anime convention, in my experience, is the same sort of event with the same sort of people no matter where you are in the United States.
This got me thinking; could it be that the anime/nerd subculture provides a strong enough base of norms that differences that arise from geographics are largely unnoticeable? Could it be that all nerds are the same everywhere and that we all speak the same language of jokes, jargon, and shared interests? (These questions are probably best answered by an anthropologist, perhaps there may be one interested in the subject?). I think the best way to exemplify this homogenous quality is through the fact that I know no matter what convention I go to, when I make a Dragonball-Z joke, everyone in the room will get it. I have the same in-jokes as every other nerd in the country.
I have also interacted with nerds in other parts of the world like the United Kingdom, and even Japan, albeit to a lesser extent. The result seems similar however; all nerds are nerds, no matter where you go.
Resident West Coast Nerd,
I can think of one distinct difference, but this is only at convention dances. Being from California, I have noticed that in no other state do people dance quite so close as we do here ;-)