Since I got slammed and backlogged for an entire week, I decided just to upload the rest of my Otakon tweet scrape right here. It's a bit long, but this way I don't need to worry about getting sidetracked, especially since Otakon was a few weeks ago. Next week I leave for Inochicon in Philly. I should have something new and hopefully exciting up either before or right after it.
When I saw this panel in the schedule, I immediately decided I had to see it. Not just for the name, but because the subject matter was right in line with what I study. I was hoping to grab some video or audio from the panelists to use for the Con Project, perhaps get an interview or just network with other fandom researchers. I never expected what would happen next, or how it would change my weekend.
-My last panel of the day is going to be Fanthropology. Sounds right up my alley. #otakon 4:33 PM Jul 31st
-At the Fanthropology panel with @edsizemore waiting for it to begin. #otakon 6:30 PM Jul 31st
Ed and I were having a pretty good conversation about the nature of fan studies. A few of the people close by were chiming in, sharing anecdotes and stories and discussing what the panel would be about. It was already panel time and there were no panelists there yet, but sometimes people run late.
-Yoo hoo, panelists...where are you? #otakon 6:42 PM Jul 31st
It was right about here we realized the panelists weren’t showing up. After this tweet, a few people replied that they thought I was running the panel. I hadn’t applied to run Weekend Nihonjin at Otakon, figuring someone else would put down for the same type. But what happened was rather ironic, given the inquiries.
-For fans, by fans. Fanthropology. #otakon 6:50 PM Jul 31st
-eryncerise: Wow, actually this might be the most qualified panel takeover ever. @Studyofanime + 3 girls w/ various relevant post- secondary credentials.
One of the staffers, after informing us that the panelists had never even checked in, said they were going to try to make the panel into a fan discussion. Immediately one girl raised her hand and said how she had written a paper for her senior thesis on fandom studies. Then I chimed in with my MA project. Soon after we were joined by Jennifer Fuu, from the MIT Comparative Media Studies department, and another girl who studied anime graphic design. Not soon after, the panel had become a true Q&A, lasting the full 60 minutes and leading to some very productive after-panel talks. Thanks to Ed Sizemore, I do have video, which will be posted soon.
-This has become my unofficial 4th panel. #otakon 6:57 PM Jul 31st
According to Aaron Clark, the panel’s coordinator, I had more panels at Otakon than any other panelist: 3 hosted, 1 co-hosted. The only other person with more than two was MIT’s own Alex Leavitt, with 2 hosted and 1 co-hosted. Both of us have this keen tendency to host more panels than we should, he did the cycle of 8 at Anime Boston, I did the cycle of 5 at Anime Next.
What follows in a blow-by-blow of the topics discussed.
-History of fandom: gender roles. #otakon 7:01 PM Jul 31st
-Religion in anime fandom and fan religion. #otakon 7:04 PM Jul 31st
-Fanthropology: fandom and counterculture. #otakon 7:13 PM Jul 31st
-Fanthropology: origin of word otaku. #otakon 7:13 PM Jul 31st
-Fanfiction: canon, positive, negative. #otakon 7:33 PM Jul 31st
-Fanthropology: Fan content and parody. #otakon 7:42 PM Jul 31st
-Thanks to all the people involved Fanthropology. #otakon 8:15 PM Jul 31st
-And a lot of thanks to @edsizemore ...for filming and being generally awesome. #otakon 8:47 PM Jul 31st
-edsizemore @Studyofanime You're welcome. It's funny it felt the conversation we were having before the panel became the panel. So it was amazing.
-#otakon day 2 drawing to a close, hanging with @laureninspace, Jareth and John from AUSA. 8:51 PM Jul 31st
-Apparently my fire alarm tweet is listed as a top tweet on the #otakon feed. Awesome, thanks everyone! 9:04 PM Jul 31st
-A con first: a guy in the john asked me for a picture. 9:28 PM Jul 31st
-Its almost midnight and im still in my Doctor outfit. #otakon 10:25 PM Jul 31st
-And here come the artists: you can buy "I survived the fire" mementos in the Alley. #otakon 10:48 PM Jul 31st
-Its midnight, and #otakon is still jumping. Truly a sight to behold. 10:56 PM Jul 31st
-Was mistaken for Austria from Hetalia. There isn't an Austria, as far as I know. #otakon 11:06 PM Jul 31st
Apparently there is an Austria, but I didn’t look anything like him.
-Con walking @ #otakon. 11:07 PM Jul 31st
Con walking is something I do at every convention: I mount up my camcorder and just walk. Normally for maybe an hour or two, just to get video of whats going on, talk to some folks, and have a good time. Otakon’s con walking was the shortest of the con year, mostly because my batteries died after 20 minutes. But it did lead me to speak to a cluster of teens who were experiencing the con for the first time.
-They say otaku are uneducated: im having a wonderful, enlightening convo with some teenagers. #otakon 11:22 PM Jul 31st
-I think I'm going to collect all my #otakon tweets into a single list and use that as my con review. It's not possible any other way. 12:29 AM Aug 1st
-Good morning #otakon. Worlds of Miyazaki at 12:30 in Panel 5 8:51 AM Aug 1st
-My voice is flagging a bit, need some hot tea before the panel begins. 8:53 AM Aug 1st
-Pre-panel party for Miyazaki in Panel 5. AMVs and anecdotes. #otakon 11:12 AM Aug 1st
-126 surveys done. Thanks #otakon 12:42 PM Aug 1st
-Thanks to everyone for packing out Worlds of Miyazaki. I do it for you! #otakon 12:43 PM Aug 1st
-edsizemore @Studyofanime Walked by your panel room. People sitting in the hall listening. Good crowd as usual.
-@edsizemore Best turnout I think I've ever had. Im honored to talk before so many fans. 12:46 PM Aug 1st
-4 hosted panels, 126 surveys, 20 Doctors and 1 tired otaku. Thank you #otakon, for showing me a great time. 1:16 PM Aug 1st
-As #otakon winds down, the peddlers of "buttscratchas" are back in force. You can't kill it. 1:58 PM Aug 1st
-When did the Hillshire Farms jingle become a meme? #otakon 2:10 PM Aug 1st
-VinnieAve @Studyofanime the hillshire farms jingle is ubiquitous and annoying. Thus a meme. I want some anime based memes.
I hope to god this meme does not take off...but I heard it at ConnectiCon, then more at Otakon. So something tells me this will be my fall misery.
-Here's my one piece of #otakon feedback: they need to bring back God next year, his weather service was top notch. 3:05 PM Aug 1st
-#otakon fallout: im slouching and my voice is totally dead. But it was worth it. 3:25 PM Aug 1st
And so, Otakon came and went. A whirlwind of a con, it was over before I really knew what was going on. As gathered by my tweets, I did not attend the concerts, nor the masquerade, continuing my trend of pretty much never doing either of those events, but I heard great things about the Yoshida Brothers, and after purchasing one of their records, I feel bad I missed them.
The fallout from Otakon lasted three entire days. Lost sleep and lack of food had driven my metabolism to a slow grind which I am only just coming out of now. My expenditures were just under budget, but still at around $400 for the weekend, the highest of any con this year, without hotel. I’m thankful for the close proximity of the Radisson to the BCC, as I was not eager to repeat the mile walk uphill I had to make last year to the Mt Vernon.
But all in all, Otakon was a wonderful experience for me, one I would like to repeat. Next year I will have new panels and new field research (maybe...hopefully not), and a whole new cluster of attendees to tackle. But until then, I am off until Inochicon...next week.