This subject is very near and dear to my heart, and I feel that the dialog about it should never stop. Convention fandom is changing, and has been for the past 4+ years. We owe it to ourselves to look at the pilgrimages we love, and ask ourselves both about the change, and how we can explore it. It's easy to just point fingers, assign blame, and cross our arms. It's more challenging to ask, discuss, and discover.
"The weekend before last, I attended my fifth Anime USA in Washington, DC. It was my 14th anime convention this year, and 70th overall. By now, walking down halls full of cosplayers and clusters of attendees sharing Nintendo Streetpass tags has become a major part of my life. Despite all the time I’ve spent “in the field” (as I still think of a lot of my con-going adventures), each con holds a special place to me, a reflection of a community I’ve watched grow and evolve over the past 11 years.
When I attended my first anime convention back in 2002, I felt like I was entering another world..."