Friday, November 18, 2011

The convention

Tonight Wendy and I went to the Toronto Science Fiction Convention.  Despite me being quite a hardcore geek I had never been to one of these things before and didn't have much of a sense of what it would be like.  Somehow I was expecting hordes of people dressed as Klingons and lecture halls with speeches by famous speakers.  It wasn't much like that at all.  They felt the need to post a weapons policy telling everyone that firearms were not allowed, no seriously, not allowed, not even fake ones.  I also got to see the use of 'peace knotting' outside of a DnD roleplaying game for the first time.  Given that and the fact that there was definitely a lot of folks who were clearly stereotypical geeks in their lack of communication skills I wasn't entirely disappointed in my expectations but there was only one person wearing a Star Trek uniform and the average age was probably 55 - much higher than I had thought.  Thing is though, I like geeks and I found myself really having a good time with the people there.

I was apparently was off on the scale of things too.  I went to three panel discussions and the crowd attending ranged from 4-12 people.  Thankfully this allowed the audience to step in and really participate in the discussion and given that this is a forum that attracts all kinds of people knowledgeable in many very esoteric and specialized fields the discussions were really interesting.  There was a talk on weapons and armour which I enjoyed but didn't participate much in but I really got into it with the panelists (in a good way!) in the Game Design discussion.  I would have happily invited any of the folks on the panel home to have a good chat about things and maybe a game or two and that has got to be a great sign for how tomorrow will go as we are going to be at the convention the whole day.

I generally have a policy of not doing anything.  Sthenno and I have this sort of arrangement where will be forcibly drag ourselves out of our dwellings to get together now and again because both of us know we *should* go outside but we both find ourselves dreading actually doing anything.  Because of this unhealthy attitude I usually am hesitant to do anything new so Wendy needs to kick my ass to get me out the door.  Usually that works out great though sometimes I just put up with it and think about the video game I could be playing.  This convention, though I harboured deep suspicions about it, has so far been a really good experience.  If it continues as it has I will have a great time and be pleased I went even though I will have had to leave my house for someplace new twice in just two days - a tremendous sacrifice to be sure.


  1. Are you what is called a 'home body' or a 'recluse'?

  2. Definition for the purpose of this comment:
    Skeptic Group: A gang of (usually nerdy) people who are excited about seeing the world thought hte lens of science and rational deduction. Willing to change long help beliefs if the best evidene suggests otherwise.

    Skeptic groups (of whom you are an unofficial member) have started making a move to attend participate in SciFi/Fantasy conventions in order to attract attention and bring in new members (an example is the SkepChicks who organized a flu shot clinic at DragonCon). It's really interesting that it turns out to be such a good fit... people pushing the notion that the world is ruled by natural forces and people who love dragons or worm-hole space zombies are a crowd that overlaps by a huge degree.

  3. I think the cool version is 'lone wolf' but really homebody is the best. I *can* go out and make a good show of it, I just usually don't want to. I think recluse usually implies someone who has great difficulty passing for anything but a recluse.

    Hermit is cool, but I don't think you can reconcile wife and kid with hermit so I can't be in the same box as Ziggyny this time.

    At the convention there was also a very well attended slideshow about the Creation Museum (savagely mocking it, of course) by John Scalzi which was quite enjoyable. I think the word skeptic would fit the crowd there to a remarkable degree.