This second part of my PAX Prime 2014 adventures is devoted to the two firsts I experienced this time around: my very first experience cosplaying and my very first time speaking on a panel. You can read Part I of this series here.
Since I got involved with the #FGBlogers group on Google+ this year I’d developed something of a cosplay jones from seeing so many incredible cosplayers in that community and so I decided to make cosplaying for the first time a goal for this year. I set PAX Prime as the event to unveil my creation, but a lack of passes meant that my attendance wasn’t guaranteed until my friends at Pixelkin invited me to participate in a panel they were putting together on the subject of diversity in video games, which had been another goal I’d set for myself at the beginning of the year.
First things first, cosplaying was a blast. I can totally see why it becomes such a passion for people and the attention I got from what I considered a pretty simple noob costume was amazing. Sadly, traveling alone meant that I didn’t get nearly as many pictures of myself in costume as I would have liked, and my plans to get pictures around town in costume also fell totally flat. I was also very amused by the fact that a number of people didn’t actually realize I was in costume, since it turns out Delsin’s outfit is really just a variation on what seems to be a pretty standard Seattlite hipster uniform.
By far my favourite cosplay moment was tooling around the giant Sony booth and getting treated like a freaking rock star. I guess I can see why they would be so excited that someone was cosplaying as a character from one of their games, but I really did not expect the reaction that I got. Nearly every staff member who saw me shot me at least a “thumbs up” and the guy manning the photo-op in The Order: 1886 demo line even insisted on taking a photo with me. As well, when I finished the demo (which I really enjoyed, details coming in Part III), they even hooked me up with a free Order: 1886 pin and a special golden t-shirt!
I also had an amazing time bonding with total strangers who were also cosplaying as Delsin. Oddly enough, out of the 5 other Delsin cosplayers I saw, 4 of them were women. Go figure. However, I only managed to get photos with 2 of them, but I included them in the slideshow below along with pics of some of my other favourite cosplays.
Although I was waffling on whether to or not, I ended up wearing my cosplay again for my panel on Sunday night. We were a little bummed when we saw when our panel had been scheduled for (8:30 PM on Sunday night), but in some ways that might have been for the best as it definitely kept the rabble out. That said, all of the panels I personally attended were incredibly civil and definitely put me at ease leading up to ours. While there may have only been 30 people in the room (including panelists & convention staff), all of the questions asked were intelligent and on point and at least two of the people in attendance told me it was their favourite panel at PAX.
I’d have to say my favourite panel I attended was the Loving What You Hate: How to Engage with Problematic Media panel that shared most of the panelists (minus me, obviously) as the panel I was on. There is such a ridiculous assumption in our culture that criticism is automatically the same as condemnation, so it was great to have a group of crazy intelligent people laying out the difference with humour and sophistication.
My second favourite was the Top Women Characters of All Time panel which convinced me that I really need to play Chrono Trigger & Persona 4. Probably my least favourite panel was the Consenting Adults: Sex in Video Games panel, which, likely by virtue of happening at 10 PM on a Friday basically turned into a drunken happy hour that while entertaining, was not exactly as informative as I would have liked.
And while I didn’t attend it myself, I did managed to meet up with fellow blogger Usagi in the waiting area for the Cards Against Humanity panel.
Anyways, I guess that’s all for now. Stay tuned for Part III where I finally get to the part I’m sure you’re most interested in: THE GAMES!