My friends and I had the pleasure to visit SwampCon this weekend. It was a smallish convention put on by UF with many themes including Anime, Gaming, Fantasy. It was personally the first, hopefully of many, convention I have been to. There was many things to do and see at SwampCon, many panels of which we went to four. Many contests and competitions, including a Cosplay contest, and different video game and board game contests. This convention I did not where a costume but in the future I am planning on learning how to sew and design costumes, when I do I plan on participating in future costume contests.
On the first day of SwampCon we went in and got in line to register, at first it was a bit overwhelming. Being surrounded by so many people in costumes or sporting a products based on their favorite anime or comic. Only being used to that stuff online and my friend base is quite different than being surrounded by Fandom. But I soon became comfortable with it and embraced it learning quite quickly that most of these people are really cool and nice. After registering we headed to a quiz panel about Homestuck called Triviastuck. I personally didn't answer any of the questions, but I knew a few. It was overall a fun event, being fan run, and offering nice prizes based on the web comic. After that we walked around and browsed some of the artists and vendors, selling really cool products most of which were hand made or designed personally like buttons, dolls, hats, and other cool items. Then we headed to the Maid Cafe, which was nice. After enjoying the show put on by the maids and butlers, we went to a panel on Podcasting hosted by Trasmissions From Atlantis a mostly Scifi Podcast. The panel was quite informative and entertaining. Advice coming from a couple who just a couple years ago were sitting in the audience of similar panels, was personal as advice on something like that could be. They talked about the ups and downs and basically how important it is just to start. Our next panel was Gamemastering 101 a panel held by some really accomplished gamers most of which have written for different Role Playing Games. A fun panel which provided insight on how to be a good GM or DM and basically how to make sure everyone is having fun.
While my friends explored the board games being played I entered the Pokemon Black and White Tournament. I have thought about playing in tournaments before but never really prepared so this was a fun way to dip my toe into competitive Pokemon. The rules were simple double battles, single elimination. I won my first battle, and lost in the second round. It went a bit better than expected because I just used my regular team but it was a fun experience. We spent the rest of the night playing board games, like Settlers of Catan and Munchkins. The next day we spent about the same way, but we also went to a panel on Voice Acting, which was interesting. And played some games at the LAN party, while watching the League of Legends tournament.
Overall the weekend was definitely one to remember, especially for a free convention. Hopefully we will go back next year, before that visit other awesome events.