So Dorkly wrote a pretty scathing review of SDCC a few days ago. While you can read it here the general gist of it was waah-waah, boo-hoo, SDCC is no fun anymore! Well I am here to say that they are wrong. I would argue that out of the tens of thousands of people who went, most had an absolute blast with no regrets what-so-ever. Still let’s break down some of their arguments, because they do make some valid points.
- It’s Too Crowded – Yep, it’s crowded, I can’t deny that one, but guess what? It is a large convention so what do you expect? We all got through it and managed to be where we wanted to be when we wanted to be there. It is doable and for a crowd of 100,000 plus, SDCC does a great job of managing things.
- You Can’t Get Into The Cool Panels Anyways – If your only definition of “cool panels” is Hall H or Ballroom 20 you might be right. However, I went to plenty of cool panels without much trouble, ranging from “The Writer’s Danger Room” to “The Expanse” to “Super Weird Heroes” and I enjoyed them all.
- It’s Too Expensive – This one is hard to judge because what is your definition of “too expensive.” SDCC is my summer vacation and for most attendees the same holds true. If you flew to New York and stayed four nights how much would that cost you? Or London or Alaska? Not to mention the discounts that SDCC gives you for the hotels. You can also do things to save money. Food? Buy groceries or bring your own snacks. Overpriced merchandise? You don’t have to buy it. As far as summer vacations go I consider SDCC to be pretty reasonable all things considered.
- Everything Will Be On Line Instantly – I can’t argue against this one. If all you are going for is new or exclusive footage then yes, maybe you should stay at home in your mother’s basement and surf the net.
To be honest, I find most of these arguments to be petty and trivial. Does something need to be done about the Hall H situation? Absolutely. But guess what? If people love Hall H and that is their priority then who cares if they want to sit in line for 20+ hours. It is their decision. One of my favorite memories is when the entire cast of the Avengers was announced and danced their way out in Hall H. You simply can’t recapture the experience and energy by watching it online.
San Diego – people want to go to San Diego. It’s a destination. You have the warm sun, the surf, the brilliant evenings and downtown San Diego is so much fun. You can’t experience this from home.
Panels – I mentioned this above but there are tons of fun panels to go to outside of Hall H and Ballroom 20. To be honest I gave up on those two halls years ago and I have had so much more fun since I did. This gave me the option to go to more creative panels and I haven’t looked back. I would highly recommend this approach as I think it maximizes your time and doesn’t exhaust you along the way.
Exhibit Hall – The giant magnetic called the exhibit hall is a site to behold. It is a veritable menagerie of the strange, rare and geeky and there is so much to see. Everywhere you look there is something new and no matter how much time you spend there you will probably still miss something. Again, the online experience just doesn’t cut it.
The Night Life – After parties, meetups and outside events. You can’t do this if you stay at home and pout. Over the years this has become one of my favorite parts of SDCC, including our very own Game of Bloggers meet up! Try doing this from home, oh wait, you can’t.
People – Much like Soylent Green, SDCC is people. My absolute favorite thing is reconnecting with old friends I met at the convention in past years and meeting new people. Bloggers, artist, writers, media personalities, the occasional celebrity – you name it. I have also met people from England, France, Indonesia and a number of other places. This year I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with the super cool people of C4CC and would have missed connecting with them if I skipped out. You can’t do this from home…oh wait, I guess you can in an online chat room, once again from your mother’s basement.
Shame on Dorkly as their article was whiny and unoriginal with arguments that don’t hold up to the truth. The simple fact of the matter is SDCC is what you make of it. It’s about the experience, the energy, the creativity and super cool people you meet along the way. For me it’s about connecting with my passions, my fandom and ultimately experiencing the things I loved so much in my childhood. That is what keeps me going back and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
You can follow Jefferson @nerdsinrecovery
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