Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Norwescon: A Mosaic of Everyone

Norwescon is one of my favorite events.

I love the diversity. At Norwescon every flavor of people shows up and talks about every topic that has ever been talked about. It is a mosaic of people, all sharing the same experience.

You know it's Norwescon
when even the Daleks
are getting into cosplay
The experience is a mash up of panels, gaming, parties, costumes, more parties, meeting people, seeing old friends, and full blown geek-out moments. And of course the elevators who are out to get us. (I used who on purpose because these suckers are straight out of a Douglas Adams novel).

But what ties it all together is the community--this group of people getting together for a weekend to let it all hang loose.

Norwescon 39 was my third time attending for a full weekend. Does it count as 3.25 if I attended 36 on Sunday only? Or maybe since Sunday is just a part day we could be fun and estimate it at 3.14?

This year I decided to focus less on the panels. After a few years they lose their shine anyway. Even if the titles are different, the people are often the same, and you can suddenly find yourself experiencing a glitch in the Matrix as the deja vu sets in. Which is just a flaw of the panel format. And so I decided to make this year more about meeting and hanging out with people.

Being newish at the con I can't help but get the feeling that nobody is interested in being friends with me sometimes. I am insecure that way. My second year I recognized people from the first year, said hello, and then proceeded to haunt/stalk them. I am awkward that way. But this is my third year so this magical thing started happening where people would wave and say "Hey, Amanda!" And then I did the social equivalent of snorting milk out my nose in my excitement. I am such a geek that way.

I went to parties, I hung around Hospitality like it was my personal Cheers (did I just age myself?), I found this little group of people interested in something I am keen on, and they totally let me hang out with them!

I bumped into people I had no idea would even be at Norwescon, I hung out with one, shared an awkward hug with someone I think maybe wasn't a hug person (my bad sorry). I saw Deadpool--a lot. It may have been the same Deadpool...or not. Hard to be sure because he never took off his mask.

The other thing I decided was that I was going to try not to only go to panels on subjects I considered myself somewhat knowledgeable on. Sure there is a small possibility I will hear a new perspective on something, but let's face it, a con panel is not going to give much beyond the 101 experience. So I challenged myself to go to a few panels that I had no idea what the heck it was about. I went to one, spontaneously and randomly, about Asymmetrical Warfare. I had no idea what that was before I sat in on it. Now I do. I am not sure how I will be able to use that knowledge yet, but I am a geek and a writer, knowledge is like diamond encrusted platinum to me.

Next year I think I will try harder to go to totally random and unexpected panels. And hopefully my level of human interactions and bonding will be kicked up another notch. Maybe I will even play some games with some people. That would be cool.

Here is to many more years of Norwescon and its community! Hopefully, I don't get stuck in an elevator or lose a leg to those temperamental doors. But if I do, I am sure there will be a bunch of awesome people around to share the moment with.

Don't trust the hand salts!

©2016 Amanda June Hagarty

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