Convention season recap

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Convention season was in full-swing this summer with San Diego Comic Con, LeakyCon and VidCon all vying for the attention of “techies” everywhere.

San Diego Comic-Con was undoubtedly the largest of the three, attracting more than 130,000 visitors to the city. While it has always been the premiere comic industry event of the year, SDCC has moved beyond its comic book roots and now is a pop culture hot spot for movies, television and video games.

From July 11-15, fans, exhibitors and professionals (including many celebrities) attended panels, shopped at the art hall, and explored Hall H, which featured exhibits and stands from hundreds of companies, including Marvel, Sony and Summitt Entertainment. San Diego Comic Con is the largest comic convention in the United States and the third largest in the world.

SDCC’s popularity has been a problem for attendees, however. Getting a pass to the convention is notoriously difficult; they often sell out in less than two hours. Due to the large number of people attending each year, the convention center frequently suffers from overcrowding and in recent years has reached full capacity. Recent convention years have been plagued by incidences. In 2010 an attendee was stabbed during a panel and in 2012 a fan was hit by a car and killed.

However, for many participants the convention itself more than makes up for its problems.

“It was a lot bigger and more overwhelming than I expected,” said Andriana Van der Griend,senior philosophy and criminal justice double major. “There were people dressed up as different superheroes or video game characters everywhere, which made for great people watching.”

LeakyCon is for those with more literary tastes; started by one of the largest Harry Potter fansites, The Leaky Cauldron. LeakyCon is a popular Harry Potter convention that began in 2009. The last convention was held this August in Chicago; there will be two LeakyCons in 2013, one in Portland, Ore., and another in London, England.

LeakyCon featured panels on the Harry Potter series and performances by Wrock or “wizard rock” bands, musicians who play music inspired by the books.

VidCon, started by New York Times best-selling author John Green and his brother Hank Green, both of whom run popular Internet “vlogs” (video blogs), is the go-to convention for online content creators, especially those who use YouTube.

Treating YouTube and other similar Internet outlets as a source of new media, the convention unites vloggers, musicians and business people in an effort to build a community and bring attention to this budding industry.

There were other conventions that took place this summer, including E3, an industry-only video game convention that was not open to the public.

Conventions serve to bring together people of similar interests, and no longer hold the stigma that once plagued the Star Trek conventions of the past. They are used to boost industry, unite fans and otherwise bring together those who have a passionate interest in books, television, the Internet and more.

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