I know. This post is long overdue.
The problem is, I came to realize something as I was halfway through a long, involved post that had lots of photos and links to videos and all that other fun mess…
You’ve probably already seen what I was going to show you.
WoWInsider and a host of other bloggers were just as hard at work as I was, taking pictures and video and all the other stuff that bloggers tend to do, and I realized that there was little point in rehashing what was already being covered on blogs far more established than mine. So I changed tactics midway through, deleted the entire post, and started anew.
This is the result of that change.
Now, that’s not to say that you won’t get to see any of the pictures or videos that I took, or get the photo of the contest winner/Blizzcon attendee on the blog. All of that is coming up. I promised you that, and I will deliver. Just not yet.
Rusty, Mandy, and I arrived in Anaheim on Thursday evening, checking into The Anabella (which was godawful for the entire stay, but that’s a story for another time) around 6pm. We took our bags full of stuff into our room, dropped it off, and proceeded to the convention center (barely a block away) to pick up our passes, mount cards and goody bags for the following day.
At the convention center, there was quite a line, but it was moving along pretty quickly. All told, it took maybe an hour and a half to get everything the night before. We went back to the hotel, dropped off everything but one goody bag (mine), and went out to Tony Roma’s to eat dinner.
While we waited on the appetizer, we cracked into the goody bag to see what was contained inside. Aside from the mount card (which included a beta key for StarCraft 2), there were a lot of other neat little items, some useful, some not, and some hilarious. So what was inside the bag?
- WotLK pen (lights up)
- Special edition Blizzcon authenticator
- WoW Action Figures pin (I put it on my camera bag)
- Heroes of Azeroth starter deck
- Pandaren Brewmaster beverage sleeve
- TokyoPop Blizzcon sketchbook
- 2 in 1 comic book (Ashbringer/StarCraft – for the lore)
- Frostmourne Keychain
- Diablo 3 stress ball (health or mana – red or blue, for the non-Diablo players)
- Blizzcon keychain
- StarCraft: The Board Game – Typhon promotion planet card
- Quest card sponsored by BradyGames
- WotLK postcard
- WotLK sticker
- FigurePrints necklace (Alliance or Horde)
- SwagDog Mousepad (Alliance or Horde)
- Cardstock orc or forsaken mask
- StarCraft 2 wristbands
- Various advertisements
- Paladin in a Bubble/Frostmourne (Inflatable)*
- Box of tissues (with “QQ Noob” printed on the box) **
- Instant hand sanitizer **
- Box of mints in a Diablo 3 can, labeled “Sinamints.” (I LOL’d IRL.) *
- Pandaren Brewmaster bottle opener*
- Tube of Zerg Creep (contained a Hydralisk figure for StarCraft: The Board Game)*
* denotes usefulness
** denotes usefulness to certain individuals
Once the goody bag was out of the way, we started talking about the people we were seeing at the convention, and started the development of what was later called “The Column System” by the end of day one. Let me explain the need for it, and then I’ll explain exactly how it works.
As we all know, gamers get lumped into a pretty big stereotypical group. As everyone in the media knows, gamers (especially the hardcore ones) are in their teens to mid-twenties and -thirties, pale, overweight, with bad hygiene and acne. Right?
/waits for shouts of dissent to calm down
Yeah, I know. So here’s how this breaks down.
Column A: People you can look at, and recognize that they are clearly gamers. (I know, it’s stereotyping on a different level, but bear with me.) Not quite the stereotype portrayed in the media, but close.
Column B: People you can look at, and expect them to be mountain bikers, or intramural flag football players, anything but a person who would sit at a computer and play a game like this (I get lumped into this column; at first glance, I don’t look like the gamer type, but talk to me for five minutes about WoW, and you might throw me right into column A.)
Column C: The “Are you sure she isn’t a model?” category. The really pretty people.
Column D: Basically Column A to the tenth power. To borrow a line from Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation, “These nerds are to nerds what nerds are to normal people.” I’d run like hell. These guys make the media stereotype look normal.
Column E: Column C in costumes (which usually ends up being hot girls in costumes… the guys just don’t put that much effort into it… or the ones that do screw something up so that the costume just looks like crap)
As we walked through the line, and past other people coming in for early registration, it was easy to see that Column A was present, but largely outnumbered by Column B and more than a few Column C’s (guys too, as Mandy was quick to point out). We didn’t encounter Columns D and E until the following day.
After dinner, we decided to call it a night. We went back to the hotel, hit the sack, and tried to sleep enough to make it through a long day at the con the following morning.