Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anime North :: The Aftermath

Every year I've gone to Anime North to do the gaming stuff there, and boy has it come a long long way. The first year I went, as a company, was in 2003 and it was my very first con. It is a very good con to have as your very first con because a lot of people are there for anime, and when the find a game company there, they're all surprised. Good surprised, like "Oh! I didn't know that was here," rather than, "Oooooh. A game company. What are you doing here?"

The first year we had a table in the dealer's room, which was crazy, and then we were running stuff almost non stop. It was all in the TCC (Toronto Congress Centre) and we had to compete with the noise coming from things like Anime Karaoke and Dance competitions. Nothing against them in general, but have you ever tried to run a game next to white guys who are singing in a language that they don't speak? It's not a fun experience, at all. You have to yell to be heard, and you're trying hard not to laugh and be angry at the situation.

The next year we were moved to the Doubletree Hotel which is right across the street from the convention centre. It was good, quieter and a lot more comfortable than sitting in the huge box that is a convention centre. The bad news was that the organizer wasn't much of one, and they MOVED THE KARAOKE OVER RIGHT NEXT TO US AGAIN!

But I'm only bitter, that's okay.

Last year we got moved again, but this time to the Renaissance Hotel, which is across the bridge and through the woods from Grandmother's house away from the Convention Centre. Which is great because it's even cozier, we have our own rooms, the organizer is far better than the last one and the karaoke stuff is nowhere to be found. The bad news is that it's across the bridge, through the woods and a Gradmother's house away from the Convention Centre. Not a lot of foot traffic, and it still had the feel of being thrown together at the last minute.

Much to my surprise it was. Huh. Imagine that.

Now gaming at Anime North is getting a lot bigger. We consistently filled up the rooms that we were using and only had a few, minor hiccups that kept all of us on staff (yes, I did volunteer this year) hopping about the place.

Now for the really cool things at Anime North. Every year we have a group of people, a lot of whom are from that first year so many moons ago, who come to Anime North and spend a large bulk of their time hanging out with us. In fact, most of all my con stories here involve these people who are all phenomenal roleplayers. Seriously, all the good RP people come to Anime North and I have the distinct privilege of having most of them love CyberGen. It's a kind of heady experience.

The other awesome thing is that I got to meet Jess Hartley, who is a phenomenal writer and individual who was willing to grace us with her patience as we fumbled her about from one event to another. I put a link to her blog over there on the right, not that many people are going to see it, but it's still there. She put up with our lack of organization and structure and enjoyed herself this weekend.

In the end we got to run Dark and Stormy, which is my most favourite CyberGen scenario ever and I ran it for 15 people who had a blast. Biggest group of people who I've run in a large group that didn't have people getting bored. That's because they are the most awesome RPers ever.

Note to self, make sure that I take better care in owning that portfolio at AN Gaming next year.

All in all a very successful weekend.

-Anime-d Out

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