XCon World: Mildly Geeky Southern Familyville
XCon World was the first convention in the Southeastern United States that I have ever attended, so I’m not sure if the vibe I got from this con was specific to the con itself, or if it’s representative of the how all cons work around here. Here are my thoughts:
First of all, XCon was mainly just a large merchandise room – definitely not a social con. The merchandise was good. I particularly liked the paintings on metal sheets. There was a part of the convention sectioned off to be a sort of “panel room” but because it was really just a curtain, panels were hard to hear. I did, however appreciate the presence of the cast of Face-Off being present and leading some interesting panels.
Not too far away, in the big room, was also stage where random events were held. They weren’t anything too engaging, but they kept a pretty decent crowd busy after most of the attendees had been to all the booths.
One thing that kind of bummed me out was that there was a severe lack of cosplay. It seemed like XCon world was more of a spontaneous decision of families with mild interest in something geeky to show up at, wander around for a bit, and leave. The place was packed with kids. On the bright side, many of the kids were in costume. (Should you choose to look at the gallery, a majority of pictures are from the kids costume show)
Of the few cosplayers present, an overwhelming majority were Harley Quinn. Harley has always been a classic choice, but with Suicide Squad coming out soon, the epidemic has grown.
Something that was a bit of a culture shock to me was that nobody was really excited about anything. One of the defining things of geekery, in my opinion, is how passionate and excited people get about their favorite fandoms. I don’t usually actively seek conversation (it just sort of happens) at cons, but at this con I had to work hard to hold a conversation with anyone. It was like they just weren’t that into it. By Sunday, I was feeling an incredible lull, and debated even going at all.
I did, however, really like the admission process. Though the at-con registration line was particularly long, it seemed to move quickly. Because I pre-registered, there was no line for me. Instead of a badge, I received a rubber wristband. I like this method because as a cosplayer, it annoys me how badges tend to cover up parts of costumes and are inconvenient to take off in the event you want to take a nice photo. The downside of the wristband system, however, is that the wristband is incredibly easy to lose if you take it off.
I didn’t know what to expect coming into this con. I had a feeling it would be small based on the website and the ticket prices. If it were any more expensive, I would feel a little jipped, but I think the pricing was definitely fair. I have now learned, though, that I need to do a bit more research on a con to determine if it is a Social con or a Merchandise/Celebrity con. From now on, if it’s only a merch/celeb con I’m not going to purchase a weekend ticket. A day pass will more than suffice.