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mynameisru

Otakon 2009 Suggestions

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Better maps.

I swear, it took me about an hour just to find the freakin' Art Alley. And that was going from person to person asking where it was. x-x And then...we finally got in the general area, and they told us we couldn't come in that way. So we went back and they told us we couldn't go back IN the way we came. So we were stuck outside cause neither side would let us in.

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Speaking of maps, we walked around for about 10 minutes trying to find the Taco Bell XD I suppose it isn't there anymore.

Is it possible to update the city map a little? I realize how much a city changes, but a new update before the next official booklet thingy would be nice.

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Last year was a particularly busy year for changes in downtown Baltimore, and for a variety of reasons the map update didn't get done.

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Bring back the giant Hall D and Hall C main events room from last year!

Also bring back the multiple screens for the AMV contest showings. Me being a short person, it was much easier to have a good view over everyones heads with 5 screens last year.

Just saying this again because I'm not certain it was noticed, as no one said anything. [insert awesome smiley here]

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I love my 360 and online gaming However, I Have asked this every year and still do not get a valid answer:

"What does Halo, Call of Duty, and Gears of war, have to do with Japanese pop culture"?

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A break from the action, I guess. Technically they're games played on an international competitive level, or at least were at one point with MLG. Not sure whats MLG standard at the current moment.

A giant game room is nice, and while limiting it to JUST JP-based games would still be nice and possibly cut down on game room traffic, it would also work against those who have come to know and love the sheer variety of game rooms at cons.

As for the gameroom taking up too much real estate, I disagree. XD It's huuuuuuuge as it is and its hardly enough for all the tournaments that go on, despite the number of no shows. They had to limit every tournament I was interested in number of contestants, resulting me in not getting into them despite being there on time. Oh well, guess that happens first time at a convention XD But yeah, its hard to say to downgrade when I can't think of a time I walked into the room without it being positively overflowing and having lines for just about every game extending a few dozen people deep.

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A break from the action, I guess. Technically they're games played on an international competitive level, or at least were at one point with MLG. Not sure whats MLG standard at the current moment.

A giant game room is nice, and while limiting it to JUST JP-based games would still be nice and possibly cut down on game room traffic, it would also work against those who have come to know and love the sheer variety of game rooms at cons.

As for the gameroom taking up too much real estate, I disagree. XD It's huuuuuuuge as it is and its hardly enough for all the tournaments that go on, despite the number of no shows. They had to limit every tournament I was interested in number of contestants, resulting me in not getting into them despite being there on time. Oh well, guess that happens first time at a convention XD But yeah, its hard to say to downgrade when I can't think of a time I walked into the room without it being positively overflowing and having lines for just about every game extending a few dozen people deep.

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Hmmm true, I see your point now about wasted space. Though I can assume they probably were trying to find a way to keep traffic flowing smoothly. At least that is my guess.

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Consider also that all that extra space in Video Gaming helps keep it from getting too nasty-smelling in there. WHen VG took up only one hall (currently it does two), it was a real problem.

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I'm a graduate student, working towards my Ph.D, in Asian and Military History, and I was wondering if a Japanese/Asian History Panel, perhaps through anime, would work. Look at the important subjects of history, as represented in anime, from the Meiji era, to the Second World War and its atrocities, to more modern situations, such as recessions and political circumstances. I think it would be good; I can't see why people who enjoy and respect Japanese and Asian culture to the degree they obviously do, would not want a little bit of educating, on the subject.

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We've had similar panels in the past, and they seem to go over well.

I'm not the panels department head this year, but I'd encourage you to apply when the form goes up on the website. :D

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Self defense lessons for lone female cosplayers walking back to their hotels alone.

Here's a lesson: Don't do that. Not just at Otakon, not just in Baltimore, but in any city.

This lesson is provided free in the program book and on the website in the "tips for congoers" section....

and you're not really going to learn enough to be useful in the space of 45 minutes -- well, at least beyond basic common sense.

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Self defense lessons for lone female cosplayers walking back to their hotels alone.

There's always tons of con crowds walking to the various hotels on that strip. Just hop in and hop out when you get near it. Nine times out ten, there's at least six people branching off with you.

Or, just stop someone/a group and ask what hotel they're going to. I don't mind people that ask to walk with my group to a hotel.

This totally depends on what time of night you're leaving, you know. Some of us are there until the very last second possible, when there are seriously only about 30 people left in the convention center. Sometimes it's hard to find them all, much less ask which hotel they're staying at! Anyway, I'd love for the hotel gathering points to come back, since it would improve the chances of anyone who swings by of finding a group to walk with, especially if they're walking a fair distance. It's also a great way to make new friends!

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i would like to see more japanese cultural panels/events like the rakugo: cooking demonstrations, geisha culture, Go playing, explanations of Japanese mythology/religion in anime, street fashion, etc

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Yep! The Hilton was opened a couple weeks after Otakon 2008.

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Has a simulcast of the masquerade ever been considered? Perhaps use one of the video rooms? Katsucon does this and it works rather well.

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Has a simulcast of the masquerade ever been considered? Perhaps use one of the video rooms? Katsucon does this and it works rather well.

If I'm not mistaken they used to do that a few years back before they got the arena. I might be wrong though. I don't believe that they have done it since getting the arena though. Do they really need to? Does the arena actually fill up and people get turned away?

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Has a simulcast of the masquerade ever been considered? Perhaps use one of the video rooms? Katsucon does this and it works rather well.

If I'm not mistaken they used to do that a few years back before they got the arena. I might be wrong though. I don't believe that they have done it since getting the arena though. Do they really need to? Does the arena actually fill up and people get turned away?

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Here's one thing to add to the equation. Eventually, the Arena *will* get knocked down and replaced -- and when that happens, we'll have to come up with some other solution for Masquerade that seats 6500 people. For various reasons the Hall C/D combo is not ideal (lack of lining space, both for attendees and participants, is one problem), so I wouldn't be surprised to find a simulcast back in the mix at that point.

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How about a Twitter feed? There are people who won't get to the Info Desk too much during Otakon for Programming changes. It is a quick way to communicate Programming changes. I have twitter on my Cell phone and I would use read from it.

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How about a Twitter feed? There are people who won't get to the Info Desk too much during Otakon for Programming changes. It is a quick way to communicate Programming changes. I have twitter on my Cell phone and I would use read from it.

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I was about to post just that. It wouldn't take much. Just get a staffer's cell phone linked to the Twitter account and you don't even need a computer to keep it updated. It would be a huge help and more noticeable than white board scribblings, as long as people get connected on Twitter before the con. If they don't, then they still have the whiteboard.

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Has a simulcast of the masquerade ever been considered? Perhaps use one of the video rooms? Katsucon does this and it works rather well.

If I'm not mistaken they used to do that a few years back before they got the arena. I might be wrong though. I don't believe that they have done it since getting the arena though. Do they really need to? Does the arena actually fill up and people get turned away?

As posted above, we used to do a simulcast of the Masquerade back when it was in the BCC. However, since Masq. is in the arena we haven't gotten to the point where filled up all the seating to turn people away yet. Also there are technical difficulties in having a live simulcast several blocks away. Not that it couldn't be done, but chances are it would not be practical. Plus there is one other factor that is related to the following question.

Why not record it and it show it in a video room 1-2 times on say late Sat night or Sun morning!

The Arena has very specific terms about recording and rebroadcasting events held in its facility, the short-sweet version is that they want a piece of the action. So if we were to record the entire Masq. and show it in a video room sometime later, we'd have to pay a fee to the arena. This is also part of the reason why we don't sell videos of that event.

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Speaking of maps, we walked around for about 10 minutes trying to find the Taco Bell XD I suppose it isn't there anymore.

Is it possible to update the city map a little? I realize how much a city changes, but a new update before the next official booklet thingy would be nice.

A good and up-to-date reference is this map here.

Although I don't know how practical it would be to manipulate it to fit in the pocket guide?

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I am going to making this suggestion with the thought that Otakon will have the Hilton this year. There are people who can't sleep at cons due to the Energy of the con. I would be interested see one or two rooms of 24 hour video rooms. The only place that this can be done is the Hilton for a variety of reasons. I am up and out of the room by 7:30 AM, so an early morning video room would be nice instead of killing time at Starbucks or over a leisurely breakfast.

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I am going to making this suggestion with the thought that Otakon will have the Hilton this year. There are people who can't sleep at cons due to the Energy of the con. I would be interested see one or two rooms of 24 hour video rooms. The only place that this can be done is the Hilton for a variety of reasons. I am up and out of the room by 7:30 AM, so an early morning video room would be nice instead of killing time at Starbucks or over a leisurely breakfast.

But the staff and volunteers need sleep too! D8

Nah, I get what you're saying, but I don't think we'd really get enough use out of those extra hours to justify the extra expense. While it would be fun, it wouldn't really be fair to those not staying in the Hilton, and it would compromise hotel security way too much to keep the doors open all night long to people who weren't customers of the hotel. Maybe the solution is to stay with like-minded people and stay up all night in your own room?

I get up pretty early during the con, too, and I actually quite like the slower, more relaxed breakfast before the con. They're often the only time I get to just sit there and gear up for the day before plunging in headfirst!

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I know this might be a little tough with such a large-scale convention, but maybe host swap meets? I'm sure everyone has a piece of merch they don't use or want anymore that they're willing to trade for something else. I've seen them work well before, they're fun and you get to meet a lot of people. Then again, these were much smaller cons. Maybe I answered my own question?

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I know this might be a little tough with such a large-scale convention, but maybe host swap meets? I'm sure everyone has a piece of merch they don't use or want anymore that they're willing to trade for something else. I've seen them work well before, they're fun and you get to meet a lot of people. Then again, these were much smaller cons. Maybe I answered my own question?

Usually the limiting factor there is having someone to run the room, and having a room to run it in. We're still seeing how the Hilton space will actually be used, but I'll remind Programming about the occasional requests for a swap meet and see if it can be done. No guarantees, though...

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I know this might be a little tough with such a large-scale convention, but maybe host swap meets? I'm sure everyone has a piece of merch they don't use or want anymore that they're willing to trade for something else. I've seen them work well before, they're fun and you get to meet a lot of people. Then again, these were much smaller cons. Maybe I answered my own question?

Usually the limiting factor there is having someone to run the room, and having a room to run it in. We're still seeing how the Hilton space will actually be used, but I'll remind Programming about the occasional requests for a swap meet and see if it can be done. No guarantees, though...

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Anime USA had this - it went smoothly but that could be that AUSA is a much smaller con. Still, if otakon is able to do a swap meet that would be awesome. I have a lot of anime nit-nacks that I would like to give away and exchange but cant selling on ebay.

AUSA is definitely a MUCH smaller con than Otakon, which makes it a bit easier to get things like this going. In the past our main hurdle with a swap-meet was finding space for it. I'm not involved with programming in any way so I can't speak to how any of the Hilton space is going to be used, but the fact that we have the additional space opens up the possibility for having the space. After that, we'd just have to find someone to run the room plus a few staff for them. It isn't impossible - but, as Jim said, no promises.

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Physical barriers of some kind in the hallway over sharp street (to keep both directions of traffic moving separately) would be nice. People can ignore tape on the floor, but ignoring that would be far more difficult. So long as they're not a fire or safety hazard anyway.

I'd like to see more screens in AMV (etc.) screening again too. Why weren't they there last year?

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Anime USA had this - it went smoothly but that could be that AUSA is a much smaller con. Still, if otakon is able to do a swap meet that would be awesome. I have a lot of anime nit-nacks that I would like to give away and exchange but cant selling on ebay.

AUSA is definitely a MUCH smaller con than Otakon, which makes it a bit easier to get things like this going. In the past our main hurdle with a swap-meet was finding space for it. I'm not involved with programming in any way so I can't speak to how any of the Hilton space is going to be used, but the fact that we have the additional space opens up the possibility for having the space. After that, we'd just have to find someone to run the room plus a few staff for them. It isn't impossible - but, as Jim said, no promises.

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Have the swap-meet on Thurday maybe?

I know how you guys feel about stuff on Thursday. It doesn't seem like any real set up is needed for this, just a large enough room and 1-2 staffers. A swap-meet is basically self-run - just have people bring their junk and tade.

There really isn't anyone to spare, nor any place to do it. Remember that our staffers are still arriving on thursday -- a relatively small group is there prior to Thursday afternoon, and they simply do not have the time. It's all hands on deck, and it is a struggle each time to actually get the BCC ready for pre-reg pickup -- and while you're picking up your registration, all those meeting/panel rooms are still being set up. It takes two LONG days and hundreds of people to prep the BCC -- cleaners, decorators, electricians, a/v tech -- plus all OUR stuff. And usually on Thursday night our Friday act is checking out the performance space and working through the lighting and sound stuff. We pretty much insist that all our staff leave the BCC by 9 or 10pm, and by the time they leave, they're knackered -- this is their last chance at a good night's sleep until Sunday night.

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Anime USA had this - it went smoothly but that could be that AUSA is a much smaller con. Still, if otakon is able to do a swap meet that would be awesome. I have a lot of anime nit-nacks that I would like to give away and exchange but cant selling on ebay.

AUSA is definitely a MUCH smaller con than Otakon, which makes it a bit easier to get things like this going. In the past our main hurdle with a swap-meet was finding space for it. I'm not involved with programming in any way so I can't speak to how any of the Hilton space is going to be used, but the fact that we have the additional space opens up the possibility for having the space. After that, we'd just have to find someone to run the room plus a few staff for them. It isn't impossible - but, as Jim said, no promises.

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:D Why not having gophers run the swap meet. I was actually thing about nice that would be when I was cleaning my daughters room/ think it is a great idea!

I know this might be a little tough with such a large-scale convention, but maybe host swap meets? I'm sure everyone has a piece of merch they don't use or want anymore that they're willing to trade for something else. I've seen them work well before, they're fun and you get to meet a lot of people. Then again, these were much smaller cons. Maybe I answered my own question?

Usually the limiting factor there is having someone to run the room, and having a room to run it in. We're still seeing how the Hilton space will actually be used, but I'll remind Programming about the occasional requests for a swap meet and see if it can be done. No guarantees, though...

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The Gofers use thursday to get orientated with actually running the con. At least from what I've heard and most of them wouldn't be able to do this. Especially since Pre-Reg is running at the same time so that is where most of the staff will be.

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Last year there was an... issue with a certain group in the Artist's Alley taking up a huge amount of space. Has this been avoided/addressed for Otakon 2009?

Edit: Nevermind, I see this has been addressed elsewhere.

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There may not be any space for this, but I think it'd be super cool.

How about an Anime Ball? I know Katsucon does one (unfortunately I wasn't able to go to the ball this past year) and I feel we have some space in the evening. Don't get me wrong I love the rave A LOT but I do love to get dressed up and to see other con-goers all fancy. Just a more formal thing. Would a ball be out of the question?

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There may not be any space for this, but I think it'd be super cool.

How about an Anime Ball? I know Katsucon does one (unfortunately I wasn't able to go to the ball this past year) and I feel we have some space in the evening. Don't get me wrong I love the rave A LOT but I do love to get dressed up and to see other con-goers all fancy. Just a more formal thing. Would a ball be out of the question?

At the moment it is unlikely, as there is no place to hold it. All programming space is generally spoken for -- you'd need a big room, and you'd need time to clear it and set it up, not to mention folks to run the event, handle the music, etc.

Personally -- not speaking on behalf of the con here, this is just my opinion -- I've never seen the appeal of trying to relive one's senior prom.

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I didn't see any threads for recommending shows/movies, so I hope I'm posting this in the right place...

I'd love to see "The Good, The Bad, and The Weird". I've heard good things about it, so it might be a good late night movie option. It might be R rated, though.

I'd also like to see Chevalier D'eon in the lineup, or Last Exile.

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Turn on all the escalators!

I can understand if they are turned off for safety reasons, but then why would some be on and some be off?

You know, we've answered this in several places, including specifically replying to *your* question at least once.

Oh look, the question appears here, in the FAQ -- where we put it YEARS ago.

http://www.otakon.com/faq.asp#_General

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