Monday, September 6th marked the close of Dragon*Con 2010. Although the schedule of events for Monday was substantially lighter than the previous days (filling only one page of the schedule compared to Sunday’s 4 pages) there was still plenty to keep lingering attendees busy.
I headed to Dragon*Con from my hotel one last time Monday morning for a bit of robotic vengeance. Robot Battles is for robotic engineers what the WWE is for wrestling fans, and the line pouring out the event room door is proof positive that it appeals to the brute in all of us.
Unfortunately, my check-out time at the hotel came just as Robot Battles was getting revved up, but the few battles that I was able to watch were a lot of fun and I can’t wait to find another robot tournament to watch in the near future.
As Mr. Kawaii and I made our way from the hotel to the airport, in what was the least terrifying of the cab rides we took over the weekend, we talked about the highs and lows of Dragon*Con. In the end, Atlanta’s Dragon*Con was a mixed bag for us and for many of the people we talked to over the weekend.
Of the things that Dragon*Con does right, there are many. Providing panels and events for a wide variety of interests is probably the biggest thing that Dragon*Con is well known for. Attended by dozens of our favorite stars, industry leaders in arts and media and providing forums for thought-provoking conversation and debate, there truly is something at Dragon*Con for everyone. Dubbed by some as the “Spring Break” for Geeks, it is a veritable melting pot of Fiction, Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans.
The downside to this overabundance of variety? Space. Spread across five hotels, it can be downright impossible for people new to the Con and new to Atlanta to find what they are looking for; and even those lucky enough to have a great sense of direction will find that it can take an hour just to walk through the throngs of people from the panel you just left to the next one at the other end of Dragon*Con. Limited seating in the Dragon*Con events created many back-ups this weekend, and caused attendees to need to get in line hours before their event to ensure that they could get a seat. Many of the panels that I attempted to attend had lines out the building once I arrived, and in the chaos of the thousands of people crammed together it was often difficult to decipher where one line ended and another began.
Overall Dragon*Con was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun with the friends that I was traveling with. But, I don’t know that I’ll be back to Dragon*Con in the future. Although I don’t normally feel claustrophobic, there were several times that I found myself bunched up with hundreds of strangers trying to get from point A to point B and the stress of the crowd was simply too much for me to handle.
If you are considering going to Dragon*Con, I urge you to go ahead and check it out for yourself because it does have so much to offer. However, I would also add that it would be best if you take a travel-buddy with you to navigate the masses with and arrive expecting that you will spend roughly 1/3 of the trip standing in line.
To learn more about Robot Battles, go to www.robotbattles.com. To read parts 1-3 of my Dragon*Con adventures, click here!