Yesterday was the first day of the Midwest Media Expo in Detroit, Michigan, and it definitely had its ups and downs.
Being the new convention as a spinoff from Youmacon, MWME is an attempt to get more media into the convention as opposed to being concentrated solely on anime. Pretty brave as there aren’t too many big ones, but the objective is to use the large following of Youmacon to build this one into a new one.
Day 1 we arrived at the convention at around 6:00 thanks to the car accident at the Evergreen exit off I-696. We found out through the social media fan group of MWME that registration was near the Starbucks at the RenCen. As we get to the convention, we make our way to the RenCen, and our options were “pre-reg” and “pay-at-the-door”. As a member of the press, we are neither. So we went to the pre-reg line because it made the most sense. It took about 4-5 people to figure out that the press badges were being given at the con ops station (like Youmacon 2012), so we were then off to the con ops station! Once we arrived, we got our passes without any issues, and we were off to travel into the tabletop and video game room.
The tabletop game room is filled with friendly people who just love to play games. It’s as simple as that. We walked around for a bit and wound up purchasing the game “We Didn’t Playtest This At All”. We will come back to that later, but let’s just say it’s my new favorite card game! As fun as cards against humanity is, this game is just off the wall ridiculous. We then entered the video game room which is about half the size as Youmacon, but as a smaller convention, I’m not too surprised. They had plenty Konami games including DDR, Beatmania, and a lot of other interactive style games like those, but we were more drawn to the CRT televisions that had games like Duck Hunt, Starfox 64, and Donkey Kong. A large group of PCs were there as well, for a League of Legends tournament, so I’m hoping there will be a great turnout for that. I won’t be attending, but since I’m a huge PC Gamer that used to run the largest LAN party in the state, it’s nice to see!
So here is where my first complaint comes. There were absolutely no drink vendors in either room. At Youmacon 2013 we saw the drink/snack vendor make a killing selling energy drinks, gatorade, water, etc. to the thirsty gamers throughout the day, and we kind of expected it when we attended (I guess that’s our fault?). Oh well, we will be better planned for today for sure! You live and learn when you attend a convention for the first time, same for if you are hosting it (even though this is being hosted by a lot of the same Youmacon people).
So we attended the first panel that we wanted to go to on Friday, which was Playing With Power! A Nintendo Fan Panel. The two hosts had practically the entire history of nintendo ready to read off, and about 30 minutes into the panel, the guys battery died. What I find great is that he owned up to his mistake, tried his best to do what he could to get it back up, but sadly the Prezi presentation (WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE) has plenty of information, great facts, and a true look at the history of the company back to the 1800′s, and kept both the good and bad that Nintendo has had.
You can tell these guys are passionate about what they do, because they are very intelligent about what they are talking about. They admit when things are rumored/hearsay, and admit when things are fact. Some things were obviously thrown in there just to spark conversation, but once they lost the Prezi presentation, you practically lost the crowd. I had the PLEASURE to sit behind the most annoying person in the world who not only kept interrupting the panel with things he just HAD to say, but kept talking to his friend in front of us, not only distracting us from hearing the panel, but you could tell that all of the side-conversations that were happening were throwing off the timing of the presentation (something that can be learned only from presenting a bunch, is how to control the crowd, adjust your material, and keep going). The one main guy who was running the panel had to keep saying he had a lot of content, and still didn’t have time to finish it running almost thirty minutes over. We appreciate your help, and we truly look forward to any other panels that you do in the future for Youmacon/MWME. I apologize for the people in front of us as well as a lot of people in the panel who were just plain rude and inconsiderate to you guys, and hope that it doesn’t deter you from ever hosting a panel again, because as a fan of nintendo who’s first nintendo console system I ever owned was a Wii, and first (and only) handheld system was a Gameboy, I learned tremendous amount of facts!
After the panel was over, we decided to head to the tabletop game to play our brand new card game. “We Didn’t Playtest This At All”, in which cards involve the ability to win if you are the shortest player at the table, the only girl at the table, or if everyone else is wearing some form of blue (just like the badges we were all wearing). This game is hard to describe afterwards, but you should play it today at the Tabletop Gaming area. It’s free to rent the games out, so there is no money wasted, but you can purchase the game when you’re there at one of the two vendors in the tabletop gaming area.
Speaking of vendors, don’t go there expecting to drop money like you did at Youmacon. I don’t know if they fell due to the fact that Vendors, Artists Alley, and Press took forever to get approved (this is hearsay, but we didn’t get our press passes approved until Tuesday evening of this week). There is still plenty to look at for the small room, and the artists alley still has a lot as well. Again, this is going to be scaled down for a new convention, but there were also two other conventions promoting there event there, which was nice to see!
We ended our day at the Team Four Star 18+ panel, and boy was it pretty funny. The videos that these guys create on their own are hysterical and involve a lot of creativity, that even the non-anime watchers like myself can appreciate. They answered questions about sex, and are just a very funny panel whenever they are there. Apparently their non-18+ panel is a lot more calmer, and since seeing two of their panels (Youmacon 2012 reading 50 Shades of Grey and Youmacon 2013), and they are always funny. Nothing really much to say about the panel as their just really isn’t too much to recap other than “it’s funny”.
Day one in the books, we are about to make the trek down to Greektown to park for day two. Wish us luck!
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