Fortezza, Umilitade, e Largo Core - Courage, Humility, and Largeness of Heart.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why I love Dragon*Con

Dragon*Con is not just costumes and fandom

This weekend was my first full weekend of Dragon*Con. It is not just geek heaven but also nerd heaven. In case you were wondering what the difference between the two terms is:

Dragon*Con is not just Trekkies and Whovians in costumes, there is a wide assortment of cerebral panels to choose from as well. I spent most of my time in the nerdy, less crowded panels. Next year I may attempt to participate in the more popular panels with the big name stars but this year I was happy to sit in on the less attended, more cerebral panels. In other words, I completely geeked out on all the nerdiness. Some of the amazing panels I attended:
  • Why Mensa Will Never Solve World Hunger
    • a panel which discussed the difference between intelligence and rationality 
  • Of Mice and Men: How mice revolutionized our knowledge of neurogenetics 
  • Comics as Teaching Tools
  • The Moral Arc of Science
  • The Hobbit: One book, three movies
  • Why Everything You Know About Quantum Mechanics is Wrong
  • Tesla vs. Edison
  • Game of Thrones Religions: We want you for the Red God 
And yes, I took copious notes in all of them!

Historically, most of my friends are west coast Burning Man attendees. However we've gotten older, many have had kids, and we realize that washing playa dirt out of our nether regions is not as much fun as it was when we were younger. I am now on a campaign to convert them to east coast Dragon*Con-ers (is that the proper term? if not, what is?). I am not alone in this idea- Dragon Con: Where Grown-Up Nerds (& Kids) Go to Play .

Don't get me wrong, the costumes are amazing! Some links to pictures of these amazing costumes: All the Coolest Costumes and Props We Saw at Dragon*Con, c|net and my personal photos: CleverClover Dragon*Con 2013.  Sadly, I was not able to take pictures of the most amazing costumes, so if you want to see them, you'll have to just come next year and see them for yourself.

The moral of the story: Dragon*Con is not a one dimensional experience and holds something for just about everyone. Personally, I'm still completely blissed out by the experience.


  1. I think the proper term might be DragConians. :)

    Yes, it sounds lovely, but for the costumes... oh the costumes.

    From what I'm reading the sexual harrassment that is often discussed by female con-goers is more common at WorldCon than Dragon*Con, so I might consider going...

    BUT the costumes. Quite frankly, it makes me feel icky just to think about.

    1. I find myself curious about your fear of costumes... is this similar to others' fear of clowns? Is it ALL costumes (do you quake with fear at Halloween time)? Or is it specific types of costumes?

      If you're afraid of all costumes, I would definitely recommend not attending Dragon*Con, as there is no avoiding seeing people in costume. However, not everyone is in costume, so if it is a matter of you being afraid of dressing up yourself, then you would not be alone in the non-costumed subset.

      As far as sexual harassment goes: I wore a chainmail bra and a skirt and noticed an almost heightened respect. Dragon*Con is by and for the uber geek (not the entertainment industry) so we're dealing with your typical geek that is unable to make eye contact with a female. I noticed no leering, though I am not naive enough to say that none occurred. It was mainly women who commented on how awesome my top was--only one man had the courage to verbally compliment me.

      Does that help?

    2. It't not all costumes. I'm fine with everything your SO wore in the pics I saw.

      It's possibly the make-up, body paint and masks more than the costumes, actually. And it's not a straight fear, it's more of an icky, creepy, crawly feeling. I like to be able to see faces that look like HUMAN faces.

      But it's also about discomfort with stranger's bodies. I don't particularly want to see people I don't know in certain clothing (or lack there of)

      ---or even people I do know for that matter (my brain is permanently scarred from seeing my brother in a codpeice).

      It's also situational and very strange because I used to be a lifeguard and I'd be 100% okay hanging out with you by the pool if you were wearing a bikini, but the sarong & chainmail bra thing would have made me uncomfortable.

      It might be similar to people and clowns- I'm fine with the "clowns" who don't wear the white make-up but creeped out by the ones who wear it. I really can't justify it.

      I did survive the Renn Fest just fine when I went with folks who weren't in costume(It wasn't fun that time by brother and SIL & Sister came- codpiece, seriously- also could have done w/out seeing my sis & SIL in corsets, either).

    3. You bring me so much joy! I'm (a little) sorry for laughing but especially for someone who doesn't have siblings... this is hilarious.