I never was a convention animal.
I don’t like crowds, and I don’t stand the slow pacing through aisles chock-full of people – my legs hurt, my back aches.
And then the heat, the noise.
No, I do not like it.
On the other hand, ever since I started working with Savage Worlds Italia, I had to attend a few cons, and it was fun.
Being on the wrong (or right) side of the booth means one is not crowded. The Savage gamers are nice people to meet, and the demo games are always a hoot.
So ok, I don’t like attending to cons as a common punter, but as a con bunny things get moderately better.
And I had great fun, recently, reading Jessica Brawner’s Charisma +1, which is The Guide to Convention Etiquette for Gaers, Geeks and the Socially Awkward.
Now, I do not consider myself socially awkward – I spent too much time standing in front of a roomfull of strangers giving lectures to retain any form of social awkwardness.
And geeks… geeks are those guys that in carnies and fairgrounds bite the heads off live chicken for a dime, right?
I’m not that desperate yet.
But yes, I’m a gamer, have been for most of my life.
And Jessica Bawder’s book is extremely fun while delivering a straightforward lesson in what we may call common manners.
I had to admit that while I read some chapters I thought is there really people that needs to be told this?!
But evidently there is – we’ve all heard horror stories about convention abuse and harassment… and the fact that most of those were real does not make them any less horrific, of course. There’s some strange people out there.
But really, this small fun booklet is a treasure trove of great advice, full of insightful observation on convention dynamics, and a collection of great advice. And I believe it can really help solving some of the worst problems – maybe not by teaching the troglodytes how to evolve into humans (but hey, there’s always a possibility!), but certainly by giving ample suggestions to the humans about how to deal with the troglodytes, using intelligence, class and common sense.
Shall I use the word empowering?
Because some of the advice in this book can really be empowering.
And also, makes the idea of taking part in a con a lot more attractive, even if you don’t like crowds.
So, yes, do get Jessica Brawner’s booklet, read it, have a good laugh and learn what’s inside.
To me, just the simple rules to avoid con crud were a true life-saver.
I’ll still get back from Modena without my voice and with the beginning of a cold, but now I know how to avoid the worst.
And how to flirt with sexy cosplayers – because this booklet also teaches that, and it’s quite a bonus.