MOC 10 and DRAGON CON 1995/NASFIC
The Mother of all cons gets a tan and the convention in a sardine can.
MOC was over a few months ago, but I decided to wait so that I can get the full perspective. Well as I reflect, there was some good things and some bad things, but the overall feeling is that things have changed and it will take some getting used to. MOC 10 was a lot more tame than the ones in the past. Apparently, Roland Castle intended on that when he started. MOC 10 was supposed to be what Roland wanted MOC to be, where MOC 10A will be what it has become. It was an OK con. The summer-vacation aspect of it took a little getting used to It wasn’t great for many reasons. Primarily, it wasn’t great because of less people, because it was on the same weekend as DRAGON CON. That was a big mistake. I think Roland realized it, though, and I hope that it will change for next year. Secondly, a few guests that Roland Castle advertised for didn’t show, which I think is more Roland’s Fault because he advertised before he got real confirmation. The guests that did show were cool, but still the overall feeling was disappointment.
The biggest disappointment for all of us was the dealers room, which usually makes or breaks a con for me. It was too small and the quality of the products weren’t all that great. Other disappointments were that Phil wasn’t there, and a lot of the regular party throwers weren’t there. This last one did have its good side, giving a lot of the relatively new party-throwers an opportunity to get noticed. There were a few parties, but by Friday and Saturday, I wasn’t really into the parties. I’ll wait for 10A (I heard that a lot over the weekend too…). Other complaints were about the money-grubbing resort that charged out-the-ass prices for the food and snacks.
On the good side, I got the opportunity to run a game for MOC, which turned out rather successful in my opinion. The celebrity softball game was really something cool to watch. A Guilder, Russel Briggs, even played. The lack of good parties didn’t stop a lot of the drinkers from getting wasted, including me. I think MOC just needs to come up with a little more activities to replace the Slave Auction and the Bimbo Pageant. Of course, they would have to be more family oriented, but I’m sure something could be done, like an invention showcase, or amateur film festival. Something to keep our attention at all times. I think that was what was missing; the feeling that you could go to the seminars or just hang out in the atrium, or in your room and watch the slave auction. There was something going on all the time. In MOC 10, it was pretty hard to find things to do. I’m glad I had a game to run.
Now, instead of spending Sunday at MOC, a lot of us took the opportunity to go to Dragon Con. Talk about the other side of the coin. We got there when there were less people, and it was still unbelievably crowded. The dealers room was unreal… bloody huge. In 4 hours, I don’t think I covered it all and still spent close to $200, which I can imagine is nothing compared to the money spent by someone who was there all weekend. The dealers room was extremely crowded, though, this making it hard to get to all the spots. From what I’ve heard on the net, the crowds really ruined the con for a lot of people. The events were impossible to attend because of the crowds, the parties were limited to closed door, ending at 2 am sharp (hotel rules), and security and con staff were rude and incompetent. I’ve heard that there wasn’t enough gaming for a con that size (5000+ people). The gaming company/comic publisher/…etc room was pretty cool. Reps from all the greats were there, including T$R, West End Games, Dark Horse, and Chaosium, but again the crowds made it hard to get around. One comment from one of the Guilders I heard was that the free-bee room (aka the room with all the free brochures, handouts, posters, and samples) at Dragon Con was bigger than the MOC dealers room. I think that was honestly true, but I think that was primarily because they were run at the same time. Things should change when the go to different days.
So in doing what most of us did, MOC the first three days and Dragon Con the last, I think we got the best of both worlds, even though both worlds seemed to be primarily disappointing. At least with MOC we get 10A. I’ll wait till MOC 10A to make my final judgement, as will most of us.