I have to admit that I am one of the lucky ones. I attended PAX East this year at the end of Feburary, probably one of the last gaming conventions to be held in 2020 before the coronavirus outbreak. Since then, we’ve sadly watched countless big name events and conventions become canceled, or transitioned to an “online experience” instead. While these new online versions of cons are thankfully free from queues and ticket prices, they also lack… a real convention experience.
Maybe it’s just me. A convention can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s about trying out game demos before everyone else. For others, it’s watching panels about popular shows and movies featuring famous actors or voice talent. For me, a convention is about THE HYPE.
What is THE HYPE? It’s the people! The cosplayers, the streamers, the super fans, the people dragging suitcases because they have so much stuff they want to get autographed. That’s is what is missing from the online ReedPop experience, in my opinion. Sure, you can comment and chat on YouTube videos but it’s just not the same. You don’t get to experience that feeling of walking across the expo hall, finding a random stranger who is as hyped as you about a particular game or character, and sharing a happy connection with them as gamers together.
How do we fix this? I propose this idea to everyone out there:
Create Your Own #HomeCon!
Okay, so #HomeCon is already a thing and I hope I don’t piss off too many people with the idea of using this hashtag. But #HomeCon should be a hashtag that anyone can use, in my opinion, if they are trying to create a convention experience from their own home. (Maybe we should try #UnofficialHomeCon?) I think that everyone should use this hashtag to share their favorite cosplay photos. Show off your plushie collections, your pin collections, anything gamer related that others might enjoy and want to gush over… post it with a #HomeCon tag! Or, create your own con hashtag.
But a #HomeCon can be literally whatever you want. You can do a cosplay livestream in one of your favorite costumes. Host a panel on your Twitch or YouTube channel. Post photos of your amazing game collections on social media. Download game demos and share your thoughts about them. Share your fan art and create your own Artists’ Alley.
The whole idea is to share your FANDOM with the internet. I believe the collective excitement of fandom is what creates the hype of live convention events. The best way to recreate that hype is to share our excitement for the things we love by posting about it online!
Think about what makes a convention experience special to you, and come up with a way to recreate this virtually!
So let’s get organized and start hosting #HomeCon events from the safety of our homes! What kind of convention experiences can you share with the people of the internet? Only one way to find out!