Username Post: Age Ceiling for Cons?        (Topic#2568)
vrmlbasic 
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Reg: 02-23-12

02-23-12 01:46 AM - Post#10330    

At the past several cons I've been to, there's been a gaping "hole" in age ranges. Attendees are either under 18, or are the middle-aged chaperones for these minors. Anime cons are quickly becoming like Disney World: If you're not a little kid, or you aren't a parent bringing in little kids, you have no business being here.

Funimation voice actor Scott Freeman once said something along the lines of the age of fans at cons remained the same for as fans hit 18-21 they'd stop going to cons and new, younger fans would take their place. He also spoke on an unnamed con that saw its attendance go from several thousand to a few hundred when they instituted an 18+ age minimum. For every 22 year old who doesn't go, two 11-year olds do attend.

Does anyone else feel that now that they're over 18, or over 21, that they're out of place at cons?

 
Nigoki 
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02-23-12 03:33 AM - Post#10333    
    In response to vrmlbasic

I've run a panel in the past about how to deal with growing older in anime fandom and I'm still looking for the strongest explanation for the age gap.

Some things I've noticed.

-Part of growing up is the change of responsibilities. When you're younger, you miss a day or two of school, it's not a big deal. Miss work, you might have explain yourself to your boss. There's also the financial aspect of just having to watch money more. A kid in high school usually doesn't have things like rent/mortage, student loans, and utility bills to pay. So while older fans might have better paying jobs, they have more responsibilities to worry about, resulting in a need to be a bit more careful when choosing which events to attend.

-There are older fans, they're just not as visible. They've grown past the "busy bee" stage and tend to spend more time at cons in quieter events, running panels, or helping run the event.

-Without trying to be elitist, I think the "true" fans in an older generation tend to fall into two categories; the ones who just deal with the younger population with a "live and let live" mentality, and the ones who find ways to help nuture the next generation.
-Doug Wilder
Resident Mecha fanboy of AnimeCons TV!


 
Proz 
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02-23-12 04:59 AM - Post#10336    
    In response to vrmlbasic

I started attending anime cons when I was in my mid-20's right when the age shift was starting. I didn't feel too out of place for a while up until late 2000's when the demographic had changed to being primarily pre-teen & HS kids.

Want to feel fish out of a barrel? Try attending a room party with mostly new con people. Awkward....

I've unattended that "unnamed" convention that went to 18+ and I have a blast even thought only several hundred attend. Panelists don't have to worry about offending any parents and late night panels are a ton of fun.

If I wasn't running a convention like I am now I probably would have grown out of it by now. I don't feel terribly awkward going to anime cons because I now see conventions as a place to promote at so I generally talk to people on a promotion scale or talking to contacts.

 
Nigoki 
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Nigoki
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02-23-12 09:33 AM - Post#10337    
    In response to Proz

The concerns I have with making a con 18+ or 21+ are that it limits the income (Let's face it, more attendees means you can do more stuff) and the belief that it's all "mature" content.

I've seen demographics for Anime Boston, one of the larger conventions in the US, it's primary age group is still over 18, so I think it's still the nature of the beast that anime cons create an atmosphere where people act in certain ways. I think there will eventually be a point where this changes and cons are closer to being all ages, but that's still a ways off.
-Doug Wilder
Resident Mecha fanboy of AnimeCons TV!


 
vrmlbasic 
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02-23-12 09:39 AM - Post#10338    
    In response to Nigoki

Even though I don't agree with their lessened focus on guests, I applaud Tekko's idea of having a major con which is open to all ages and "exploits" the horde of younger fans and then having a much smaller, but still fun, age-restricted event later in the year.

Greg Ayres and J Michael Tatum swear by AnimeBoston, but no matter how well run it is, I continually hear that there are so many people that it becomes very much like Otakon in that more time is spent waiting rather than doing. I haven't been for that reason (and the apparent lack of VIP to counter that reason) in part, but largely due to their unfortunate trend of scheduling themselves on Easter.

 
EllyStar 
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02-23-12 10:28 AM - Post#10339    
    In response to vrmlbasic

  • vrmlbasic Said:
Does anyone else feel that now that they're over 18, or over 21, that they're out of place at cons?


At anime cons, kind of. At smaller ones more so than others. At large cons like AB, Katsu, or Otakon, not so much.

At sci-fi, comic, and multi-genre cons? Not at all, and I think that's why I'm shifting to more cons like that. In fact at sci-fi cons like Arisia I am younger than most of the attendees.

  • Nigoki Said:
There are older fans, they're just not as visible. They've grown past the "busy bee" stage and tend to spend more time at cons in quieter events, running panels, or helping run the event.


They're also going to panels and events, while many young con goers spend the weekend running around the hallways with their friends and don't go to anything.
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My Conventions


 
vrmlbasic 
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02-23-12 04:14 PM - Post#10346    
    In response to EllyStar

I’m not sure how you don’t feel like the “odd man out” at larger cons. Even when I started going to Ota back in my later teen years I was already an outlier on age, but I was caught up in the novelty of it all (and close enough in age) that I didn’t notice. Ota has always been about the much younger crowd IMO, last year the Baltimore press had a piece where they went to Ota and effectively said that anyone older at the con, especially if they were male (shoot, exclusively, it’s a double standard) should be looked upon with suspicion of being a lecherous sex criminal. Sure it was the local paper spouting off its usual sensationalist nonsense, the same local press that continually mocks Ota despite Ota now being the BCC customer of the year, and the focus of the piece was a guy in his late 40s taking pictures of a 16 year old Madoka cosplayer, but even though the guy was over twice my age the idea that one could be “too old for Ota” resonated with me. Sadly I don’t have the bookmark for the article on hand, but I’m sure I could find it.

I think the biggest issue I’m having with cons is that what I want from them has changed as I’ve gotten (slightly) older. When I first started going, I was impressed with the scale of it all, the “whiz/bang” aspect of it. Like the underground citizens in Texhnolyze, I wanted a spectacle. Now I find that I want substance from a con, that being awed by the spectacle of thousands of fellow fans milling around isn’t enough. TBH, having to thread my way through crowds of thousands of other fans has gone from fun to downright annoying. For the past several years now I’ve been going to Ota almost exclusively for the Bandai After Dark panel, and now that we’ve probably lost that, it would seem that there is nothing of substance left for me at Ota.

I did Setsucon last month and I have to say it was nice being at a con where almost everyone else was also college-aged.


I’m too young to feel too old

Edited by vrmlbasic on 02-23-12 04:14 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Gale 
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02-23-12 05:05 PM - Post#10349    
    In response to vrmlbasic

I started to think about doing the panel Nigoki mentioned (we came up with the same idea simultaneously and then pooled our research, though I never managed to run or sit on the panel myself) when I was as young as 22, so I will say that being over 18 can feel like one is on the "old" side for events...but at the same time I know plenty of people my age and even older who act just as immaturely as your average 16-year-old anime fan, so I can't so easily pinpoint where the "shift" happens from super-visible hyperactive "youngin" to more subdued adults in the background.

I will say that for me, the circle of friends I've made has helped me feel less out of place, as well as my participation in cosplay in general plus how said participation has evolved over the years. For example, I find myself now less inclined to participate in events like chess or the dating game because they seem so full of the unregulated hyperactive masses. Instead I focus more on planned groups (whether for masquerade or not) with a focus on higher degree of difficulty so the point is more the challenge of the craftsmanship and subsequently showing off the result of my hard work. A lot of the more "serious," harder working cosplayers tend to be on the older side, simply because most (though certainly not all) younger cosplayers haven't yet learned that degree of patience or interest in cosplay for craftsmanship's sake. Therefore, the circles I run in within the convention world tend to be individuals closer to my age or even older.


 
vrmlbasic 
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02-23-12 05:41 PM - Post#10353    
    In response to Gale

I suppose those are the only things left to try at cons that we haven't done yet: volunteer, run panels, or compete with cosplay.

We've done cosplay but it hasn't been competitive and it hasn't gotten us exposure with many other "pockets" of 18+ fandom. Shoot the first time we truly cosplayed was otakon 2010 as the then recently re-released Darker than Black cast. Only a few of the attendees we found knew what darker than black was, the older fans praised it (so did the voice actors) but the younger fans denounced it as "gay" because it was "worse than FMA".

Facepalm.

 
EllyStar 
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02-23-12 05:49 PM - Post#10355    
    In response to vrmlbasic

  • vrmlbasic Said:
I’m not sure how you don’t feel like the “odd man out” at larger cons.



  • Gale Said:
I will say that for me, the circle of friends I've made has helped me feel less out of place



Gale pretty much nailed it for me there. I think it's because I surround myself with people who I know are of a similar age as me. And they're with people who I know are of similar age as them. I think that gives me a different perspective.

Plus, in the northeast it seems to me that the smaller a con gets, the younger the crowd gets. I feel pretty old when I go to something like Another Anime Con in New Hampshire and everyone around me looks like they're under 21. And a lot of them act that way. At Otakon and Anime Boston, I see older people, or at least people who act more mature.
Elizabeth: Website and Podcast Writer
My Conventions


 
vrmlbasic 
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02-23-12 06:03 PM - Post#10357    
    In response to EllyStar

Pondering what's been said here I think that part of my concern comes from my being tired of going to the overcrowded cons when they don't offer a VIP option. When it comes to lines and having to make like a salmon and swim upstream to get anywhere, to use the quote, "the thrill is gone".

My con group is constituted of people around my own age but we haven't really met up with any other groups of peers at cons. I guess we'll either have to experiment with branching into the events populated mostly.by older fans, like competitive cosplay, as was mentioned here, or camp out at the con venue's bar (which isn't an option at far too many places).

Smaller cons probably do have a greater number of younger attendees but I go to the smaller cons for the guests and it really seems that only the older fans go out for the guests that are at these smaller cons. On a tragic tangent, few fans go out for the guest panels. I pretty much had a monopoly on Matt Greenfield. I don't even think there are many fans under 18 who know who Matt Greenfield, for example, is. That one guy who told him that he loved his work in FMA and tried to get him to sign it certainly learned the hard way.

Maybe I just feel less out of place at the smaller cons for the simple reason that with less people there in general I don't feel so stranded in a sea of middle schoolers and their chaperones?
I'd point out that anyone under 18 who isn't the very definition of "voluptuous" can't be any older than a 9th grader. Decades of Anime told me so lol, but at katsucon there wasn't much question that there were a great many fans there who were a long way from 16, let alone 18....

Edit:if this post doesn't seem coherent please cut me some slack as I'm attempting to post from my phone here and my thumbs aren't really up to the task of wailing on a touch screen for any length.

Edited by vrmlbasic on 02-23-12 06:09 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
PatrickD 
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02-23-12 06:38 PM - Post#10362    
    In response to EllyStar

  • stardust462 Said:
Gale pretty much nailed it for me there. I think it's because I surround myself with people who I know are of a similar age as me. And they're with people who I know are of similar age as them. I think that gives me a different perspective.

Plus, in the northeast it seems to me that the smaller a con gets, the younger the crowd gets. I feel pretty old when I go to something like Another Anime Con in New Hampshire and everyone around me looks like they're under 21. And a lot of them act that way. At Otakon and Anime Boston, I see older people, or at least people who act more mature.


Even more extreme than the underage kids at AAC, remember when we went to Queen City Kamikaze last year? It was in a high school, VERY small, and I think (other than the dealers), there were hardly any other people older than high school students. Without other people remotely close to my age, I couldn't really strike up a conversation with anyone. That, along with the lack of programming options, was why I was probably there for less than 2 hours.
-PatrickD
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Co-Founder: Anime Boston and Providence Anime Conference
Host of The Chibi Project & Anime Unscripted™


 
vrmlbasic 
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02-23-12 10:34 PM - Post#10364    
    In response to PatrickD

I flipped through some of my pics from the smaller cons I've been to, and yeah, there were few people over 18/21. Though I had "tunnel vision" for the guests & their events, and all the other attendees in those events were 21+ so it was effectively an awesome 21+ con.
(With the tragically sparse attendance we've already said goes along with age minimums)

I can't say I've been to any NE cons. I've done the midwest, the mid-atlantic, and Canada, but NE is just too inconvenient. As much as I enjoy driving, driving to/in NE is just tedious and despite being in the only profitable section of Amtrak, taking the train isn't a real option. A shame too as I have a beaucoup of their reward points. To cover all the bases, flying to New England from the Mid-Atlantic is just ridiculous, it's like taking an elevator to go up 3 floors IMO.

Edited by vrmlbasic on 02-23-12 10:34 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Nigoki 
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02-24-12 12:58 AM - Post#10366    
    In response to EllyStar

  • stardust462 Said:
  • vrmlbasic Said:
I’m not sure how you don’t feel like the “odd man out” at larger cons.



  • Gale Said:
I will say that for me, the circle of friends I've made has helped me feel less out of place



Gale pretty much nailed it for me there. I think it's because I surround myself with people who I know are of a similar age as me. And they're with people who I know are of similar age as them. I think that gives me a different perspective.


Ditto here. Having the right group is vital. I also make it a point to expand my network because not everyone can make it to the same cons I do (plus it's nice to have a variety). Sometimes this is just talking to a panelist afterwards because I liked their work, but a lot of it comes down to meeting friends of friends. If two circles of friends at a con don't know each other, I make it a point to introduce everyone.

  • vrmlbasic Said:
I can't say I've been to any NE cons. I've done the midwest, the mid-atlantic, and Canada, but NE is just too inconvenient. As much as I enjoy driving, driving to/in NE is just tedious and despite being in the only profitable section of Amtrak, taking the train isn't a real option. A shame too as I have a beaucoup of their reward points. To cover all the bases, flying to New England from the Mid-Atlantic is just ridiculous, it's like taking an elevator to go up 3 floors IMO.


I think you're selling it a little too short. I know plenty of people who fly or drive between New England and Mi-Atlantic for cons. Off the top of my head I can name six people that went from our area around Boston down to Katsu, and probably just as many that will be going from the Mid-Atlantic for Anime Boston. It's honestly not that bad if you plan accordingly. In the last year I've done Otakon, Anime USA, and Katsu, and never once felt like I was breaking the bank on travel thanks to JetBlue and Southwest's great rates.

Getting back to the original point of this thread, a lot of what's made my enjoyment of anime conventions surive in the 12 years I've been going to them is the fact that I continue to evolve my experiences. When I first started, sure I was that kid who wanted to drink it all in and experience as much as possible. I was someone who ran out of the dealers' room to the nearest ATM so I could get the cash to pay for that one Gundam figure I drooled over. Nowadays a con's a chance to connect with fellow fans who I don't see all the time, see what's going on in the industry, or generate more serious discussion with people.
Conventions exist for fans to connect with other fans. You'll find the right people as long as you look for them. I wouldn't chalk it up to an age thing either. One of my favorite panels to run at Anime Boston, I'm neither the youngest or the oldest presenter. If I limited myself to only interacting with people within a certain age range, I'd never have formed the great group I have.

/rambling
-Doug Wilder
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vrmlbasic 
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02-24-12 01:15 AM - Post#10367    
    In response to Nigoki

Its more of the principle of flying to New England than the cost. If anime Boston were to finally book dates that aren't on Easter, as so I could actually go, I think I'd spend all the time actually in Boston as opposed to being at the con. It's a shame that amtrak can't be used as back bay station looks to be right there. Anime Boston booked 5 years in advance so I have to wonder if there's a reason behind locking in on Easter. I almost made an exception last year for Jonathan Klein but he was forced to cancel.

I think I'll be sticking with the cons that are local or that I know, making exceptions for guests, as I don't want to go all the way to Massachusetts to risk having the same cognitive dissonance and disillusionment that I'm having now with the local cons. Gotta see if the local cons can be turned around before I start traveling.

 
PatrickD 
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02-24-12 01:36 AM - Post#10369    
    In response to vrmlbasic

  • vrmlbasic Said:
Its more of the principle of flying to New England than the cost. If anime Boston were to finally book dates that aren't on Easter, as so I could actually go, I think I'd spend all the time actually in Boston as opposed to being at the con.


So I guess we'll see you there next year when it's NOT on Easter weekend.
-PatrickD
AnimeCons.com Executive Producer
Co-Founder: Anime Boston and Providence Anime Conference
Host of The Chibi Project & Anime Unscripted™


 
vrmlbasic 
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02-24-12 01:56 AM - Post#10370    
    In response to PatrickD

Probably not. I can't say that I'm too intrigued by "New England's Otakon". Maybe I'm just jaded right now as I'm still feeling pretty brutalized by the cognitive dissonance of Katsucon (TBH that's probably it as I am feeling an effusion of cynicism here) but I don't really see a reason to go to AnimeBoston. I've been reminded that AB doesn't do the VIP thing so even if my entire "dream team" of guests were to be present there I, like at Otakon, would have to go through extreme line-camping rigors just to get a single autograph. Besides its location, AnimeBoston doesn't seem to offer anything that Otakon doesn't. The Easter Weekend mishap (and their rather callous brush-off of it) and the Jonathan Klein cancellation have moved AB to the proverbial "back burner". Otakon is basically in my backyard, so why travel up I-95 for, to class it up, a simulacrum of what I have right here already?

Shoot, maybe I am too old for this. Nah.

Edit:
  • In reply to:
Conventions exist for fans to connect with other fans. You'll find the right people as long as you look for them.


  • In reply to:
Without other people remotely close to my age, I couldn't really strike up a conversation with anyone. That, along with the lack of programming options, was why I was probably there for less than 2 hours.


There seem to be these 2 "trains of thought" in this thread on age and cons. I'm really feeling myself siding with the second one. It's difficult to find common ground with the younger fans as there is no shared base of shows. While I don't expect every fan to be versed in the intricacies of something regrettably obscure like Ergo Proxy, I realize that the great majority of fans at cons these days don't even know what Toonami was. We might reach a time when Gundam doesn't even ring a bell with the masses. While I'm not a Gundam fan, that'd be a sad day. At Katsucon 2011 I remember people having to have the G Gundam "This hand of mine burns..." line explained to them. For me, that's a classic childhood memory.

I'm not so sure there is a common ground across fan ages these days. I suppose Hetalia is a relatively safe bet, but that's what I thought about DBZ and that theory fell flat on its face at Katsucon.

Edited by vrmlbasic on 02-24-12 02:09 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Purity-san 
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02-24-12 02:53 PM - Post#10371    
    In response to vrmlbasic

OUt of place?! Never!!!

Well, I'm more of a volunteer than an attendee, though. >o>;

Hopefully one day a staff member of.. somecon. Heh.

But yeah. I do feel kinda out of place... but said "unnamed" convention is one of my favs. Just sayin.
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Ushiko 
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02-24-12 04:13 PM - Post#10373    
    In response to vrmlbasic

I ASSUME we're the "unnamed con", since I don't KNOW of any other con that went from "all ages" to "18+ exclusively", but I could be wrong. If we are the con in question, then I think the implication is not entirely "fair". We ran for 5 years as "all ages", took a several year hiatus during which another con started in the same city and timeframe. This meant that we effectively "started from scratch" when we returned.

That said, I do think most cons have a LARGE number of teens and "early twenties who are close friends with teens". At the moment, our main goals are to provide a fun and social atmosphere to anime fans who are over 18 and while we're at it, HOPEFULLY try to encourage some of the people who stopped going to cons to come back. I think we're doing well on the first goal, but the second still needs work.

 
vrmlbasic 
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02-24-12 05:42 PM - Post#10374    
    In response to Ushiko

I don't know what the con was, Scott Freeman didn't say.

 
Nigoki 
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02-24-12 11:28 PM - Post#10375    
    In response to vrmlbasic

Man, you're really dead set on the VIP membership thing.
Waiting is part of every con, no matter the age, but many cons do alternatives like ticketing for big events which works just as well.

Many times with the younger fans, it's simply they haven't learned to explore more of the con, so they'd rather wait in line for those few "must-do" events on their list, than do other things to kill time. If I see a line for the dealers' room, I take a lap and get some more photos of cool cosplay. Line for AMVs? It's on a big screen so I don't really need to have any particular seat. Autograph session for a guest I like, well there's probably a lot of others who also want an autograph, so a line is inevitable. NYCC a few years back I stood in line for probably 90 minutes and missed a few panels that could've been interesting, but I also got to tell John Romita (Sr) "You drew the page of a comic book that made me realize comics could move me on a deep level". Totally worth it in my opinion. (It still ranks as one of my all time best con memories)
-Doug Wilder
Resident Mecha fanboy of AnimeCons TV!


 
Gale 
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02-24-12 11:40 PM - Post#10376    
    In response to Nigoki

  • Nigoki Said:
Many times with the younger fans, it's simply they haven't learned to explore more of the con, so they'd rather wait in line for those few "must-do" events on their list, than do other things to kill time. If I see a line for the dealers' room, I take a lap and get some more photos of cool cosplay. Line for AMVs? It's on a big screen so I don't really need to have any particular seat. Autograph session for a guest I like, well there's probably a lot of others who also want an autograph, so a line is inevitable. NYCC a few years back I stood in line for probably 90 minutes and missed a few panels that could've been interesting, but I also got to tell John Romita (Sr) "You drew the page of a comic book that made me realize comics could move me on a deep level". Totally worth it in my opinion. (It still ranks as one of my all time best con memories)




The idea I'm coming to really seems that one is never too old for a convention by the number of their age, but in mindset one can become "too old." By constantly reassessing conventions and how one experiences them, as well as networking with others interested in experiencing cons in similar ways, cons can stay fun for years. It is only when one keeps trying the same old thing the same old way that the "monotony" and seeming age homogenization becomes alienating.

That said, part of reassessing cons can be which cons to go to, and some cons do happen to have younger average age of attendees, which can make it harder to find like-minded older attendees.


 
vrmlbasic 
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02-25-12 02:43 AM - Post#10377    
    In response to Gale

  • Nigoki Said:
Man, you're really dead set on the VIP membership thing. ...
Autograph session for a guest I like, well there's probably a lot of others who also want an autograph, so a line is inevitable. NYCC a few years back I stood in line for probably 90 minutes and missed a few panels that could've been interesting...


When I first started going to cons, I was of the opinion that I'd gladly give up my ability to go to certain events to get priority access to the high-draw events that I really wanted, namely autographs. It turned out that I was doing almost that, as I was also having to throw events to which I wanted to go under the bus in order to get my autographs. I'd give up the rave or a premiere in order to get my autographs, but instead I was missing the interesting guest and fan panels in order to get autographs.

I discovered that VIP passes allowed me to do even more than what I desired: they prevent me from ever having to skip an event due to having wasted time in long lines for other events.

It makes no sense to me to effectively have opportunity to go to, say, both the masquerade and the autographs without the ability to "sacrifice" my "right" to go to one in order to more readily get the other. I'll pay the VIP fee rather than go back to the status quo. Plus paying the higher VIP fees makes me feel like I'm "counterbalancing" people like the group of attendees I met at Katsucon who had 8 people but only 3 badges due to sheer cheapness.

  • In reply to:

That said, part of reassessing cons can be which cons to go to, and some cons do happen to have younger average age of attendees, which can make it harder to find like-minded older attendees.


I'm thinking that "some" is every non-18+ con, pushing "harder" to "nigh impossible", even though I'm setting the bar lower. It's hard to find older fans, let alone like-minded fans The age-restricted cons aren't really that prevalent nor do they have anywhere near the resources of the general-admission cons, but we've already mentioned herein. I'd say that I'm pretty screwed either way but there aren't too many 18+ cons in the mid-atlantic area so I don't really have that choice. Traveling to cons isn't too much of an issue for me, I just have to have a reason to do so.

Edited by vrmlbasic on 02-25-12 02:44 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Bryguy 
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03-04-12 02:56 AM - Post#10413    
    In response to vrmlbasic

For myself it's been years since I actually attended a con as an attendee. Typically either been staff or promo staff (for another event) so I don't notice the age difference too much behind a table or running around like a headless chicken.

Then again the local conventions up here seem to have quite a different age breakdown that some of the conventions the rest of you are referring to. Generally speaking (+/-3%) <5% are 12 and under, ~40% 13-17, ~45% 18-24, ~10% 25-34, 34 and up being the remainder.
Perhaps that's another reason why the age difference isn't quite that noticeable to me.

I will say that there are some events at conventions that are obviously targeted at a younger crowd that make me feel a bit uncomfortable due to my age.
However that could be said for almost any age/gender/grouping and certain events as well.
Bryan Kennedy
- Animethon 20 Chairman


 
PatrickD 
Executive Producer
Posts: 5079
PatrickD
Loc: California
Reg: 12-07-06

03-04-12 11:19 AM - Post#10415    
    In response to Bryguy

  • Bryguy Said:
I will say that there are some events at conventions that are obviously targeted at a younger crowd that make me feel a bit uncomfortable due to my age.
However that could be said for almost any age/gender/grouping and certain events as well.


Yes, I've been to a lot of different conventions and I've definitely seen different demographics at different conventions. There are two within a few hours of me that seem to attract a very young crowd of kids who love to run around and scream like it's recess. ...yet I could travel just as far and get to another convention with what seems like a slightly older crowd who is relatively more peaceful.

We know that conventions tend to grow a lot due to word of mouth and I suppose this is just a matter of a lot of young kids in one area convincing their friends to go versus a bunch of older kids in another area. If people in the 30+ range managed to convince their friends and colleagues to go, we'd see more conventions with demographics closer to some of the older sci-fi cons.
-PatrickD
AnimeCons.com Executive Producer
Co-Founder: Anime Boston and Providence Anime Conference
Host of The Chibi Project & Anime Unscripted™


 
RedLionLord 
Newbie
Posts: 4

Reg: 09-07-12

09-07-12 05:07 PM - Post#11431    
    In response to vrmlbasic

Not at all. I didn't start attending cons until I was 27. I'm almost 31 and I'm not gonna stop now. I don't care what others think.

 
vrmlbasic 
Con Regular
Posts: 75

Reg: 02-23-12

09-08-12 12:48 AM - Post#11433    
    In response to RedLionLord

  • In reply to:

Not at all. I didn't start attending cons until I was 27. I'm almost 31 and I'm not gonna stop now. I don't care what others think.



Props for your dedication. We older fans keep the events going, we're the few who actually have money to spend at these events. Forget that broke fan stereotype.

Which reminds me, eating at the con venue or other classier options in the vicinity seems to be a surefire way to meet up with the older crowd. Maybe even better than on-site bars. Older fans don't need to squander valuable con time on making pilgrimage to the offsite 7-11 to fit their cheapness. One of the perks

I can't believe that it has been almost 7 months since I started this thread. It feels like it was "just the other day". In the handful of cons I've gone to, I've found an older crowd. Not a majority, but they exist in larger numbers than I though possible. I'd swear that they weren't there before

Even at Otakon, a place where being 18 (the alleged minimum age to enter) makes you look ancient, I noticed a fair number of older fans. With improved organization from Otakon this year and "knowing the ropes" after a few years to know how to minimize lines, I was able to not be stuck in the hordes of unruly underaged attendees.

TBH, seeing fans pushing kids in strollers through Otakon (A tedious task, from what I saw) I actually felt like a young attendee at Otakon 2012. I didn't think that was possible.

Edited by vrmlbasic on 09-08-12 12:48 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
infoleather 
Newbie
Posts: 2

Reg: 09-16-12

09-17-12 01:05 AM - Post#11452    
    In response to vrmlbasic

Spent a gap of several years, in the meantime, another con began in the same city and timetables.

 
TheGoGoSquirrels 
Newbie
Posts: 4
TheGoGoSquirrels
Loc: Compton
Reg: 04-09-13

04-09-13 10:02 PM - Post#12283    
    In response to Bryguy

Hi there :). I'm new to this site and I was surfing and came across this topic. This issue actually has worried me for sometime now. I'm a long time anime fan and I have been attending Anime Expo out here in Los Angeles, CA for a number of years. I started going to AX in 1996 and just signed up for AX2013. If it wasn't for the fact that my two much younger brothers going with me this year I would feel even more awkward than I have been. I do worry about perception when I do take pictures of cosplayers because I am well over 25 years old but the attendees have in large part been very accommodating. I would like to hear opinions from others about this and I should continue to go to AX or any other CA-based con (I can't afford to travel elsewhere).

 
Gale 
Sacrificial White Mage
Posts: 476
Gale
Loc: New England
Reg: 03-08-09

04-09-13 11:11 PM - Post#12284    
    In response to TheGoGoSquirrels

As Doug mentioned above, he and the rest of us have done a panel about this at several cons over the past few years. One thing I've learned through helping to run said panel is that there is actually a fairly substantial contingent of "older" fans at cons nowadays. (At Katsucon our decently sized room was over 3/4 full!) While we are a minority (I suppose myself only being 26 I use the term "we" loosely), we older fans are not alone. If you still enjoy yourself, that's what matters. As long as that's the case I would say keep attending.


 
Movie Phone Guy 
Con Regular
Posts: 58
Movie Phone Guy
Loc: Maine
Reg: 01-09-07

04-10-13 06:00 PM - Post#12286    
    In response to Gale

I'm Old. I love going to cons! There's no age limit. Problem Solved.
PortConMaine TechOps Chair 2006 -2011
PortConMaine Event Support Chair 2012-2015
Owner of a pretty good Alfredo recipe
Sometimes Patrick plays my Voicemails.


 
TheGoGoSquirrels 
Newbie
Posts: 4
TheGoGoSquirrels
Loc: Compton
Reg: 04-09-13

04-11-13 03:46 PM - Post#12291    
    In response to Gale

Thanks for the input. I must admit that this topic has been on my mind for a while now. I do see older folks but they usually are taking their children to the con, almost never any on their own. So as long as I enjoy anime and until it's no longer fashionable or acceptable for a much older anime/ manga fan like me to attend a con I'll keep on going :).

 
TheGoGoSquirrels 
Newbie
Posts: 4
TheGoGoSquirrels
Loc: Compton
Reg: 04-09-13

04-11-13 03:48 PM - Post#12293    
    In response to Movie Phone Guy

Since AX2013 hasn't sent back my registration money telling me I'm too old now, I'll still go :).


 
Gale 
Sacrificial White Mage
Posts: 476
Gale
Loc: New England
Reg: 03-08-09

04-11-13 04:10 PM - Post#12297    
    In response to TheGoGoSquirrels

Honestly, as long as you're a respectful, responsible individual, you're NEVER too old for cons


 
Shiva 
Cosplay Addict
Posts: 369
Shiva
Loc: New England
Reg: 04-01-09

05-01-13 10:09 PM - Post#12352    
    In response to Movie Phone Guy

  • Movie Phone Guy Said:
I'm Old. I love going to cons! There's no age limit. Problem Solved.



LOL. Well said. I never even heard of cons or cosplay until I was 21, and didn't really get into the scene until my mid-20s.I'm 30 now, and although some cons make me feel old just based on their overwhelming demographics and programing, others make me feel right at home - its more the content of the convention than the size.

PortCon Maine is tiny, but has a wide range of attendees and even some programing that is directed to my demographic, like a nostalgic 1970s/1980s PBS programing panel and late night mixology panels, etc. Similarly, Dragon*Con is huge and have always felt the attendees were mostly my age or older. I've never felt out of place there either.

I've also been to cons where everyone was running around with their heads cut off acting like it was the coolest thing in the world just to have a hotel room and alcohol and acting like complete idiots, but at the same time the programing at the con was run by people of that age and as a result directed at this type of behavior and personality. I felt old there, but that's why I no longer go to that particular event.

I advise finding programming that would interest and attract older and experienced congoers, and if its not offered, volunteer and create some. Get some friends to help. If you create an atmosphere interesting to older attendees, you will see more crawl out of the woodwork. Many are just likely jaded or frustrated with the lack of interesting things aimed at them, similar to yourself.
Facebook Page *~ Cosplay Website *~ Music Videos ~*


Edited by Shiva on 05-01-13 10:12 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
hikanteki 
Attendee
Posts: 8

Reg: 06-02-10

05-28-13 12:24 AM - Post#12476    
    In response to Nigoki

  • In reply to:

Some things I've noticed.

-Part of growing up is the change of responsibilities. When you're younger, you miss a day or two of school, it's not a big deal. Miss work, you might have explain yourself to your boss. There's also the financial aspect of just having to watch money more. A kid in high school usually doesn't have things like rent/mortage, student loans, and utility bills to pay. So while older fans might have better paying jobs, they have more responsibilities to worry about, resulting in a need to be a bit more careful when choosing which events to attend.




I'd actually argue the opposite. High school kids have less spending money than working people...I know that when I was in high school I sure didn't have $60 lying around to attend a con, and I DEFINITELY wouldn't have been able to convince my parents to let me travel a couple of hours or stay at a hotel to go to one. Also, it's more difficult to miss a day of school than a day of work...with work you can request time off and often times your company can fit it in. With school, it's looked down if you take time off.

If there are more kids at anime conventions, it's not because of time or money concerns. I think it's just because anime is more popular with kids these days. In my generation (three words I shudder to write, as I'm still in my late 20s...but hitting a milestone next month!) during high school it seems like nobody except for me watched, or even knew, what anime was. Now it seems like all the kids (and even adults) are watching it.

So, it follows that this type of thing just wasn't very common when I was in high school. In the 90s there were maybe a handful of anime conventions that had 1000+ people. Now there are plenty that have TEN THOUSAND+ people, and dozens more of 1000+ ones. It seems every mid-sized city in the US now has one...or more.

This is kind of what I'd been wishing for since high school, and now that they're available I'm not going to let something silly like the average age being <20 keep me from going to these! There is a sizable minority in their late 20s-early 30s at most anime cons I've been to. I agree that the average age is slightly older at big cons than small ones. Regardless, I go to enjoy myself and revel in anime, same reasons everyone else does, and I don't feel out of place or looked down upon.

I also go to comic conventions (i.e. SDCC, Emerald City) which have a much more diverse age range, from the very young to the very old. I see many entire families there, some all dressed up. That's not something I see at anime cons.

 
Mega Negi 
Newbie
Posts: 3

Reg: 10-04-13

10-04-13 02:26 AM - Post#12899    
    In response to vrmlbasic

Uh, no.

I've been going to cons from the time before there were anime cons.

I love when people my age show up at anime cons. They have more money to spend.

 
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