DragonCon In Context

About four years ago my wife and I met at DragonCon: a Fantasy/sci-fi/comics/all-things super-nerdy convention held annually in downtown Atlanta.

While both of us are needs at heart (and in-practice) in many ways – we were there as mostly observers that year – hanging out at one of the host hotel bars observing hundreds of conventioneers decked out in their finest superhero fantasy attire (although I was also playing Scrabble with A friend which made me more of a “participant observer”;) ).

In any case – we decides this year to take a day a d actually attend the conference – see a few exhibits and sessions. And of course – enjoy hours of people watching and getting excited to see our favorite nerdy obsessions and movies / books / childhood memories come to life and coexist in magical temporary ecosystem where he inhabitants survived on making the imaginary real.

It got me thinking about the objective so social co text of this gathering as well as the cultural ethos shared by the thousands of people who flow through it each year.

For example: after four years if attending this thing in one way it another I have been told by numerous nerd friends that it would be more appropriate if I came in costume next year. Why? Because this is not a place for observers – it is a community of participants. People from age five to eight five commit to being the hero, outlaw or other fantastical superpower or character they feel the human world is missing and revel I. Te sense if community that brings

This collection of self-identified and nerds and geeks who may have grown up (or still are) on or near the “outside” for believing in things the human experience does not count as “real” come to celebrate our dreams by creating living totems in their honor.

It is among this same group of fringe believers that MOST if the people who invent and create the thing a that change our world for the better come from. The science. The art. The innovations. The inspiration.

We are entering an age where we are finally teaching our children (and our adults) to be proud of the parts of ourselves that think different and embrace our imagination: that seeing is not believing, but believing is the first step in making something real.

So, in honor of my DragonCon soul sisters and brothers I thought I would share some of my favorite moments of the characters I encountered being “real”. Enjoy!





















Categories: American Culture, Anthropology, Art and culture, Consumer Anthropology, Consumer Culture, Culture, Ethnography, Participant Observation, pop culture, Rituals, sociology, Television and Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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