Friday, September 13, 2013

Is Dragon*Con an Adventure?

tl;dr Yes it is.
For those who don't know, Dragon*Con is a huge science fiction and fantasy convention in Atlanta that takes place over the Labor day weekend. This year close to 60,000 geeks, near-geeks, geek-adjacent and a few people who didn't know what they were getting into descend into downtown Atlanta to celebrate every aspect and object of nerd love.  I was there (my third year), enjoyed greatly and recommend that everyone within eyeball shot of this blog that they go at least once.
I started this blog to talk about adventuring from the geek side of life.  (Hence the blog's name.)  So to write about Dragon*Con means that Dragon*Con is an Adventure.  Is it, really?  For that matter, what is an Adventure, anyway?
Despite having a dictionary definition, adventure means many different things to different people.  The word is fungible, twisted and co-opted for various purposes and probably means something slightly different for every person on the planet.  So, I'll start by defining Adventure for myself.
For me, Jon, an Adventure is a life experience that has the following aspects:
  • Engages both mind and body.
  • Has activities that are outside of that person's day to day life.
  • Creates feelings of excitement, nervousness and anticipation.
My definition of an Adventure is intentionally broad, and very individual. I like it that way, because it allows people to approach many, many events in life with a sense of adventure.  Something I've come to believe is that a sense of adventure can be the difference between a good experience and a bad one.
So, how does Dragon*Con stack up against my definition of Adventure?
Dragon*Con engages both mind and body.  Dragon*Con has one of the broadest bases of all geek-centric conventions.  Science and pseudo-science, sci-fi and fantasy, comic and movies and books, practical knowledge and pure entertainment.  It would be nearly impossible to spend the weekend at Dragon*Con without engaging your mind on some subject you have an interest in.  Dragon*Con is also grueling.  There is so much to do, all day and night, spread over four hotels built into the side of a hill.  It is such a rare opportunity to pack so much in that attendees are constantly moving from one session to another, one hotel to another, all day and all night.
Dragon*Con has activities that are outside most person's day to day life.  It is not everyday where you have a pool of 60,000 people to choose from to interact with, to dress how you want, to talk about anything you want, and to (in general) be welcomed as an equal, to have your love of things to be respected regardless of what those things are.
Dragon*Con creates feeling of excitement, nervousness and anticipation. How can a four day geek party not create these feelings?  How is it not exciting to hear from and interact with people who's work has affected your life.  How can you not be nervous to show parts of you (literally and figuratively) to thousands of others you may not normally expose.  How can the anticipation of such a huge event not exist?
So, Dragon*Con is, in every respect, an Adventure.  An Adventure that I highly encourage everyone to have. 


No comments:

Post a Comment