Monday, February 13, 2012

New Naka Neighborhood

All alliterations aside, this post is to talk about Naka Kon 2012, which I attended.

First and foremost, the con had a new location!  The old location had its benefits, so there are some mixed feelings about that.

Old Location PROS
-Connected via tunnel to a mall with a food court, so that there's no need to go outside during the entire stay.  Since the con is usually in Febraury, a wintery month, that's definitely a nice advantage.
-Actually... that's pretty much it, aside from familiarity.  After you go to a con at the same location a few times, you start to memorize where each room is, and you don't have to look at a map anymore.  But don't take this to mean that the old location had no or few advantages, because not needing to go outside, when your costume may consist of very little or at least not much that's warm is really huge.

Old Location CONS (heh heh, con cons)
-Naka kon is a fastly growing convention and with the old location being right in downtown Kansas City, the hotel it was hosted at got plenty of business without the con's help.  The con people filled up every room so that there weren't many rooms for normies, and on top of that, normies were wierded out by the con people, and complained over the stay.  In other words, the hotel was not very happy with us.
-Naka Kon is a fastly growing convention, and even though the hotel it was at was not small by any means, it was getting to the point that they just couldn't hold all the con-goers anymore.
-To abide by the hotel and normies will, Naka Kon was becoming a very strict con, rule-wise.

New Location PROS
-The new location is specifically a convention center, separate (for the most part) from any hotels.  We can be as weird and loud as we want to at the con, and the limitations on such have been laxed just a bit.
-The new location is MUCH BIGGER, which is good because Naka Kon is growing a lot faster than I had originally seen.  Even with the new location, there was a cap on registration.

New Location CONS
-The hotel that Naka Kon used is not directly a part of the convention center.  It has a single connected hallway, that our group didn't even discover until the second day.  Perhaps it would have been easier, had we been able to stay at that hotel, but that brings us to the second point.
-The Sheraton associated with the convention center is slightly smaller than the previous hotel.  It may have been mostly devoted to hosting con-goers, and less complainy about it, but with part of the reason that we needed a new location being that there wasn't enough room, that posed some problems.  Also, part of the Naka Kon contract with the ability to use the convention center, was that they were not allowed to create deals with overflow hotels. (This may not be one-hundred percent accurate.  Con gossip is shady business.)
-The hotel that is right next door is NOT connected at all to the convention center.  It was fortunate that it was right next door, but having to walk a few yards outdoors in the winter is not fun.
-Finally, limited food availability.  There were a couple of places that, during certain hours of the day, you could purchase food at the con... and I'm certain that to those who stayed at the Sheraton, there was a con suite available... but for everyone else, you had to fend for yourself, and if you happened to have the time and hunger during the hours that everything within the convention center was closed, you had to venture outside to feed.  While that is the norm for many cons, it was not so at the previous location, at least not as much.

I think I approve of Naka's decision to move.  There was definitely a need to change location.  On the other hand, I don't think the convention center is quite the location we need.  It is closer, and perhaps if the schedulers had made better use of the rooms they had, it would have been nicer, but with the con growing as rapidly as it is, we need something even bigger.

Now, on to other aspects of the con!

The panel selection was sadly sparse this year, but that isn't entirely the con's fault.  If few people decide to run panels, then you must deal with the panels you have.  I enjoyed the brony panel, the Mii plaza panel, and the game show panels the best.  I'm finding that I'm growing more bored with Tales of Con Horror panel, mostly because repeat guests tell the same stories over and over, and new guests don't have as many stories to tell.  Still, it resulted in many jokes about Kansas being "a comfortable place to ejaculate" which got so overused, but is still somehow funny. I also enjoyed how the 18+ panels were in a separate part of the convention center, so that you didn't have to check badge right outside every single door.  Idea! There should be a small area in the convention center totally dedicated to 18+, and it just be a place for adults to hang out without the small and innocent.

Boyfriend tried to enter the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tourney and was put on a waitlist.  I think that bigger con should also equal bigger game room and bigger planning for tournaments.  There should not be a huge waitlist for a gaming tournament, in my opinion... and if you expect there will be, then there should be some warning and perhaps pre-elimination so that the tournament is actually between those who have skill and is interesting.

On the subject of the gameshow panels previously mentioned, I tried to enter the Anime Press Your Luck show, and failed.  I *did* get into an audience game, but what I failed to realize until it was too late was that any prizes during an audience game are nullified, and all I got was a lousy T-shirt. (That seems to happen to me a lot...)

I didn't attend the cosplay contest, but I did see some pretty awesome costumes!  Unfortunately, I derped and didn't get pictures. Except for this one:

I tried to get more of a side picture so that you could see more detail, but she kept moving.  Let me just say, it was very impressive, especially the hair and legs. And SOFT!

I'm always open to answering more questions, but...

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie


  1. With the con growing so large, perhaps they should look for an even bigger place to expand to? Was it fun, in general - as fun as previous years - or was it not really worth the money?