|J-Popcon 2008 Opens Its Doors||J-Popcon 2008 – Day 2||J-Popcon 2008 – Final Day|
|J-Popcon 2008 – Conclusion! >:3||BONUS!! J-Popcon – 3 Days in the Life of a Gopher|
Yeah, I realize a month later that I forgot to write this part… =_=
First off, I would like to give credit to J-Popkai for even bothering with trying to put a con together, getting all the rooms, equipment, setup, etc. in order. So a big pat on the back for that.
Also a pat on the back for at least trying to make things work smoothly, the keyword being “trying“. But considering the situation, they did it pretty well.
On the other hand, they did kind of ask for it since from my point of view, everything was planned only about a month or two before the actual con started, where as most others start only a month or two after the last one ended. This I can not definitely say though, since I was not part of J-Popkai, so I leave confirming this to Madhatter.
Oh, and also big props to the gophers for being awesome in enduring the hell that is being a con-slave (though it was significantly worse “back in the day”… scary thought, huh?).
But here comes the critique: This year’s con was, without a shred of doubt, the absolute worst con I have ever been to and it just seemed so badly organized. Here are the main reasons as to why the con sucked this year:
In the beginning, there was none. When they finally got it, there was no notice so people could get it, and even if you got it, half of it wasn’t true anyway, because events changed rooms or times or even both, and in general.
The idea of writing a schedule on white-boards across the floors was a pretty good quick-fix, but
1) it didn’t come up until Saturday
2) was only a one-day schedule, so you couldn’t plan for the next day (this was not their fault though, there wasn’t enough space, though maybe an extra white-board?)
3) and it was updated infrequently.
Almost everything was focused on cosplay. They had hours upon hours upon hours (so that’s at least 3 >:3) of presentations on cosplaying.
What happened to the rest of Japanese pop-culture all of a sudden?! Why no presentations on fashion and trends in general? Of current music and artists? Current art? Current movies and animation? Popular places in Japan, like host-cafés and such? All these things that the average Danish anime fan might not know about, but which is really interesting.
In the J-Popcon of 2006, I remember there being a music/artist presentation, and it was a SMASHING hit, they filled an entire room about the size of a large school gym with people.
Diversity people, diversity; there’s more to J-pop culture than people cosplaying.
There were only two. In 2006 there were four, and that worked better, in my opinion. At least have three, and have one show feature length films while the other two show series or something.
And like with the regular time-schedule the movie schedule could only be seen if you coincidentally walked close enough to the entrances of the theatres, since they weren’t printed anywhere else, not even in the booklet you got at the entrance.
It was just sub-par… They served like three things or something, and it tasted badly and smelled even worse. Again, have more options.
Just because I’m at a J-Pop convention doesn’t mean I want to eat only sushi or noodles, I might want french toast or something. At least they had french fries… But thank goodness for the many places in the area where you could buy food.
Seriously, if you are having a major convention, and you have a website exclusively for that, you would expect it to be updated.
Why was there no schedules, regular and the movie one, on the website in a .pdf or even in HTML, so that people can see what will be going down when? Even the slowest solution takes only an hour or so to make.
Why were any sudden changes not written on the website? Not even the events, once they had been decided, were added. The last thing written was just “We’ll update when we know more” a few weeks before the con started, and it wasn’t updated since.
Was supposed to be bigger and better, and while it was slightly more spacious than usual, there were less games and consoles, because the space wasn’t used effectively.
They opened up to a sideroom, in which they placed only one game, Rock Band, and a shitload of seats. Had the room remained closed, another three consoles could have been up against the sliding doors or whatever they were.
If you’re gonna open up to an additional room to get more space for consoles, maybe try, you know? actually placing more consoles in there? Like, duuuuuurrr <_>
(Edit: After correspondence with Per of Playright, this was due to Sony recalling the consolles and games that were ment to go in that room last second, so Playright is not to blame for this)
And for the love of all that is good in this world, crack open a window!! A dozen consolles in a filled room produce a shitload of heat which makes the entire atmosphere unpleasant to be in for more than 10 minuttes.
As you can see, a lot of things one would expect to be no-brainers because it’s is so basic and obvious that it should be there, weren’t, and information was never published so that it actually reach the public.
That made this year’s con lé suck ass. And of course, they could just go “Well, it’s easy to critique us, but we didn’t see you helping out!! >:3“, which is completely true.
Then again, I was never asked despite offering my services, now was I? In fact, Madhatter, who was actually helping out and trying to keep people grounded, was thrown out because he wasn’t afraid to be openly critical of how badly some of the things were organized, wasn’t he..?
In a case where you already have a shortage of people, getting rid of more would be in the “fucking bad decisions“-department.
Anywho, let’s just hope they learn from their mistakes and take some of this critique to heart and actually try to change some of the things for next years con. If not, then I sure as hell won’t be coming next year, as I know many others won’t.
P.S. Please note that this isn’t to say that the con was ALL bad, but the bad parts would often outweigh the good ones.
For more details on each day, please read the daily reports. Also note that as I am human, I couldn’t be everywhere at once and thus have missed some of the events which I obviously then have not written about.