Two Cents Tuesday: Bronies & Conventions

fanpopBronies before Ponies

While nearing the end of another Tuesday I figured that I’d find time to squeeze in my own two cents. This time it’s about something a little more broad; conventions. This past weekend I’ve had the privilege of being able to cover BronyCon 2013 as a member of the press. The goal was to catch up with Lee Tockar and to iron out some thing having to do with Fanbuilt, but in the end I left with so much more.

Typically, I feel like conventions are overpriced hangouts for people with little to no social skills. That still is kind of true, however BronyCon had a lot of awesome people there and turned out to be a lot more fun than I ever would have expected. I just wish that it took less than a convention to bring people, like the wonderful folks I’ve had a chance to ‘brohoof’, together more often.

What is it about a fandom that makes people isolate themselves yet come together as a community? This can be said about Bronies, because in a way they’re their own microcosm; they have their own radio shows, news papers, and other various programs. Yet, at the same time I’ve heard story after story about how before MLP came about many fans were lonely and depressed, and although they felt better, they still didn’t do much outside of these conventions and meet-ups. Why is that?

I want to see more of these cultures and geekdoms bring out the best in people. I wish to see them expand well past the confines of the internet, image boards, and conventions and bring the joy of these safe havens into real life. And this goes for more than just Bronies, the fandoms we belong to should spread joy beyond our decorated rooms and houses, or t-shirts, or video games. They have the ability to spread happiness and make lives a little brighter. They’re silly, they’re inspirational.  I think profiting off of that is a little bit wrong. Not to say that I don’t like conventions, because I do. I just wish the concept was applied to less profitable areas of daily life.

In the end, I liked BronyCon a lot. It reminded me of the way comic conventions used to be before the mainstream crowds sunk their teeth into them. With lots of really relaxed people just there to have a good time and enjoy their respective fandoms. There was no rushing, no 2 hour lines for a panel, and even *gasp* children! Not the occasional child either, parents actually brought their children and participated with them. Yes, children used to go to conventions all the time and not have to worry about being stepped on by mad fan-rush to the nearest cosplay. It was a breath of fresh air.

6 thoughts on “Two Cents Tuesday: Bronies & Conventions

  1. I think one of the good things about this convention is that even though it was huge, over 8k people, it is still based on the foundations of My Little Pony. This is a show that encourages you to celebrate everyone’s differences, and the magic of friendship. Everyone out there is a potential friend, and by sharing this passion we are all brothers and sisters. One of the most inspirational moments for me happened inside the Roleplay room. This teenage boy came in with a “Free Hugs” sign. He hugged everyone in the room, then proceeded to walk back outside to hug other con-goers. HIs mother and sister were there. His mother explained to us that the boy had autism, and used to be really freaked out about anyone touching him. This show has helped to make him more social and open to others.

    • That’s incredible. I’ve heard some very touching stories about how these gatherings and the show really had a way to get them through some really huge hurdles. And whatever works, I’d never knock something that is helping so many great people and bringing them all together! 🙂

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