With power restored, FanimeCon 2012 was ready to be kicked off. This happened officially during opening ceremonies where all the guests of honor took turns appearing on-stage to talk briefly about the panels they would be appearing in. Random staff also took the stage to encourage the crowd to have fun and be safe during the event.
Once this was over, many ventured to the Dealer’s Room, where unlike the Swap Meet, goods were sold by vendors at quite a mark up in some cases. The Dealer’s Room had the usual figures, keychains, model kits, and posters throughout. Of interest, one booth was selling cat ears that react to your moods for a mere $99, which have yet to be released stateside. Another booth offered FDA approved contact lenses in different color varieties ranging anywhere from $40 – $65. There were also some questionable light-up shirts with Zelda and Mario logos and characters adorning the front that didn’t seem to have an officially licensed tag anywhere. No matter the booth however, convention goers seemed to walk away happy with their purchases.
In the next hall over was the gaming room which is the most air-conditioned room of all out of the event. This is an important note due to all the Dance Dance Revolution, Just Dance, and Kinect gaming was going on in the room, which would usually smell like a packet of rotten roasted peanuts if the proper ventilation and environment controls aren’t available. Situated in between a sea of table games and a mountain of console gaming was the handheld area.
At the time I arrived, I found a sign that advertised a StreetPass meetup for certain hours, but unfortunately when I went to take a picture of it, it was gone. During the time I sat and opened up my Nintendo 3DS though, I was able to salvage a bit of joy when I discovered how many new Miis I was bringing in for Find Mii. At the end of the day, the count was approximately 200 people I had managed to exploit for a new hat on my Mii. Moving past this and the chairs gathered around TVs playing NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, and Wii games, I moved onto the back area where they had a Stacker machine. The machine featured two Nintendo 3DS units, one blue and one purple. At $1 a try, there were many suckers lining up to give it a go, myself included.
With disappointment setting in, I left the gaming room and took in the many wonderful costumes before me. Although this is an anime convention, there were many people cosplaying other facets of what some may consider “geek” culture, including gaming. It was refreshing to see the creativity of many and a bright and colorful way to end the day, not to mention a cute as a button Pikachu!
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