waiting for others to come to you
You have to go to them sometimes
Winnie the Pooh
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A convention is by definition a coming together of people. And we instinctively come together if only to reassure ourselves of our own existence.
Despite the plethora of things to do and see at A-Kon 15, most of my time was focused on people; looking at them, talking to them, sharing with them.
Although mostly a teenaged crowd, A-Kon 15 attracted all kinds of people from babies in strollers to geezers on canes. What do they have in common?
The main feature I noticed was geekiness. What is a geek? Well, really someone who has interests beyond a social life. Areas of interest at A-Kon 15 extended into art, music, costuming, gaming, fantasy, and sci-fi. Noticeable lack of interest was in sex, drugs, and alcohol, the basic social virtues.
Commerce is generally looked down on by this crowd. Although necessary, even the genre's business people are fans spending so much time at it that they need to generate some revenue to live.
And of course the lowest form of life, here as elsewhere, are lawyers. Ideally, anime is shared among enthusiasts. Fans put great amounts of time and labor into locating, copying, translating, and distributing media unavailable domestically to other fans for little or no remuneration. Lawyers take media out of circulation, ban picture-taking, and force bands and movies to change their names.
Take, ban, force. All anathematic concepts to the other noticeable feature of these folks, tolerance. The mind attracted to an art form of another culture must be both curious and accepting. When you combine these qualities, you really get compassion. This is a nice bunch of people.
With 10,000 diverse strangers packed together in general confusion around the clock for 3 days, I didn't witness 1 confrontation, hassle, putdown, or negative interaction.