Or, just “GenCon”, or “nerding it up with the nerdiest of the nerds”… I couldn’t decide what to title this post.
While comic cons (or conventions) get all the attention, GenCon is a confusing name, but it’s just a gaming convention. It still has special guests and special events and panels that people can see, but it also has gaming tournaments, live board gaming of all sorts of new games, and more. It doesn’t just sell games either, it has an artist section for both artwork and books, as well as musicians, and it sells everything from games to comics to cosplay outfits to plushies. This was my first time and my fiance’s second, and boy was I glad to have him to go with – even though we went on a slightly slower day for attendance, the crowds and vast size of the con was disorientating at times and could very easily be overwhelming if one didn’t know anyone there or where to go or anything. However, it was a fun day, and even though gaming is less my area than my fiance’s, he let me drag him over to every clothing booth to look at the various styles and garments for sale and told me what some of the different gaming things were as we went along. He even got to meet one of the authors of a comic book series he’d read recently!
One of the fun things about GenCon (or any ComicCon) is all the people dressed up in costumes! Unfortunately, my fiance and I both neglected to get any pictures of the various fun cosplayers. There was the Scottish stormtropper complete with kilt, anime characters, steampunk men, women in Star Trek uniforms, and more. We even started laughing about any shirtless guys just trying to even the score of skin shown by women’s outfits, as the characters available for women to dress up as are notoriously revealing and sexy (he had to avert his eyes on more than one occasion).
The sexism perpetuated by women being objectified and shown off sexually for men’s pleasure in both games and movies and more – and having little to no purpose aside from looking sexy – is a topic best discussed another time though, I think. Although I will say one thing – my fiance actually complimented one of the artists displaying her work there on having fully clothed women as well as those wearing armour actually having practical amour rather than the “boob armour” that is so common, would do absolutely no good, and is basically just a metal bikini. There was also a book featuring a collection of stories about women who don’t need rescuing or can rescue themselves entitled “Women in Practical Armor” whose editor I had to compliment on that. It’s sad when treating women as people instead of objects of sexual desire is so rare that the two instances we noticed there had to be commended and thanked on it. And were right next to several art booths displaying women with full frontal nudity and sexual poses…
Lest you think all the art or books or games there were blatantly or inadvertently sexist however, let me assure you that not all were. Some may have inadvertently sexualized every female character, but not all did. And while some of the art sold there was just painted erotica and nerdy “pin-ups”, some was actually nerdy and non-sexualized – such as the amazing Lovecraft inspired artwork my fiance had to stop and talk to the artist about, or the fantasty landscapes and women that another incredible artist had displayed – her use of light in the paintings was fantastic.
And now back to the day itself:
For lunch mid-way through our day at GenCon we went to The Spaghetti Factory. And it has a high review from me based merely on the building! The food was also good, and the entree price comparable to Olive Garden but also including desert. The building however, was old, gorgeous, and utterly amazing to us historical/beautiful archi. nerds. So, even though I missed getting pictures of GenCon, have some pictures of this amazing restaurant! (Where the waitress discussed how much she had wanted to go to GenCon and that her mother just finished a costume degree and makes cosplay outfits for the waitress’ siblings and friends, and where people nearby discussed RPGs – role playing games. It was the weekend for nerds!)
So, with excellent food, comments sexism and the amount of skin seen on women (real or painted), games, comic books, art, and all sorts of nerdery, it was a full day. And makes for a long and discordant blog post!
I’m looking forward to going again next year, if we can, and in costume if at all possible! Ideas for couples costumes are topped by my fiance (hopefully by-then, husband) in a Roman Centurion outfit and me in a sexy police woman outfit. I know, that seems to directly contradict my earlier statements about sexualized costumes for women, but I would still be covered, it’d just be a mid-thigh skirt (and the original character is a kiss-o-gram…). And, for those who can place what that couples outfit idea is from (extra points to you!), it is actually a really sappy and nerdy idea that I love considering the original couple is one of the ways I first suspected my fiance was “the one”.
And on the sappy note of that, I end this post of random nerding and sexism.