Geek Out: Cosplay + Free Hugs = Armageddon 2011

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Two Star Wars cosplayers in the main hall (Image: Terence Huynh/techgeek.com.au)

Let us indulge in some geek fandom. Armageddon 2011 was on last weekend (October 22 and 23) at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, and with previews of Batman: Arkham City and, especially for most of the editors on this very site, Rooster Teeth making a presence, we’ve decided to tag along and attend.

Being such a virgin for such geek conventions, why the hell not write a perspective of my first geek convention. We are called TECHGEEK.com.au for a reason.

The Cosplay

Typical of every convention, there were a lot of cosplayers. Yes, the geek world uninitiated, people do dress up as their favourite characters. Even arriving from the city, we saw people dressed up as an anime, movie, TV or comic book hero. Some opted to where costumes such as a Bulbasaur or as a Halo Spartan, some opted to be a bit more flashy and go all out for their costumes. One dressed up as Bumblebee from the Transformers movies and another dressed up as a blue-winged character, and I overheard that the costume weighed 18 kilograms. That is devotion.

Also profound was the amount of free hugs. At the entrance, you could get a free hug. Waiting in line for your ticket, you could get one. And even inside the convention, running around the floor, people were ready to give you free hugs. As a person who typically doesn’t like hugs (I prefer cookies), it was something I tried to avoid at all cost. That said, it was funny (and a bit weird) when one of my friends joining me had a hug was then told by a female cosplayer, “Oh, do you want a kiss as well?” before planting one on his cheek.

Merchandising

Image: Terence Huynh/techgeek.com.au

The show floor was filled with people trying to sell you stuff. From funny t-shirts to selling manga and comic books, the show was a geek’s paradise. Because I went on a Sunday, I think some of the prices were reduced, and I’ve noticed that the stalls were cutting their prices in order, probably, to get rid of their stock – one stall was even selling DVDs for $10 in the last few minutes.

While there were some smaller comic book, manga and geek culture shops present on the show floor, there were also some big brands exhibiting such as Madman Entertainment and Warner Brothers. Yes, they were exhibiting their new Batman game recently released, Batman: Arkham City and they were even selling it for lower than what the retail price is.

Image: Terence Huynh/techgeek.com.au

To be all honest, the only real reason I went was to acquire some Rooster Teeth DVDs, such as Red vs Blue because I wasn’t going to wait for a few days of shipping when I could get them now in Melbourne. However, arriving, it wasn’t the only thing I bought: I also managed to pick up the DVDs of The Guild, after hearing so much praise from many of my friends.

For those who follow me on Twitter would have found out that I also managed to acquire a Mudkip plush toy. Don’t ask why I bought it, I just got the damn meme stuck in my head – plus, I saw a guy wearing a Mudkip hat, so I wanted something Mudkip.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/terencehuynh/status/127995425583136768″]

So, what about that Batman game?

A person playing Batman: Arkham City at Armageddon 2011

A person playing Batman: Arkham City at Armageddon 2011 (Image: Terence Huynh/techgeek.com.au)

One of our Pwnage editors, Gabriel Huynh, managed to play the game during the game, so I’ve decided to paste it here.

Having not played the prequel, Batman: Arkham Asylum, I was fascinated with Batman: Arkham City and the hype surrounding the game. Initially seeing the game, visually it was stunning, with the dark and eerie, reflecting the tone of Batman and the setting of the fall of the city of Gotham. After being in awe on the visuals, playing the game was an entire different thing. With one button to attack and one to counter, combat control was simple and easy to grasp allowing for fun gameplay, and the combination of cinematic allowing for more awe inspiring visuals . Exploring the world of Arkham City, as with many open-world game, it was easy to get side-tracked from the main storyline with many Green Riddler challenges. However the game gave a lot, and I mean A LOT of prompts to redirect gameplay to the main storyline. So first impressions are good and possibly game of the year.

Lessons learnt…

I would most definitely do this again. Despite the fact that my body aches now because of all the damn walking I did, it was a tremendously fun experience. It was a bit nerve-wrecking to actually go to a geek convention in the first place because I felt like I stood out by not dressing up. However, everyone is equally treated.

Oh, and if you do plan to go to a convention, just make sure you wear something comfortable. You’ll thank me later when you walk the equivalent of a marathon.

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