I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to a convention before. This shame is not without reason as Conventions are a tentpole of modern “nerd culture”. Cosplays, panels featuring B-Movie stars from the 80’s and asinine amounts of pop-culture merchandise are a quintessential experience for a lover of all things geek. Here I detail my experience at MCM Dublin Comic Con last weekend.
My Saturday consisted of a single event; a panel featuring Nolan North, Troy Baker and Emily Rose, the stars of Uncharted 4. This was one of PlayStation’s biggest exclusive releases last year. Uncharted, along with other titles like God of War and The Last of Us, are some of Sony’s biggest franchises.
I was accompanied by a friend who was also a convention rookie, but something of an expert in Uncharted. We arrived early, catching the tail end of the previous talk. As the room quieted down, an announcer came on stage to introduce the panel. He began the talk with a brief conversation about Uncharted, before launching into straight audience questions. Though I didn’t get a chance to ask a question, those that were heard were thoughtful and interesting. We spent the hour or so after the panel wandering the floor, browsing merchandise and drinking in the atmosphere. I considered getting my copy of Uncharted 4 signed, but the €30 price tag made that a hard sell.
Sunday had a much earlier start, as I was attending with three convention veterans.
11:00 – We started the day off with a panel by the cast of the original Power Rangers series. We were just in time to catch the final audience question by an 8 year old boy: “What training do you need to become a power ranger?” Austin St. John (the red ranger) replied: “So long as you’re cleaning your room and putting your dirty clothes in the laundry, you’re already there, buddy!”. It was a heart-warming moment for all in the audience.
12:30 – We then wandered the floor and browsed some of the attractions, including a wrestling show by Main Stage Wrestling. A short break in the Universal Booth, where I pulled out my Nintendo Switch, led to an impromptu Mario Kart tourney with some other attendees. It was also during this time that I caved into my temptations and bought a life-size replica of the Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts. On the first day, I thought I would feel ridiculous walking the floor with a three foot foam key, but those thoughts quickly subsided on the second day.
15:00 – While walking past the signing area, we notice that Troy Baker (The voice of Joel in The Last of Us, as well as countless other roles in gaming) had a short line in front of him. I was keen to meet him, so we joined the queue. One of the stewards informed me that even if we weren’t buying an autograph, Troy would still be happy to say hello. He would however request that we kneel before him. I was happy to oblige and we had a delightful conversation.
16:00 – For the final hour of the show, we decided to join in with one of the Dungeons and Dragons games in the Gaming booth. Our assigned dungeon master helped us to create characters on the fly and conducted an excellent, enjoyable game, during which we recruited the help of nearby cosplayers. Among the characters to help our party were Donald Trump, Deadpool and Darth Vader.
MCM Comic Con was everything I could have wanted it to be. Aside from the opportunity to meet some icons of the games and entertainment industry, the atmosphere was worth the price of admission alone. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by people who are unironically enthusiastic about all things nerd. Though certain aspects of the convention are pricey, there is plenty to do without spending a fortune. The fact that one can feel unashamed carrying around a three foot keyblade replica made it an extraordinary experience for me. With MCM Comic Con 2017 now under my belt, I would absolutely recommend the show to any fan of geek culture.