I think it is safe to say, even after only one day, that Geek Girl Con is even more successful this year than last. Sitting here in the lobby of the Washington Convention Center there is a non-stop stream of people coming in and picking up passes. Coordinators were expecting almost double the number of attendees this year, and I think they will not have much of a stretch to reach that goal.
Not to mention there is a significant increase in the number of cosplayers over last year. Last year there were a few cosplayers in attendance, mostly some variation of Dr. Who or Jedi. This year the superheroes are out in full force. Plenty of cosplay and crossplay is in effect as multiple versions of Avengers, Teen Titans, and more Robins than you can shake a bo staff at are wandering the building.
The expanded Exhibitor and Artist area appears to be well attended. Unlike most conventions, there are relatively few booths selling comics. Most of the booths are dedicated to crafts, accessories, or fantasy literature (plus a couple of booths selling Dr. Who memorabilia). It makes me shift my thinking about what I want to purchase and take away from this convention. Normally it would be a stack of graphic novels or a sketch from a favorite artist. The highlight for me (so far) has been picking up a copy of The Legend of Bold Riley from Northwest Press. I’ve heard good things about it and am looking forward to reading it.
Downstairs is all gaming. There are five rooms dedicated to all forms of gaming. There is a LARPing room which runs adventures every few hours for groups of intrepid cosplayers. There are also two rooms for table top gaming. Creators of both established as well as pre-release games are there showing off their games and encouraging people to play. All of the tables are full with people laughing and having a good time.
The otehr two rooms are for video games. One room is sponsored by EA. They have primarily first-person shooter games and sci-fi action. There are some gamers there, but overall the rom doesn’t have much action (despite the loud explosions). The real action and activity is next door in the PopCap games area. Plants vs Zombies still has a huge draw. The room is packed with kids and parents all sitting around playing the game on iPads and video game systems. In addition they are running tournaments for some of their newer games. The whole room has a lively and fun energy to it. I think it is the kids all interacting and having fun together (apparently there is a two-player Plants vs Zombies for video game systems, allowing the kids to team up).
Tomorrow it is all about the panels. Greg Rucka, presentations on the Voyager space missions, a spotlight on Renae de Liz and the Womanthology project, and Nerdlesque all look to be interesting and entertaining panels.
Last note: Just overheard a guy coming out of the restroom proclaiming that the men’s room was the least crowded room at the con. Despite the fact that the word “Girl” is in the title, Geek Girl Con continues to be an all-inclusive convention. I would hazard to say that women slightly outnumber men at this convention (maybe 60/40. Ok. 65/35) Mostly I see couples and families wandering the floor together taking it all in. The convention is fun, lively, and definitely worth making the trip.
Of all the cons I have attended, this is by far the friendliest and happiest. People are genuinely interested and encouraging of each other. Everyone is here to celebrate their inner (or outer) geek. There is no collector mentality. No one is rushing through crowds to get the limited edition Gail Simone action figure (although that would be awesome to have. My guess it would have ass kicking and name taking action!). It is a place to relax, enjoy, and be with geeks like yourself.