Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Other observations about Linucon

On geek flirting

Yesterday I went to a FACT (Fandom Association of Central Texas) reading group book meeting. This group consists of some of the same people who put together ArmadilloCon, the annual Austin science fiction convention. They were at Linucon, too. We chatted about it a little after we finished discussing the book. Willie wondered if two major subsets of people that this convention attracted -- Linux geeks and anime babes (since Linucon had a heavy emphasis on anime) would have anything in common. But maybe they had, because he observed a Linux guy approaching an anime babe with this classic line: "Wanna go check out Fry's"? It cracked him up. However, Fry's actually has a sizeable anime section (so they say, I haven't checked it out myself), and it may just be the point where those two worlds intersect. And Fry's is a near-perfect place for a first date. There is as much food for conversation there as in a museum, and, unlike in a museum, you can talk loudly. I'm even surprised why Eric and Cathy Raymond didn't mention it in their last year's panel on geek dating.

A positive effect of anime programming on Linucon -- in my experience, at least

Before going to Linucon I prepared to be put off by its heavy anime track (which was caused by the fact that this year Linucon was run by people who run anime conventions), because I have no interest in it. My familiarity with this genre begins and ends at "Ghost in the Shell" of which my mind retained only two things. One, that it was essentially the same story as William Gibson's "Neuromancer". Not a plagiarism, just a rehash, in the same way that unimaginative fantasy novels are rehashes of "Lord of the Rings". Raymond Feist's "Magician" is a prime example of this phenomenon. So I felt I didn't gain anything new by watching "Ghost in the Shell". Plus, to quote Chuck from the reading group, books give you better visuals. The other thing I remember about this movie was its awesome music. The only thing worth seeing it for.

However, I found the anime track at Linucon completely unobtrusive. An unintended advantage of devoting a lot of programming to anime is that it reduced the number of panels I may have been interested in, and that was a good thing! Fewer scheduling conflicts, fewer regrets for not being able to see everything I wanted.

The other welcome side effect was I got to see and take pictures of some very cute costumes. Anne from Pink Chocolate Cosplay (shown below) is one example. Click on the image for more hall costumes (anime and not).

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