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For those of you that don’t know, I live in Atlanta and have for a while.  There is a huge sci-fi/fantasy/popular culture convention here every Labor Day weekend called Dragoncon, which gets an estimated attendance of 40,000-50,000.  (according to some sources)

I had never really gone to Dragoncon on a serious basis before now.  I say it that way because I had actually intended to twice.  The first time I won’t get into, but I ended up not going.  The second time I worked as a volunteer for the MMO Track, so I spent most of my time in that area.

I decided very early this year that I was attending 2012 Dragoncon no matter what.  I seriously had my babysitters lined up in February.  Anyways, I was there for three whole days and ended up completely exhausted (and sick), so it has taken me a week to get this post written.

While I did attend panels such as “Time Travel in Science-Fiction” and “Bollywood Dancing,” most of what I attended was gaming-related.  Here are my highlights:

1.) The Guild cast Q&A Panel

This panel was one of the first things I went to and the longest line I stood in the whole weekend (2 hours).  If you have never seen The Guild, it is a webseries about to be in its 6th season that you can find on youtube (or HERE for season five).  It is a fictional show about six guildies based on different gamer stereotypes, and it is very funny.

According to star/writer/producer Felicia Day, Dragoncon 2012 is one of the only times the entire cast has been on a panel together.  The Q&A session took place in a huge hotel ballroom packed wall to wall with fans.

Full cast of The Guild

Most of the panel was dominated by Felicia (Codex), Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), and Jeff Lewis (Vork) (who showed off baby pictures), but they all had great things to say about their experiences with the show.

My favorite question was- If The Guild Cast decided to cosplay at a convention together as a group, what would they dress up as?  They answered Winnie And The Pooh, etc., although I think it was undecided who would be which character in the show.

Another great question was- If your character switched personalities with another character on the show, who would you want to be?  Most of them said Tinkerballa. I guess everyone wants to be the bad girl.

2.) Cosplay-Watching

There were truly awesome costumes all over the place, lots of them posing for pictures.  The only gaming-related picture I have ready right now is a Codex (from The Guild).  The outfit is the one used in their “Do You Want To Date My Avatar” music video:

A+ Outfit

Note: I don’t have it ready to post yet, but I got a great shot of someone as Illidan.  I will try to upload it later.

3.) WOW Costume Contest

There were only 13 entries (if I am correct) in the WOW Costume Contest, which surprised me, but they were all great!  What I loved about the contest is that they gave several prizes out besides just 1st-3rd.

Here are some pictures I made of the event:

1st Place Overall

Some of the Winners

The troll warrior and Onyxia in human form both won judge awards.  The resto druid in tree form won Most Creative and 2nd Place Overall.  The tree had to be led around by two volunteers everywhere she went (couldn’t see?), which was amusing.

More Winners

The dwarf hunter team won 3rd Place Overall.  The Defias Bandit clinched the Audience Award with her dramatic onstage death (plus quick respawn time).  Note the rogue in black in the background wearing what I believe was a full Nightslayer set made by a real-life leatherworker.

4.) The Dragoncon Parade

This was the first parade I have attended in Atlanta ever.  I got there at least 30 minutes early, and I was still barely able to see the street there were so many people there!  I was also surprised at the number of parade participants- my camera battery died before it even ended. (the before-mentioned NEW camera that apparently only has 114 minutes of battery time)

This is one (bad) picture I made that is somewhat gaming-related, Skyrim maybe?  These are dark elves:

Dark Elves

5.) WOW Meet-n-Greet / Trivia Contest

The last event I attended of my Dragoncon was this one.  The room was packed with tables of trivia teams.  There were many categories of what I would call medium-hard to very difficult questions, so it was quite a challenge!

My team, “Pandas Go Both Ways”, did not start out well… because of ME!  I was the only alliance player at my table of eight.  The first category was ‘Alliance Characters’, and I did not know the answers to ANY of the questions! (so embarrassing)  We ended up only getting one right out of five, so that put us behind.

In a surprising end, we bet all of our points on the final question: How many character models have appeared in Warcraft games of Sylvanas?  We were one of the only teams to get the question right, but we tied for second place (aw).

The winning team got to have their picture made with the Bling Gnome trophy as well as submit their idea for an item name to be included in the Mists of Pandaria expansion.  (There was a Blizzard game designer present who was going to choose one idea to use, but they did not announce which one was chosen.)

6.) Learning About A Popular Korean Song

After Dragoncon was over, this awesome music video was posted on the Dragon*Con forums group on Facebook:

This was my first time to hear the Korean song, “Gangnam Style” by Psy (ok I am slow), and I am totally hooked.  I have been watching the original video and parodies all week.

7.) Shameless Blog Promotion

Last but not least, I should mention that I actually handed out WOW Debutante business cards during DC.  Please don’t laugh.

I actually had the cards made in the first place to try to get a free press pass to the con. (I was declined.)

My best experiences from handing out the cards were 1) a lady geeking out that she got to meet me and 2) meeting another WOW blogger, Akabeko from Red Cow Rise.

***Memberships for Dragoncon 2013 are already on sale at the Dragoncon website.  They are cheaper the sooner you buy them.  Also be aware that some hotels are ALREADY selling out!  Even though it is in five host hotels, the rooms go fast.