Convention Etiquette: No, You May Not Hit Me With That
by Carolyn Ayton ( sage_of_divinity @ hotmail.com)
Ah, anime conventions. An opportunity to break free from the real world and just be yourself, regardless of whether or not that’s a good thing. Cosplayers pull out their costumes, fan boys pull out their cat ears, and fan girls pull out their yaoi paddles- yikes!
I’ve noticed, after a good four years of convention-going, that going to an anime convention is the equivalent of taking a wormhole to another dimension, where reality as we know it does not exist. Where people spend so much money on anime merchandise that they can’t afford food, where some people think it’s acceptable to ask two complete strangers to make out in front of a camera, and where people see a fire sprinkler in a hotel room and think, “Hey, now THAT’S a place to hang my costume!”
Unfortunately for these people, we are not in a different dimension. We’re at an anime convention. True, certain things are more acceptable at conventions than in the real world. For instance, if a stranger came up to me and asked for a hug while I was walking my dog, I’d tell him to back off and get the heck out of there. Yet somehow, I never question it when I get the same request at conventions.
However, this does not mean that everything is acceptable, and some people seem to have trouble comprehending that. It doesn’t matter where you are, taking up-skirt photos of girls is completely unacceptable, disrespectful, and piggish.
Smacking people with a wooden paddle that has the word “yaoi” printed on it is unacceptable, and would be considered assault outside of conventions. You could be arrested for it.
Throwing yourselves on people without their permission in the form of a “glomp” is not cute, funny, or endearing in ANY respect. I don’t care if you weigh 300 lbs. or 90 lbs., I don’t want you jumping me.
The most important thing to remember is that real world rules still apply at conventions. This doesn’t mean that you have to walk around with your hands in your pockets, but be mindful, be respectful, and most importantly, ASK before you do anything!