During my lifetime of geekdom, I’ve visited many a convention. It is definitely a different experience visiting one as a member of the press versus a regular fan. During the last five years I’ve covered four San Diego Comic Cons, two E3s, two CES, two Anime Conjis…and a few more I’m sure I’m missing. Bottom line is, I love my hobby. One of my main focuses right now is covering conventions that are more community driven, like Anime Conji last year, and now, AM2 in Anaheim. This is their second year, and I got the chance to cover the event for two days last week. It was a very interesting experience.
AM2(Anime, Manga, Music) is a free convention. Anyone can attend it and check out what the convention has to offer. This is a big difference from the usual con, but I think it fits well for the state of the convention. It took place in the Anaheim Convention Center, and this “free to play” style invited tons of different people to attend. This makes it so that people go there to meet other people who share the love for their hobby more than to see famous stars or events. Don’t get me wrong, AM2 still had these, but they aren’t the main event. The community is. The amount of fans who cosplayed was staggering. I guarantee you AM2 had more cosplayers to total attendants than Comic Con ever had. This is a great thing, it shows the dedication of the overall atendee base at AM2.
AM2 took about one third of the Anaheim Convention Center, and there were several events throughout the Convention. I must say my favorite one is the interactive dating game that took place on Friday. The “bachelor” or “bachelorette” would be on stage, and the host would ask the audience very…geeky…questions, and depending on the answers, the potential “suitors” got eliminated, until only one was left, who got a nice prize. There were also several musical performances, including one by a local middle school. There was a console gaming area that held a few tournaments(yes, Fidel and I got the crowd going, it’s what we do), a trading card game area, tons of artists and shops, and rooms for interesting panels like “Whose line is it ANIME?!”, workshops, and video premieres of several movies, including Ace Attorney(Fidel and I missed it due to scheduling conflicts, poo). There were several companies supporting AM2, such as Gamefly and Snakebyte.
We had a blast covering AM2 for the two days, and plan on attending again next year. We took a ton of pictures, which will be uploaded to our Facebook page and linked here soon, and met a lot of great people. The geek love was there, and we were glad to experience it. We can’t wait to see how AM2 grows, it has a lot of room to do so with such a huge venue. They had more than 15,000 total atendees this year, so the interest is there. Here’s hoping there can be more content packed in next year(live recording of the Shot O’ Games Podcast maybe? We’ll talk AM2!), and many more people to see. We heard several people voice their happiness with all the awesomeness this year, and like us, can’t wait for it to grow next year. Let the era of the geek continue, and help events like AM2 flourish like they should.