Friday, November 09, 2007

Race and demographics, conventional conventions

I found this post in my drafts, dated 9/7/06, a year after Katrina and once again at Dragon*Con in Atlanta. I didn't publish it originally because of its brevity and incompleteness. I didn't change much.

Race and demographics. The hotel we stayed in had two large weddings and one even larger family reunion, each of different demographics. One wedding was generic middle-class white and the other was upper-class traditional Indian. The family reunion was black. The moment I walked into our hotel, I felt out of place and disconnected. I know that a person of Race X will feel out-of-place when then see only Race Y faces. Our brains work that way, and our society continues to encourage racial insularity.

Going to a con really wraps the members (always "membership"; rarely "attendee") together with a sense of community that cuts across traditional boundaries. But yet, looking at a random sampling of several hundred congoers yields a demographic nonetheless. Cat and I always succumb to "That Guy Syndrome," which sometimes also happens with B-list actors, but it comes down to saying to yourself, "Oh, look, it's that guy with the long dark hair and scraggly goatee with a bit of a paunch and wearing a black T-shirt with a witty in-joke. No, wait, I just described at least two dozen people I can see right now without turning my head."
But a new con is just around the corner. With 500 or so folks versus 40,000 or so, there's a much more intimate vibe. I missed this year's Dragon*Con; I'm not missing this year's BGG.Con.

1 comment:

Randy Shipp said...

Probably closer to 550-575. :-) I can't wait either.