Make, Buy and Play (Otakon 2018)

Written by Young Jeohn

There's no shortage of action! Lots to do here, even with children if you have little ones along with you.


ARCADE

This was a huge auditorium with many types of games available for free play. 

There are many rows of tables with all the known consoles in existence with favorites like the Street Fighter series, newer games like Gundam for PS4 and even older games like a Nintendo based Bionic Commando. People were crowded around huge flat screen tvs, challenging each other's skills while others played co-op type games like Overcooked on a PS2. A lot of merryment, fun and challenge.

For the traditionalist, there were coin-op favorites like Dance Dance Revolution with pads on the ground to match your dancing to the music (and arrows), taiko drumming, connected Gundam where it feels like you're actually sitting in a Gundam cockpit and many other tap and movement based games that you just can't experience on a console pad.


DEALER & ARTIST ROOM

Need to buy a mystery box or looking for some swag? Otakon made some changes to the floorplan so you'd always have space to move around. No more trying to squeeze past people or getting caught in congestion - there was always a way to move around freely, which was a nice change.

Some of the biggest artists had booths there, including some of my favorites like Yuumei and Wlop. There was also a huge presence of Dragonball Z - a huge dragon was set up in the sky under a temple where you could take pictures and see the neweste figurines. A life-size model/statue of Goku, Vegita and some other characters were in place; much like being at a wax museum.

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If there was anything that surprised me, it was that a lot of people were still buying music CD's and DVDs. I pondered this while passing the autograph booths in the same area. Which also surprised me - I heard many complaints about how the autograph procedure was organized and handled (in other words, not very well.)


MAKER SPACE

The arcade and the dealer areas aren't places where you can make something, so if you have itchy fingers that enjoy creating instead of buying or tapping buttons, Maker Space is for you. It's arts and crafts paradise offering free resources, materials and instruction for you to explore your creative genius.

Not sure where to start? Have a look through their large handbook of projects or make their featured craft - a Teru Teru Bozu. When you're done, you can keep it or add it to a large board with other people's Bozu's (with the idea that it'll hold the sunny days and prevent it from raining the weekend of the con.)

Once you've gotten comfortable, you can take on a challenge project and create something from your own imagination.


OTA CHAN

Since most of Otakon is for grown-ups, it's nice to see an activity area for young children to have fun with arts and crafts. There are stations for making crowns, paper swords, drawing, folding origami or playing in mini blow-up castles. 

Over the course of the day, Ota Chan would hold contests with prizes offered for the best submissions. Prizes would include some rather desirable plushies, bags and other goodies that anyone (including adults) would love to have. 

Even though this area was created with younger children in mind, I've found it to be a fun place for grown-ups too. Every now and again, some adults would pop their heads in to see what the room was about and would sit to fold some origami (myself included!)


COSPLAY RESCUE

There are lots of cosplayers at Otakon. It stands to reason that there will, without doubt, be some costume malfunctions, and Otakon are keen to help!

Dubbed the Cosplay Rescue, a room full of volunteers are there to help you fix and patch up anything you're having trouble with. Not very good with a thread and needle? They've got you covered. Forgot to bring duct tape? They have that too. 

If it's your first time putting on a wig or your Doctor Who screwdriver is falling apart, have faith and don't toss it out yet. Cosplay Rescue will do their best to help you with instructions, tips and patchup jobs to get things working again.

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Otakon 2018 - https://www.otakon.com
Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC