Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CCB Report: DAiCon 2012

For myself, the next two weeks is my Fanime. Due to finances hitting rock bottom in the last month or so, affordability issues have been raised about this convention that I would attend yearly. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't go, despite having many obligations to go including running gatherings and reporting for the California Conventions Blog. I have since delegated a team to go on my behalf, but I still feel that something would be missing come Memorial Day, which will be addressed another time.

As for now, we have DAiCon, today's report, and the Battle of the Capitol, an event that I'm covering this weekend for the blog. DAiCon was in Davis, California on the campus of UC Davis and offered a wide variety of things to do during the convention, and I enjoyed it very much.

The journey for me began in the morning when my ride arrived in Davis shortly before 9:30am. I quickly checked in for registration, then started to explore the area. I was told of the underground bowling alley, arcade, and billiards hall that would become free-play in a couple of hours, so I went to go check that out first. Since it was very slow in the morning time, I was able to talk to both staff members and members of the press and photographic journalists about a wide range of topics including Fanime, the status of conventions in Sacramento, and other subjects.

Like I mentioned before, there were many things to do, like check out a Maid Cafe, watch competitive or casual gaming, play a free game of bowling, an Artists Alley, Karaoke, a TCG room, and many lectures and performances.

By the time lunch hit, the only place open was a pizza parlor on campus, and had to settle for pizza instead of some subs sandwiches because it was the weekend. Also, the arcade was open to DAiCon attendees for free, so I went back into the busy basement for more shots.

Like most conventions as of late, the biggest action for me was over at the Competitive Console Gaming room, where FinestKO had set up a stream for today's tournaments.

I then found myself at the back end of the Masquerade, right before the performances were going to start, with Yukie Dong starting the evening.

As the evening went on, convention highlights including covering the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Top 4; a Karaoke three song set featuring Celine Dion, Coldplay, and ABBA; and running into old acquaintances.

At the end of the night when it was time to pack up and leave, I knew something special was brewing here, which I will elaborate in a bit.

The last two first-time conventions that I went to - Decepti-Kon and Kintoki-Con - I gave high praises for being a first-time convention and hoping that with some adjustments that they could grow into something that Sacramento needs. Well, Decepti-Kon is completely different than what it was last year, and Kintoki-Con is skipping 2012 as it finds a new hotel venue, so I'm hoping that a third time's the charm in DAiCon. The fact that this convention had lots of things to do - including free play in the basement, which I knew got a lot of people out to this convention in the first place - is always a great start. Like the other two previous start-ups, this convention has a lot of growth and adjustment ahead of itself, but I have faith that DAiCon can become that convention that everyone can convene at and have fun, even if it's for a day.

I would like to thank Miles Thomas, the President of the UC Davis Anime Club and Chairman of DAiCon, for hosting this convention and allowing me to cover it for the California Conventions Blog. I would also like to thank all the volunteers that guided me during the day and understanding me where I was going when came to certain subjects, whether it was convention-related or not. And finally, I would like to thank UC Davis for allowing DAiCon to be held in such beautiful facilities; as a Sacramento State student, I wish that we had a underground bowling alley.

I have a Flickr gallery of all the images that I took that day as well as a YouTube playlist which includes a walk through of the convention, Yukie Dong's concert, and the entire Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Top 4 action - if you're a "Mahvel" fan, you've got to see this Top 4 video, all 30 minutes plus of it.

That concludes my DAiCon report. See you all this weekend at Battle of the Capitol!

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