Is Convention Rot in your fandom?
Starting off this little rant on “Convention Rot” a statement that I have decided to coin from attending various conventions over the years and I thought I would explain.
What Convention Rot means is almost how it sounds. Where the fandom regardless of type begins to buy-in to their own bullshit thinking that it’s the greatest thing on earth without really anyone or anything providing any new substance. Or to get a younger generation of people involved in the fandom. Convention Rot can also happen when a type of fandom is mainstreamed and exploited. This leaves people who truly did care about the convention scene feel sort of jaded and bitter about their whole experience. Where if people within the fandom begin to question the direction that everyone is going. It is often met with hostility.
I shall start with the Star Wars convention crowd because they are the victims most prevalent to convention rot. Take it from their perspective they have been hanging onto a story and a universe that only one man has any input into, and even that nowadays is questionable because of Disney absorbing every American icon that it can throw money at. Resulting in the bitterness knowing Princess Lea will be the next Disney princess that will be waving at the castle down in Flordia.
Because of this and that the universe is close-minded in this fashion, the fandom instead turns to drinking and alcohol, because once you’ve memorized every line from every star-wars movie. What really is there to do except apply social lubricant to your beautiful disaster you call your fandom?
A signature warning of Convention Rot is if your panel programming and layout from convention to convention become almost identical no matter where you go in the US. People are creatures of habit and thus there’s little incentive to really do anything “outside the box” when it comes to convention rot because if you are a larger convention it’s simply bad for business! Why change something that already works right?
The Sci-Fi fandom had this train of thought for the longest of times and eventually what the younger generations said was:
“Wait a minute! Why are we giving you money for us to be shoved into a corner? Screw you! We’re starting our own convention!”
And thus the specialty conventions were born. Conventions like anime, furry, you name it! and the general convention that dealt with the broad brush of Sci-Fi had their numbers reduced to the point where they were practically non-existent. Content with the way things have rotted out from under them. They ended up getting figuratively and financially crushed by their own weight of existence.
You see, this is why it’s exceptionally important to learn about the history of conventions. Because when you do you can see the warning signs and then steer clear away from conventions that aide and assist in the downward spiral. Reward those which actually think beyond the scope of mediocrity with pre-registration.