Students celebrate anime at local convention

Tyler McNeil, Staff Writer

Genericon, the 27th annual science fiction and anime convention, was hosted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during the weekend of Feb. 28 to Mar. 2, 2014. Anime fans from Hudson Valley attended along with a crowd of reportedly over 2,000 people.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Jonathan Ward, individual studies major. “They had many different things to go to. They had Pokemon, they had Sailor Moon. They had a few less stores than they’ve had before.”

“It was pretty busy. A lot of the panels were the same as last year [but] there was enough stuff that is was definitely worth going,” said Steven Long, individual studies major.

“You can basically do whatever you want in your own nerd world,” said Tom Vierling, computer sciences major.

The convention is home to anime artists from around the northeast.

“It has a local feel to it despite having something as universal as anime,” said Ward.

Genericon began in 1984 as a science fiction convention. Since the late 90s, the focus of the event has shifted to anime culture.

Aside from anime and cosplay, Genericon is home to trading card tournaments, LARPing, My Little Pony and even a showing of “The Hunger Games.”

Musical guests at the convention included Dynamite Pleasure Chair and MIRK.

The Genericon dance titled “2001: A Dance Odyssey” included DJs Burst, Djtetsuo, MaidenV and T2kazuya.

“Whatever you’re into that you are possibly ashamed of in front of the opposite sex, you can hide in for hours at Genericon,” said Long jokingly.

Genericon is open to the public 18 and older. Minors are prohibited from entering without the being accompanied by an adult.

“There are some 18 plus things that happen. They had a seminar with Professor Oak explaining the [science] of Pokemon. There’s things little kids probably shouldn’t hear in every other corner,” said Ward.

“There’s a reason for this [age limit]. Almost anything you think [will be] age appropriate at Genericon is not [appropriate],” said Audrie Adams, individual studies major.

Steven Long believes Genericon is in trouble.

“The con’s business end is really badly organized. The website has little to no information ahead of time. The vendors have definitely been going down with the amount of people who show up to sell. It’s been better on the business end in previous years,” he said.

Long also believes Hudson Valley could easily host a convention.

“[HVCC] could have something similar. We could probably have it bigger with more panels,” he said.

“We couldn’t have it on any academic days because we would have to shut down the campus. We have the resources. People would come from beyond our campus if we had an [anime] convention here,” said Long.

Hudson Valley has a strong anime following according to students. Ward said Hudson Valley is known as “the nest of anime fanatics.”

“This campus has a great anime following. We’re not always the brightest bunch but there’s some of the nicest people you will ever meet,” said Long.

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