Westercon 67 Notes Posted

At the top of this site is a Convention Notes section.  Within this section are all of the conventions I’ve attended, starting with Renovation, and going right through to Westercon 67.  Some of the notes are better than others.

There were four “panels” I attended at Westercon that I did not include in the notes.  They were:

1. Choose your Own Apocalypse

The panelists were:

  • Carter Reid
  • James Wymore
  • Bradley Voytek
  • Robert Defendi

It was more of a game than a panel.  James Wymore moderated and directed it, while Carter Reid represented the zombies, Brad Voytek represented trans-humans, and Robert Defendi represented aliens.  They took turns describing how the world would be different under their rule.  The audience occasionally asked questions, and changed positions in the room in order to vote for which apocalypse sounded the most appealing.

It wasn’t particularly educational, but it was fun.  Melissa and I had some laughs.

2. Regency Dancing

Panelists:

  • John Hertz
  • Mary Robinette Kowal

This was very educational, but there was no way I could take notes.  We were taught quite a bit about the Regency, in terms of how the nobility thought, how they moved, and how they probably thought.  We were also taught to dance.  As I said in a previous post, it was a great deal of fun, and well outside our comfort zone.  I’m glad Melissa and I participated.

3. Tag Team Jeopardy and The Avenue of Awesomeness

In my opinion, this was one of the weaker events.  There were too many writers involved to be named.  They were mostly in the back of the room at tables, meeting fans and signing books.  Four at a time would be called up to the stage, where they would be asked trivia questions.  Some questions were collected from audience members, and if those questions stumped the panelists, the person that submitted the question received some a free book.  Every 15 to 20 minutes, a new set of writers or artists would be called up.

One of the problems with the event was the lack of structure.  The guests called up were called up at random, where they probably should have been selected beforehand and given forewarning, so that they could be more comfortable on stage.  The means by which the questions were selected was inconsistent.  The way the audience questions were handled was inconsistent.  Believe it or not, a little bit of applied structure and consistency breeds familiarity and comfort.  The way the trivia portion was executed, the only person that seemed particularly relaxed was the one asking the questions.

Another problem was the sound.  The people on the stage often couldn’t hear the questions, even though everyone was using microphones, and the person asking the questions was only about 15 feet away.  From where I sat in the audience, I could hear everything clearly.  The guests on stage were not so fortunate, which made the experience uncomfortable.

4. Dresden Files LARP Playtest

Run by: Erin Ruston

Melissa did not join me for this event.  Instead, she wound up having drinks with some of our friends.

I was nervous about going to this, because of the LARP part.  I love the Dresden Files, and I love role playing games.  I’ve done musicals, and I’m relatively comfortable speaking in front of people.  I even participated in LARPs, about 20 years ago.  Even still, I was nervous.  This was another event where I was stepping out of my comfort zone.

It turned out that it was really light on the Live Action part.  Unfortunately, it was also light on the Role Playing part.

About ten of us showed up, and I did my best.  I donned a British accent, gave my pregenerated character a name, and tried to get into it.

It went okay, but it wasn’t a satisfying experience.  I’m pretty sure I would have had a better time getting drinks with Melissa, Michael, and Jim.

 

With that said, I think I have now completely documented my entire experience at Westercon 67.  Overall, it was a great experience, well worth the price of travel and admission.

I’m really looking forward to Convolution, now.

 

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