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Geeking out at Tampa Bay Metrocon

Geeking out at Tampa Bay Metrocon
Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Metrocon

People from everywhere came together to celebrate their love of all things nerdy. From anime to comic books, nothing was overlooked at Metrocon—an anime convention in Tampa Bay. Metrocon is a small convention becoming a bigger one through the years.

This was my first time attending the con and it will not be my last.

These types of conventions are usually hailed as something for only lonely people in their parent’s basements or weird people, but no one ever realizes the huge sense of family and community behind them.

The people at the convention were extremely nice. There was fun around every corner of the convention center, and the atmosphere at the con was calm.

I have been going to conventions since I was a junior in high school, and this was the first time I had the opportunity to meet a ton of new people. As one of my friends, Kendra Dozier, put it, “it’s a fan-made convention for fans.”

There was never a time when you ran into a staff member, volunteer or attendee who made you feel weird because they either loved the same things you did or understood what you were doing.

There were conventions I have been too when staff would look at me weird for cosplaying or whisper amongst themselves, but at Metro, they complimented me and asked questions trying to learn more. Even people who weren’t attending the convention were nice. While I was doing a photoshoot for one of my cosplays Friday morning, a lot of joggers passed by and they all either cheered me on or stopped to watch in amazement.

With the release of Pokémon Go, it was expected that everyone in the convention would be playing and that is not an understatement.

The convention had its staff place lures on the Pokestops around the convention at all times for the con-goers. Vendors in the hall gave you free things if you had certain hard to get Pokémon, and you can bet all the merchandise for Pokémon Go that you can think of.

Metrocon wasn’t only “lit.” In the Pokémon Go section, they are also popular for their rave, fire show and human chess match. The rave happens three out of the four days, while the fire show and human chess match happen each day.

Each year, Metrocon has a theme for these shows. For example, the one day I went to the rave, they had Steven Universe music and the fire show was based off of the video game Skyrim. Sadly, I didn’t attend the human chess match which I regret, but I could see why the rave is popular.

Everyone there was having fun, and it was a family event so people of all ages were attending which made me for some reason feel very safe. If you aren’t a raver like I am, it was fun to look around the group of people and see someone dressed as your favorite character dancing around to the house music.

What Metrocon had that a lot of conventions don’t have was a relaxed atmosphere. I didn’t feel like I had to be everywhere at once, or too many people were crowded around me. I joked around with old friends, met new friends who were into completely different things than me, caught a lot of Pokémon, wasted a ton of money on things I just needed to have, and for someone who isn’t much into parties, enjoyed the rave. Will I go again? Yes, I already have a cosplay planned. Till next year, Metrocon.

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