AVcon 2006
Convention - AVcon 2006 Day 0

by Jon Hayward,

If there is one thing that can be said, Adelaide has no shortage of volunteers. AVcon is held at Adelaide University in the Guild Building, a six story maze of rooms and stairs, and there is no way you can bring in boxes or equipment around without some serious effort. But when we arrived on Friday, most of he heavy shifting and lifting had already been completed.

There appeared to be about 30 volunteers helping throughout the day, most of them focused between the staff room and the gaming hall. They were sitting around, then bursting into action when requested, of course with the odd patch of people being lax all the time. They definitely should be trained better; just look at this photo of the volunteers helping Madman “unpack” their stock. Serious anime fans all round!

Mitchell, the Convener of this year's AVcon, told me he had gotten over being angry and annoyed at volunteers and committee members not completing their tasks, and he was so focused on getting the convention ready that things were now flowing smoothly. Apparently this was the first year that the bulk of the work was completed on time and that preparations were proceeding ahead of time.

The convention itself looks to be great, with Registration and Artists on the “ground” floor moving upwards towards gaming and chilling on the fourth floor, vendors on fifth floor and mature age gaming on the sixth floor. Three theaters screened anime at all times, and there was a small theater (literally called the “Little Theater”) for panels and presentations.

The theme for this year definitely is “double as much” with twice the traders halls, twice the gaming competitions, more artists and more programming, so much so that several items had to be bumped. One of the staff told me they had gone so far as ordering twice as much pocky as last year, so it's expected to last ten minutes. The official theme, Pirates vs Ninjas, seems to be popular, with several people getting into the fun by just wearing a pirate hat or a bandanna. Unfortunately everyone seems to think that ninjas are better, with the ninjas outnumbering pirates by three to one. The best indicator: there were only three ninja shirts left in the exposition hall.

The opening night was also a success, with a lot of people opting to watch Howl's Moving Castle. Sadly, the theater was not packed, like it was last year. But everyone was happy to be there, and the Convener even had time to put a plug on triple j.

After seeing the committee having a clue, helpful volunteers and a solid schedule, I think it looks like this weekend shall be a excellent convention.

I'll finish up with a quick description of the day from Chris, one of our other reporters here for the convention. It's a little more descriptive.

“Among the chaos, a convention emerges, born of fire and steel and beer, and other assorted alcoholic beverages. Imagine an avalanche. Now imagine that the avalanche is on fire, and being chased by Ninjas. Ninjas who are dodging cannonballs being fired from the nearest Pirate ship. Yep, the setting up of AVCon, Adelaide's Anime and Video Game convention, is like that train wreck I made of the prior analogy.

In any case, I had the pleasure of being the guest of parts of the AVCon committee and got roped into doing various tasks for them, like stuffing convention bags, and shifting sofas. I tried my hardest to avoid work, but there's only so many places you can sit down without being harassed to do something.

It's not all bad. I had the chance to see a lot of the cool stuff, like all the consoles. I saw a multitude of consoles, ranging from the very, very, retro, to the OMGWTFPWNED new. The preview of the booklet I managed to swindle revealed to me an incredible timetable that looks like it's going to be fun for all. All things considered, this convention is shaping up to be very, very awesome. “

Hope to see you tomorrow, folks!

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