Gamers and Anime Fans Unite at EXP Con in St. Augustine

Oct 15th 2008
Anime and Video Games Collide at the Debut of
EXP Con, Oct. 17-19, at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village in St. Augustine
Belle Rose Enterprises
PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Gamers and Anime fans unite!
TALLAHASSEE—Fans of anime and video games can indulge their hobbies this weekend at EXP Con. This weekend-long convention dedicated to these two popular interests will take place in St. Augustine, Friday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village.
Participants will meet popular industry guests, take part in events, and “game on” in the 5,000 sq. ft. game room. All interested fans can register on-site at 9 a.m., for a unique convention that celebrates and promotes Japanese Animation, Cosplay, Manga and Video Games.
Exp Con will occupy all 50,000 sq. ft. of the St. John's County Convention Center. “Maintaining a high energy level and a fun atmosphere with unique events and things you would never expect from a convention,” said 20-year-old Ryan Sweat, convention president, “We strive to deliver enjoyment to fans of all ages.”
Sweat, who is a sophomore at Tallahassee Community College and a 2006 graduate of Florida State University's Florida High School, is the brains behind this unique event. Working from the renovated porch of his father's home in Tallahassee, Sweat, along with a few key members of staff has single-handedly organized and coordinated this weekend's event.
“The main purpose of Anime X Gamer Experience or 'EXP con,' is to celebrate and promote American and Japanese gaming, anime, manga, cosplay—or costume play—and other facets of Japanese culture,” he continued. “This event is not only for seasoned convention-goers but also for those who have never heard the words 'anime or video game Convention.'”
Through networking with other anime fans and gamers, and spending countless hours of research on the Internet, Sweat negotiated his own contracts and persuaded famous anime actors and artists from Los Angeles to participate in Exp Con. The main guests, who will provide workshops and one-on-one time with participants, include anime and video game voice actors Steve Blum, Beau Billingslea and Johnny Yong Bosch; anime featured artists Steve Bennett, Siya and Ashley Clark; featured cosplayers Yaya Han and CJ Collins, and musical guests Eyeshine and Select Start.
With approximately 300 conference pre-registrants, ages 13 to 28, from all over the United States, Sweat expects all 35 videogame consoles and televisions in the 5,000 sq. ft. game room to be busy almost 24-hours a day from Friday through Sunday. Confvention participants will also be gaming via computers on a local area network of 12 to 15 computers brought to the fans by Jacksonville Gamers LLC.
Children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Ages 8 and under is admitted free with a paid adult admission. On-site registration is $35 for the weekend, $20 for Saturday all day, $15 each for Friday or Sunday if daily tickets are purchased separately. For details, go to www.projectexp.org or contact Rayne Sweat at [email protected]
Photos available on request.

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