It looks like MetaCon is primarily about anime and manga, but with a lot of other, more general SF fandom: they list steampunk, science fiction, video games, music and other interests. And it’s running a week and a half from now, August 30 – September 1.
Two warning signs for me with MetaCon: First, they talk about attending in terms of “tickets” and “passes”, rather than “memberships”. My favorite cons are always those that, instead, put it in terms of “memberships”. If I’m a member of a con, I feel like me and my fellow geeks are creating the con by celebrating our geekiness together. When we’re all members, the con is not just for the people attending, but by the people attending. Big-name guests may be a feature, but they’re not the focus. Everyone who’s interested can be on a panel. Celebrating our fannishness together. That sort of thing. But when a con starts talking about “tickets” and “passes”, that makes me think they’re viewing their attendees as passive consumers of entertainment — people at whom fun will be shoveled. And talking about “tickets” also makes it sound like the con is being run for profit. These are all hunches based on past experience, of course, and I don’t know if this is how MetaCon actually runs. But it does make me a bit hesitant.
The second thing that makes me hesitant: their website isn’t as well organized as it could be. Their “Card Gaming” page (which apparently would be better called the Tabletop Gaming page) directs you to the “Events” page for the actual schedule. That page requires clicking another link to get the actual schedule. And for tabletop, the schedule lists only “open gaming”.
However, aside from those two things, it looks very promising. It’s only in its second year and already boasts 2000 attendees. Some of the panel topics look interesting. The con seems to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. And really, some website difficulties and weirdness over terminology may also be because they’ve only been doing it for two years. Their parent organization says it’s by fans, for fans, so hopefully any warning signs I’m seeing are false alarms.
Realistically, I won’t be attending anyway this year, because that weekend will be very busy for me. But I hope MetaCon grows well. I hope to attend MetaCon 2014, and I’d love to hear reports from anyone who goes to MetaCon 2013.