Conventions are where geeks get social, because they assume they already have common interests. The rest of the time they’re at home chilling to jpop while doing their engineering homework or on a forum talking smack about how their fave street level superhero could punch his fist through warhammer 40k terminator armor no prob. Outside a convention, and otaku would calculate shear diagrams and estimate the ductility of bulkheads that Captain America has punched through.
When I was seling my novel a at Pensacon, I met a pastor, who learned to understand the culture by watching Breaking Bad and a bucket of Marvel films. The gals next to me had written a Christian themed superhero play about a stripper who was bit by Satan in serpent form, and then got superpowers at the risk of losing her soul. Talk about a redemption story.
The pastor was able to see the worth of what those ladies were writing, because he could put aside his initial prejudices and recognized who they were trying to reach. He bought a copy of their play, and told me the next time he saw me he’d get a copy of my novel.
Once you realize this community isn’t interested in Biblical theater, but falls for well written stories about lost people being redeemed, then you realize how to reach them. A stripper fighting her desperation and shame, with the devil whispering in her ear, begging God to help and getting an answer, is a fantastic way to show that no one is too lost.
Remember, showing someone genuine friendship from a non-judgmental Christian does more to open their bruised heart than any sunday sermon. Your goal is to be a gentle presence. Therefore, how do you create accomplish this?
General Stratagem A
A Christian presence is lacking in the community, therefore if you are able to
- make friends fast and easy with strangers
- are the true lord of the dance
- and are willing to valiantly defend the title at any moment
- make great costumes or can sew
- or have already watched a great deal of current anime or geek tv
The optimum convention party size is two people, clearly unrelated, male - male or girl - girl. In my experience, two friends who are cosplaying two characters from the same anime, who aren’t boyfriend-girlfriend are more easily approachable than three friends. One person has difficulty approaching a group. Three is seen as politely separate, four or more is mostly unapproachable.
Better Stratagem B
The primary problem with the community is a lack of effective Christian fandoms for us to connect with the community. What I’m about to suggest is more difficult, but likely the most beneficial to the community.
If you can
- Write in any Geek Genre
- Sculpt or resin cast
- Metal Work Fantasy Armor
- Draw and Paint
- Are skilled at marketing and advertising
- including social media
Typically, artists and writers at conventions will be looking for a good team for their long term goals. In your cosplay utility belt should be: business cards, obscure geek references about Dr. Who, artwork samples, and a general idea of what you’re looking to do for another artist.
If you can cosplay, offer to cosplay characters from someone’s comic or story, as a promotion gig. There are few agents and advertisers willing to help writers and artists, it’s a treasure box of undiscovered talent.
One guy made minecraft. Two guys wrote Left Behind.
The geek community loves indie press, indie comics, indie games. They are the early adopters. If we make more fandoms other than Narnia and LotR that are Christian themed, well made, yet not preachy or , we can start to make inroads to change.
Next Week: Avoiding Pushback
Ian is a self proclaimed “Ninja with a Pen,” with a penchant for dark humor and nerdy jokes only .0001% population finds rib shattering. His obsession of the month is making a simultaneous extrusion 3d Printer from legos, hot glue guns, and neck beard level determination. He has a 1st degree black belt and a degree in creative character killing (read: writing). The style and location of the dojo is classified for your safety.
Incidentally, he’s also sci-fi writer, his first book is on Amazon and Kindle
The World is a Foothold
And the Facebook for his series is
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