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Monday, February 8, 2016

Alma Con Report

Greetings Scholars and Warriors.

This weekend Nathan Marchand and I had the pleasure of attending Alma Con. This is an anime/gaming con held at Alma College in mid-Michigan.

Friday went fairly well. We had a group of guys come over who are Christ-followers who were very excited to find us. They bought a couple books but said they'd be unable to attend the service on Sunday. We also had an interesting discussion with a panelist who is a Buddhist (although he follows a rare off-shoot with it's own interesting story). He was quite pleasant to talk with and we had hoped he'd be able to stop by our table again but that did not happen.

The next day was the long day at the table. Over the day we had a few people stop by and find out what we're about with many people just moving along. One of those people was a guy who follows "the church of satan". This gentleman does not believe satan exists (which is normal in this particular organization). He was surprisingly supportive of what we do.

What I found most interesting on Saturday was getting a feel for the experience of a con on a college campus. As I walked around for different things you could feel the confusion on some of the student's who are not part of the culture. "Here come the nerds" I heard on girl say before we passed each other going opposite directions. I don't know if she realizes we have owned up to the word yet. One blessing of the situation was a kindness by some students. There were a couple times when students came over and offered to use their meal plans to get food for us. This really helped us, both because it meant free food and also because it meant we could get food without leaving the table.

Saturday night we attended Macsith (more on that later) and checked out a "cosplay ball". The play was amazing, the dance was not that exciting for us. They did use a lot of Anime music and even played "The Time Warp" but it wasn't the scene I was hoping for.

Sunday was a slow day for Alma Con, but not without a plethora of events. The con does offer a lot of events which is great for attendees. Unfortunately, our chapel service was a service of 2. No one came out for it besides Nathan and I, although a few times kids popped their heads in and left when they saw us there. We sang a couple songs and took communion and I shared my message with him. I felt nothing would be accomplished if we just left.

Nathan left after the service. I had a few more people stop by, including one girl who came at the end of the vending hours. She has had a rough time in life so along with sharing about our fandom choices, we also shared a moment of prayer. I think this was probably one of the more personally motivating moments for me because this is one of the aspects of ministry that Christ calls us to.

Overall this was a good weekend. I do recommend this con for anime fans in the MI area.

Here are a few organizations I connected with this weekend that I recommend checking out for yourselves:

Ohio Kimono: this was one of our neighbors in the vendor hall. She recognized me from Gen Con rather quickly and we enjoyed having discussion with her all weekend long. Visit her site here for authentic Japanese kimonos.

MIGeekScene: This is a blogger who goes to a lot of cons in Michigan. He was very cool and his site is great for learning what is going on in the state of MI in terms of nerd/geek culture. Check it out here.

Edge of Orion: Saturday night this Chicago based theater company performed Macsith. An adaptation of Macbeth that places it in the Star Wars universe while keeping the traditional language and story. Another amazing facet of this organization is a program that provides theater opportunities for kids with disabilities. Visit the website!

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