Overall Con: A
The con still rocks. There are some problems, I still had some negative experiences, but on the whole I still highly recommend this con. Let me mention a few specifics:
*Registration: B-. They are more efficient than in years past, but a few minor things could make it go so much faster. I mean to email them some suggestions. They need to find a way to let the badges be mailed out, and even failing that, reduce the need to thumb through books of printed out names. Very stone age. If you paid for Will Call you sailed through in seconds.
*Tracks: A+ More tracks! Most of them were awesome. None of the ones I attended seemed poorly organized.
*Parties: A+. The parties worked like clock work and people knew where to find them and by all accounts had a lot of fun. I, of course, did not have as much fun but I'll address that in another blog. But if you want to go to a con to party, Dragon Con should be at the top of your list.
*Costumes: A-. This is a solid awesome though there were not quite as many truly eye popping costumes, on the other hand the general quality is very very high.
*Need Coffee Fun Time During the Masquerade: D-. I should have known something was wrong with this when they spent over TEN MINUTES of self congratulatory masturbation before they started on the 'fun' which consisted of getting audience members to read from scripts and 'improve'.....Which is sad because the promos they showed indicated that these guys clearly had talent.
*Film Track: A. I do this with reluctance since they consistently reject my stuff, but the reason they do that is because this stiff is ALL very good. The Dragon Con film festival is clearly a national, not a regional film festival and I expect that it will only increase in status and stature. Dr. S vs the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies rocked on ice skates.
*Track Location: B+ FIVE hotels?! It worked. Barely. They isolated the whedonites and the steampunk stuff over into the Westin, which mostly worked but they need to double the number of shuttles (in my opinion) and add a third track since the Westin seemed kind of empty. Still for the most part, they used the space well.
*Gaming: B. Didn't do much beyond the LARP, but wandered around. They have separated the tournament gaming book into a separate publication. I have no problem with this but they could do to sell ad space in it, and they should have it available at registration rather than making people go down to gaming to get it. But the rest of gaming seemed to run very well and preregistration worked smoother than ever. The hours were really weird though. Also, I should be able to register for a LARP *AT* Gaming Registration rather than having to go to the individual Larp table. That's just silly.
*Dealers Rooms: A+ Awesome. They got this right. The dingy basement one didn't seem dingy this time. The crowds were minimal, and the mix of what I was looking for was very good. Rather strange side note: There were almost no software vendors there. I guess game companies have decided that Dragon Con is not worth their time which is kind of stupid on their part. Really stupid.