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As if Las Vegas and Tahoe weren't enough, Thursday I hopped on a plane bound for Atlanta for a short vacation. Neither Ivymoon or I had ever been to a Science Fiction / Fantasy convention before, so we figured it was about time. Despite nearly an hour delay for the plane, we managed to get there without incident, and then discovered the kindness (or perhaps I should call it exasperation) of strangers. We knew that there was some method of getting to the hotel where DragonCon was being held, and that it involved the regional transit system in the city, but we had no idea what stop to take. Apparently we were talking about this little problem a bit loudly (no big surprise when it comes to Ivy and I) so half a dozen people turned around to ask us where we were going and then to let us know which stop to take - even to the point of hollering 'This is your stop!' when ours came up. We thanked them, a bit sheepishly, and staggered off the train, laden with suitcases.
That night we didn't do much except check in and register. Checking in was interesting. Prior to flying out there, I decided it might be a good idea to call and confirm. Good thing I did, since they had me down as checking in the day before….and even though we cleared that up over the phone, when I arrived, they had me down twice. So who knows what happened. At least we got a room, although it overlooked the lobby (the hotel is set up so all rooms overlook the 'atrium' lobby) so we got to hear the dim noise of the con, and the clamor of people getting on and off the elevators all night. I got my first taste of what it would be like when we walked into the hotel and I watched a small contingent of Storm Troopers walk by, followed by an assortment of elves, Star Trek crew members, and of course the swarms of goth types clad in black vinyl, and not much of it.
This morning, Ivy and I hit the vendors room. An entire conference hall stuffed full of tables and tables of things for sci-fi nerds of all kinds! We drooled over the weaponry (Well, I have been looking for a dagger, and there was one there that was perfect…and it would have been a shame to leave it there…), and picked out some gorgeous dragon prints, although for the first time since I left home, I had to think about someone else's taste for artwork. I stared at one particular print of a dragon and her clutch for a long time. *I* thought it was wonderful, but would Richard? Finally I took a deep breath and bought it - he's just as big a dragon fan as I am so I figured it was worth the risk.
We attended a number of sessions - some better than others. The Women in Gaming session was probably one of the best. It was an open discussion on the participation of women in the gaming world - computer, table-top, and live-action. The discussions were open and spirited, and it was refreshing to see that nearly half the participants in the room were men. The general consensus was that while we've come a long way, we still have far to go in how women in the gaming world are treated, or marketed to. As one woman put it (and the comment drew applause) - "I don't mind if they use sex to sell the game. I'd just like it if they used sex to sell to *me*!"
There's a large contingent of us from PernMUSH here, especially from High Reaches weyr, so we gathered up as many as we could and headed off to the Hard Rock café for dinner. Seven grown adults sitting around a table singing along with all the flashback 80's tunes at the top of our lungs and being rather silly. It didn't help that we had just come from the Dragon Mating talk at the Pern room. Perhaps that's why one of the others and I began plotting being proddy...