Friday, February 04, 2011
It's like a concentration camp only with Crazy Golf instead of Guard Towers
However, in Geek Society I've always considered there to be a form of hierarchy. People who occasionally play driving games can happily look down on those who play tabletop roleplaying games, and they pretty much all look down on Trekkies (or Trekkers, whichever term they hate the most these days) who in turn openly spit at cosplayers in the street. I've always considered myself to be both geeky and relatively normal. I have a decent job, a wife and own at least three different types of deodorant. I don't own a starfleet uniform or know where all the hidden secrets are in any of the Mario games.
So, when I found I'd won tickets to the SFX Weekender, I was both excited and slightly scared. I've never been to a science fiction convention before, because they always seemed a little, well, odd. I imagined them to be reminiscent of the start of Galaxy Quest with an assortment of acne-ridden sun-allergic geeks in costumes or long leather jackets and fat asthmatic girls in Babylon 5 uniforms.
We arrived in Camber Sands early evening, a day before the weekend kicks off proper - mainly to avoid the queues but also because it's an extra day off work, innit? After an initial panic at reception where they couldn't find my details and a horrible thought sprung to mind as in the competition win could just have been a huge elaborate scam whereby I'd been conned out of the price of accommodation, we were armed with our programmes, silver wrist bands and Tricorders and let loose. Except for the part about the Tricorders that I just made up.
Holiday camps are depressing places at the best of times. Here in grey Auschwitz-by-the-Sea, where it's out of season so nothing is actually open, it's even worse. Not that we're desperate for a game of Crazy Croc Golf or to recreate the closing scenes of Mad Max 2 with Go-Karts, but the option would be nice.
It was relatively quiet yesterday evening as the place is pretty much solely inhabited by VIP ticket holders and staff, but the screening room was showing Galaxy Quest (somewhat appropriately, given my earlier comments) and had a bar, and films and alcohol are always a good combination. It kicks off properly later today with some things I'm genuinely interested in going to say, so it's really way too early to make a judgement about the Weekender quite yet! The only real indicators that we're in a den of geeks were two guys dressed as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in the bar last night, both of them apparently blissfully unaware that the Fancy Dress ball isn't until the Saturday night. Still, I'm wearing my Boba Fett trainers so maybe I can't judge.
We're heading off for Breakfast later on and then the day will start proper. We'll be sure to take our papers in case we're searched, and will be keeping a beady eye out for the guys in the towers taking great care not to wander too close to the fences.
Over and Out.