Life has taken a turn recently. Suddenly we are practicing things that are new for a lot of us. Quarantines. Social Distancing. These are terms that many people have been lucky enough to never have experienced before. Most of us would be going to movies, shows, conventions and work right now. However, in order to protect ourselves and others, it is critical that we stay inside unless necessary.
With this void to be filled, people are looking for ways to reach out. Tools available through the internet are making it so much easier for people to do so from within the safety of their own homes. Creators are making content available online. Museums, operas and zoos are opening virtual doors for us all to stream through. The internet is doing exactly what it was designed to do, giving us a way to make a connection.
On March 21st, people used Discord took a big step toward helping people reach out and, for lack of a better term, gather. Discord is an app that can be downloaded on different devices to communicate with others. You can make calls or different “channels” to chat in. This format has been used by gamers and groups, including we here at Real Women of Gaming. This format made it perfect for an online convention.
Yes an online convention! The convention was able to be neatly organized in different channels. To start off there was a welcome, rules and a schedule for the day.
There was an artist alley where every artist participating had their own place to chat and post their work that con goers could click into. It was a great way to see new artists and inquire about their work and possible prices. There was a cosplay section that even had a cosplay contest, and let me tell you there were some super talented people participating. There were two panel “rooms” where panelists were able to present. By clicking on the room con goers could connect to the presentation and could participate and ask questions in the chat room proper. There was also a section with different music throughout the day.
It really was fantastic. Moderators, or mods, kept everything orderly and just really nice for those participating. It was a wonderful way for talented people to showcase their hard work. With conventions canceling suddenly, hours of hard work seemed pointless to a lot of creators. Now they had a place to make up for it.
I saw so many people making connections. All kinds of con goers popping into different rooms and talking to each other about shared experiences. New anime was discussed. People got to learn about gaming opportunities they didn’t know about before. Beautiful cosplays were on display. Artists made important connections to help them monetarily in these uncertain times.
We all felt a little less alone. A little less scared. A little more sure about the good things in the world. We did it safely from our homes. It was necessary. It was lovely.
I would love to see and attend more virtual conventions! A huge thank you to the users who run the convention, to the artists, the cosplayers and the panelists. I had a blast! So keep an eye out for opportunities like this. Take a breath, friends. We are going to be okay.
ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!!!