Anime Nebraskon ’10

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A few weeks ago, Critical Hit’s very own Rob Rasmussen (a.k.a. Smith, and Ket) headed to Nebraska to attend the 2010 Anime Nebraskon, and filed this report.

Day 1

We arrived too late for the Hyrule panel.  Darn.   However we did get to meet some of the Imperial 501st and the 405th from the Halo series.  I stopped by a panel on Pokemon and the general workings of the series.  Discussions here were on just how and why a lot of the in-game concepts were able to work.  We played a live game of Oregon Trail.  This was a mob rule game of the original Oregon Trail game, one man in charge and a group of thirty people yelling at him for all decisions.  Our next panel was with Keith Silverstein, a voice actor, talking about what makes a character evil.  This was detailing a number of characters he’s played and what made them evil.  The most entertaining part of this was him interrupting his panel to comment on how my friend’s Scarecrow costume was awesome, followed by people portraying there evil laughs, most were actually pretty good.  Drinks were had and we even got a pic with him.  Our final panel for the evening was 4Chan which not only started late, but was rather lame as it was simply looking at a number of random threads and pics with no actual interaction with the dreaded site.

Day 2

Saturday started out early (by early I mean 10 a.m.) with a panel on voice acting in video games.  This was also led by Keith Silverstein.  He went over the different events to expect when doing voice acting for video games and general practices for how to get into the business.  The most interesting part was how in a war game he’ll usually have to do upwards of 500 lines repeating each three times with varying intensity.  My favorite part though was him stopping mid-sentence to shout “Hey, it’s Beetlejuice!” as one of our friends showed up a little late after getting into costume.

From there we went to the LOLCats panel.  This, like the 4Chan panel, was a mistake.  The panel was just a series of lolcats pictures.  This time we wizened up and left early making it to the most of what turned out to be my favorite panel, Cosplay Chess.  This was a giant chessboard set up on the floor with random cosplayers playing out the pieces.  Two people on the side got to play an actual game, thus controlling the pieces.  When we stepped in, a game already in progress.  I leaned to one of my friends and said “If I were in control, I would be castling right now.”  Shortly after this, they finished the game and asked for new people for the entire set.  I got to do my castling but lost a superior opponent.  Here we had some fantastic costumes and most of the pieces were in character with each of their kills.

At this point we went to lunch and took some time off to go explore the nearby areas of Omaha.   Mostly we found a gaming store where D&D Brian spent a lot of money.  We spent most of the afternoon just wandering around and hanging out.  The next panel I went to was on starting your own Webcomic, this may come to fruition sometime in the future (and by sometime I mean eventually).  The next panel was hosted by one of the founders of People for the Ethical Treatment of the Undead (PETU).  This was a debate on how to deal with zombies.  Are they able to be used for the betterment of society, and if so, what rights are they deserving of?  This left me questions, as I am unsure what stance I would eventually take.

From here, one of my compatriots and I went to a two hour World of Warcraft panel.  This was more entertaining than I expected as we discussed (and complained) about a number of the upcoming changes with Cataclysm, from both a mechanical and lore perspective.  The next panel was entitled Gamer RAGE! and was just fun.  We all got to complain about different aspects of video games that had generally pissed us off.  Of course there was the one person there who was able to stand up and announce his presence as one of the people doing the hated acts.  This man was a friend of mine and enjoyed himself thoroughly.

Our last panel for the evening was more Oregon Trail.  This one however was Oregon Trail Versus.  The panel is split into two mobs, each controlling a game.  The winner was the first to either succeed or the last to survive and the head of the losing team had to wear a tutu and luchadore mask the next day.  There was another twist to this, as the head of the panel found a zombie themed version dubbed Organ Trail.  Unfortunately the event was having internet and computer problems so we spent the first half hour trying to set everything up. Concept was fantastic, execution, not so much.  Better luck next time.

Day 3

My day began with the panel Duct Tape and You.  This was just fun with duct tape, which culminated in a giant human amoeba.   About thirty people were wrapped up with duct tape and went traipsing around the convention center.  Not quite as simple as it sounds, but just as entertaining.  I was too claustrophobic to join in though.  I then caught the tail end of the 501st documentary “Heart of the Empire” which was upsetting.  The 501st is a group of Star Wars cosplayers who do charity events for terminally ill children.

The last two panels, I got to be a bit more active.  The first was about the use of mythology in video games.  We managed to distract the panel lead with the Gargoyles cartoon.  We did get a lot of interesting info that I will probably be using in the near future.  The last panel we went to was on Magic: The Gathering.  The head was detailing the characters and story lines of the first eight years or so of Magic.  I was quite vocal when some of the other onlookers were pointing out characters incorrectly.

Overall, I had a blast and am looking forward to going back next year.  The staff were friendly and helpful.  The panels were interesting.  The only real problems were trying to put too much all at once as each panel was clearing out as the next were starting, in the same room, and the hotels internet not being reliable.