I have been going to conventions for ten years now, including several Ohayo*Cons in the past, and I can say this was the single worst experience I have ever had at a convention. It had nothing to do with panels, staff, location, or prices. It had everything to do with the attendees.
It really felt like the vast majority of the people there had no idea how to interact with other people in a social setting. I understand that the vast majority of this conventions attendees are teenagers. At that age I can understand you being very excitable. You probably don’t get to too spend a lot of time rather “unsupervised” surrounded by a lot of people who share similar interests with you. I’m used to it by now, but I understand that it can be a rather novel experience. You’ll be excited and energetic. Still, that’s no excuse for checking all your social skills at the door.
The biggest thing I had a problem with, and that made me the most angry is that you can never, ever touch someone without their consent. I don’t care if you think you’re being cute, funny, or in character. It is no excuse to behave like this.
I personally had several people attempt to rip props right out of my hands. They actually made physical contact and attempted to remove items from my hands or person without asking. When I was in Caboose several people came up and without saying anything to me reached down and tried to pull Andy the bomb out of my hands. Later when I was in Tea Shop Zuko several people tried to grab the tea pot and cup off the tray I was carrying. I stopped the one girl and asked her straight, “What do you think you’re doing?” Her response was simply, “You should have some tea in there for me,” before walking away in a huff.
As a sort of subset of this disturbing behavior were those that attempted to “glomp” me, but were fortunately stopped before they could make physical contact. People would come toddling towards me with this weird Frankenstein’s Monster/Zombie outstretched arms walk, and we would stop them, saying that I did not want to be hugged. An armored costume impedes your movement and your vision, add to that I spent a lot of time and money on my costume, parts can be fragile and vulnerable to impact damage, and the sheer fact that I’m just not comfortable being touch by random people, means I don’t really want you hugging me.
And I have ever right to tell you that I do not want a hug from you. Sorry if you’re disappointed, I really am, but although many of these people acted like they had some sort of entitlement to throw themselves at me in some sort of tackle hug, they didn’t, and my refusal to allow you to hug me does not give you permission to shout obscenities at me, tell me to go fuck myself, and storm off in a huff. Sorry you’re disappointed, but I’m allowed to refuse you to hug me.
This doesn’t even cover the grubby, dirty, shirtless man with the Mohawk wandering around creeping up on people pawing at them going “Meow.” I have no idea what his damage was, but when someone tells you to please go away, the correct response is not to continue to paw at them until I shout, “Can I get security over here?” The correct response is to, you know, go away. Preferably with an apology.
And the “Slenderman” people, hiding behind pillars, sneaking up on people trying to scare them? Let me say the same three things I said to the one who crept up behind me and tried to “scare” me.
401Ks. Differed Compensation Plans. Mortgages.
I’m an adult. You’re not scary. You’re annoying. Much like with the Mohawk guy, when someone asks you to please go away, the socially accepted response is to, shockingly enough, go away.
And even this doesn’t cover the people randomly screaming in the hallways. Please, if you’re walking down a hallway behind someone, do not start screaming at the top of your lungs “Red Robin!”
DO NOT TOUCH PEOPLE OR TRY TO TOUCH PEOPLE WITHOUT THERE CONSENT.
A friendly reminder to the public that this is general common sense for any and all conventions.