Meet Con-goers, geeks, nerds, dorks and freaks ... subculture of the story, a place where people of all ages, orientations, faiths, feelings and personalities can gather to be exactly what they love be -- whatever that might be. Where people ranging from bottom of the social ladder to the cultically adored of Hollywood merge in a mass annually known as Dragon Con, a science fiction and fantasy convention hosted in downtown Atlanta every Labor Day weekend, reaching as high as near 60,000 official attendees.
Many people's first thoughts go to the small group of nerds who meet every Saturday night around their Dungeons & Dragons boards stacked with mountain dew talking geek stuff because they're socially inept, meeting in a hotel to just do more of the same. If that's what you're thinking, you'd be wrong.
It does, indeed, boast those very same geeks, but this is the culmination of smart-people culture. The very people who invent the quality of life you enjoy every day through technology gather together to play mind games with each other, explore creativity and art, discuss advances in science, the effects of solar activity on climate change, the methods of deliberate skepticism and measurement of the world around us, the future of superhero films (which happen to be among the highest grossing films evar), costuming, advanced graphics, the evolution of animation, music, art and just straight-up geekiness that most people enjoy on a secretly dirty level you don't tell your football buddies or parents at Thanksgiving. There were panels discussing post-war Europe in the 40's and it's evolution up to modern day, the impact of NSA unwarranted monitoring of American communications, and the active conflict in Syria and Middle East.
And, in addition to all the general geekiness, some of the most talented people you've ever met walk around in self-fabricated costumes, emulating their favorite character from their favorite story that connects with who they are and who they want to be.
To see these people who hold day jobs at companies near you come to this annual con and put the Hollywood elite to the test with the quality of their creations are just astounding. And for those who come dressed in a brown paper bag with a Captain America shield drawn onto it in sharpie, it's just the fun environment of the con, in which you can come dressed as just about anything and have fun with the same geeky kind of people you are.
It's a place where a kid (or an adult) can really be the kid he never wanted to lose.
Come to Dragon Con, even if only for a day, and let that inner child come back. The one who loves the GI Joes and the Disney Princesses. Come out and stretch the brain and have a ball. Do some people watching, meet crazy people who just might be the most interesting people you'll ever meet. Learn something. Expand your imagination and try out your creativity.
Come to Dragon Con. You'll fall in love with your childhood all over again.
The title image to this post is © Matthew Hale.