Yes, I’ve been to a couple of nerd conventions. (I identify with the term “nerd” lovingly. Everyone is a nerd about something, you know.) I went to Dallas Fan Expo (it’s what Dallas Comic-Con is called these days) with my younger son twice. The first time in civilian attire, the second time in costume. Overall we had decent experiences both times.
A buddy from work asked me recently to go with him to Dallas Comic-Con in October (I think they’re calling this one “Fan Days”), but I really didn’t want to go without my younger son, who cannot go this time because he is in Colorado serving a two-year Mission for our church. After mulling it over and getting my son’s blessing to go without him, I leaned toward going, and in costume. I looked up the event’s costume weapon policy and I learned that I would not be allowed to sport the pot metal fake revolver prop I wore just two years or so ago. This year they have a policy of no metal costume weapons and no deactivated (non-firing) airsoft guns, no baseball bats or hockey sticks, fake or otherwise. As the policy reads, Nerf/plastic dart guns are allowed, but the patron cannot be in possession of any darts. Costume (plastic/rubber/etc) swords must be tied to the costume in a fashion that prevents them from being drawn/brandished. Now, I realize the need for safety-minded security, but this seems to be going a little overboard in my opinion.
I’ve thought about this set of rules for a few days now and just about any costume I would care to wear or be able to look acceptable in would require a weapon prop to make said costume complete. I don’t really care to pay through the nose to attend this event and then get hassled over my costume props.
I took a gander at other Comic-Con related events across the globe and discovered the following: Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Tuscon, and London no longer allow gun props; San Diego has banned ALL costume props altogether. I figure they’ll all follow San Diego’s lead before it’s all over with.
With that being said, I figure my Comic-Con days are pretty much over, at least as a costume-wearing patron is concerned.