|Me cosplaying as Oracle posing with Jennie Breeden of the Devil's Panties|
This was my first Gen Con, and it was pretty exciting. Because of my experience with using my cane at CONvergence, I decided to just bring my wheelchair. I'm really glad I did, even though the carpet in both the hotel & the convention center were hell on my shoulders. This was the biggest con I've ever attended (at least 5 times bigger than CONvergence) and was spread out over the entire Indiana Convention Center plus all of the neighboring hotels.
|I made this scalemail dice bag!|
Bringing the wheelchair also gave me a quick and dirty way to do a little cosplay, something I've wanted to do for a while but hadn't managed to put together a costume that is flying-friendly. Armed with my wheels, a Batman logo shirt, a headset, and my iPad with Batman logo on the back, I cosplayed Oracle, aka Barbara Gordon. She's one of the few comic book characters that uses a wheelchair (the only other one that comes to mind is Professor X from the X-Men comics). Since she's not generally "in the field" much like other heroes, she doesn't have a specific costume, which makes cosplaying her both easy (minimal props/outfit) and a challenge (trying to be recognizable as her instead of just a nerdy wheeler).
|Crosswalk in downdown Indy with accessible lane|
I also had a chance to meet a few folks that I've only met online through our shared geekery of City of Heroes (an MMORPG). Meeting up with them was a little difficult just because of the barely accessible skyway, slow-as-molasses elevators, and the normal difficulty of navigating restaurants that have tables and chairs too close to each other for easy wheeling (I've had to learn to speak up and be more assertive to get through these situations...it's still hard for this introvert though!).
I'm planning to go back next year, finances and work willing. I have plans for making some of the stressful things more manageable, better plans for hitting up the exhibition hall in a more relaxed way, and ideas to make the most of my time & energy without feeling trapped in a strict schedule (especially since it's the weekend before the semester starts).