Dragon Con 2021 Photos #3: Some Cosplay Parade

Chuckles Scarlett Zarana Cobra Commander GI Joe!

G.I. Joe role call: Chuckles! Scarlett! Zarana from the Dreadnoks! Cobra Commander! YO, JOE!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

Same as 2019, one of our favorite D*C features was the annual Saturday morning cosplay parade. Each year hundreds of cosplayers team up in appropriate factions or categories, then march around the streets of downtown Atlanta in full regalia, or sometimes drive the route in their geek vehicles. Usually the lineup around the parade route is the best free opportunity for the public at large to join the festivities and get a taste of con life. As with many other aspects of the show, 2021 pandemic protocols restricted the live audience to Dragon Con attendees only, for whom COVID safety protocols were a requirement for participation. Locals were encouraged to watch on TV at home and weren’t supposed to show up. I have no idea whether the Atlanta PD actually cracked down on any badgeless looky-loos.

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My 2020 Reading Stacks #4

Spooky Books!

Somehow while reading, I failed to notice the “spookiness” theme I had going.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year, each and every squarebound work of qualifying length that I’ve read gets a capsule review apiece. I refrain from devoting entries to full-length book reviews because 999 times out of 1000 I’m finishing a given work decades after the rest of the world is already done and moved on from it. As time permits and the finished books pile up, I’ll be charting my full list of books, graphic novels, and trade collections in a staggered, exclusive manner here, for all that’s worth to the outside world. Due to the way I structure my media-consumption time blocks, the list will always feature more graphic novels than works of prose and pure text. Novels and non-pictographic nonfiction will still pop up here and there, albeit in an outnumbered capacity…

And now, we rejoin reading time already in progress…

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Old Guy with a PS3: Year 2 Results

Bioshock Infinite!

Pushing the boundaries of dark science fiction gaming: the dramatic Parisian cheese-shopping scene from Bioshock Infinite‘s DLC finale, “Burial at Sea – Episode 2”. Mmmm, brie.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, this time last year:

As a kid, I frequented video arcades regularly. As a parent, my son and I spent a good decade playing games together on his various systems. When he graduated and moved away to college, he took all his systems with him, leaving me with only my old Nintendo that won’t play cartridges unless you keep the Game Genie firmly inserted, and an Atari Plug-‘n’-Play Controller I got for Christmas a few years ago that interested me for about two weeks. On Black Friday 2014, I decided I wanted back in the 21st century gaming mode and picked up a used PS3.

Naturally I started off a generation behind the rest of the civilized world, but I didn’t care. After fifteen months without, holding a controller felt abnormal and rusty for the first few weeks. Once I got used to it again and figured out how to disable the “Digital Clear Motion Plus” feature on my TV, I could shake the dust off my trigger fingers, choose the games I wanted to play, sprint or meander through them at whatever pace I saw fit, and try some different universes beyond Final Fantasy and our other longtime mainstays. The following is a rundown of my first year’s worth of solo PS3 adventures…

So this was my 2016 in retro gaming, in two or three short sessions per week, in the order played and with my trophy percentages included to reinforce the fact that I’m neither a gaming wizard nor a helpless grandpa:

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Old Guy With a PS3: Year 1 Results

LA Noire!

Arson investigator Ken Cosgrove searches for clues that will bring shady real estate baron Walter Bishop to justice. We’ve come a long way since the days of barrel-tossing apes.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: as a kid, I frequented video arcades regularly. As a parent, my son and I spent a good decade playing games together on his various systems. When he graduated and moved away to college, he took all his systems with him, leaving me with only my old Nintendo that won’t play cartridges unless you keep the Game Genie firmly inserted, and an Atari Plug-‘n’-Play Controller I got for Christmas a few years ago that interested me for about two weeks. On Black Friday 2014, I decided I wanted back in the 21st century gaming mode and picked up a used PS3 for reasons already outlined in the post linked above.

Naturally I started off a generation behind the rest of the civilized world, but I didn’t care. After fifteen months without, holding a controller felt abnormal and rusty for the first few weeks. Once I got used to it again and figured out how to disable the “Digital Clear Motion Plus” feature on my TV, I could shake the dust off my trigger fingers, choose the games I wanted to play, sprint or meander through them at whatever pace I saw fit, and try some different universes beyond Final Fantasy and our other longtime mainstays. The following is a rundown of my first year’s worth of solo PS3 adventures, sorted not by preference but by my mostly lackluster Trophy percentages, best to worst. Y’know, for fun, as games are wont to be. Consider this my personal PS3 report card.

Right this way for a look at the ten games I tried in 2015…

C2E2 2014 Photos, Part 3 of 4: the Costume Contest

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: photos from the fifth annual C2E2 convention in Chicago. In this installment: photos from this year’s Costume Contest!

This didn’t quite go as well as we’d hoped. We arrived in line at 6:30 p.m., an hour before start time, hoping to have seats slightly less terrible than our last GenCon experience. We were wrong, and unaware that VIP ticket holders received first dibs on seats. On the upside, the room had better lighting than GenCon’s contest normally provides, and it was equipped with a massive HD screen that gave the audience a much better view of each contestant.

On the downside, the contest started fifteen minutes late and the judges needed extensive time for deliberation after all finalists had been allowed on stage. On the side of compromise, the judges vetted all contestants first and apparently allowed only the best ones onstage — meaning the presentation was ostensibly shorter, but that we’d see fewer costumes than expected.

On the downside, deliberating ran until sometime after 9 p.m. We had a three-hour drive ahead of us and Sunday morning responsibilities we refused to shirk. The DJs who entertained the crowd to cover the judges’ deliberations weren’t enough to keep us in our seats. Consequently, we had to leave before they announced who won in each of the four categories. Thanks to the magic of social media I did find out who won the whole shebang:

Subject Delta, hero for a day!

Subject Delta from BioShock 2 won against some ridiculously fierce competition.

This way for more of this year’s opponents!

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