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Providence Anime Conference: Not That Kind of “Adult” Conference!


From the Anime News Network:

Registration has opened for the Providence Anime Conference, currently on track to be the only anime-related event in North America that is open only to attendees above 21 years old. It will run at the Rhode Island Convention Center and the adjacent Providence Westin Hotel on October 3-5.

The Providence Anime Convention (PAC) was founded by several staff members of Anime Boston who felt that the North American convention circuit needed an event that would be geared to the interests of older anime fans. Some of the convention’s features will include a keynote address instead of an opening ceremony, a costume fashion show rather than a contest, and live-action programming based around professional and academic panels. Industry guests who have already confirmed their attendance include ADV Films’ David Williams, FUNimation Entertainment’s Adam Sheehan, and Harmony Gold’s Kevin McKeever, and more names will be announced over the coming months.

Mike’s Take: hmm. I honestly wonder how well this will work at all, even though in most ways I fit the exact demographic this convention is intended to reach. I’ve been going to cons for almost 5 years now, and with so many very young people (read: teenagers) there, it really has become raucous and noisy for this aged twenty-seven year old. The extremely long lines and poor organization of large cons has always gotten on my nerves. But I also love the energy and enthusiasm the geeky young’uns bring to the cons, and for someone as uptight and stuck-up as me, the freewheeling atmosphere is refreshing and even liberating.

The tone of the FAQ, right down to the naming of it as a “conference” rather than a convention and emphasizing the keynote speeches and academically oriented panels, honestly has more than a note of affectation to it. Note that, at last, alcohol is going to be served at some events since everyone has to be over 21. I wonder if there will be cheese to go along with it too? 🙂 Nevertheless, I wish them well, because not only is the reaction understandable given the current state of cons, but there does need to a place for us older fans who–as this conference understands–work full time, can’t stay up till 2-3 AM anymore, and yes, have lives outside of anime.

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