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livvylove
03-25-2006, 10:28 AM
The new updated Weapons Policy

After some discussions, we have revised our weapons policy to be less restrictive. Instead of the total weapons ban, I've gotten it to a "No Real Weapons" policy. So no live steel of any kind (swords, knives, throwing stars, sai, etc.), no firing guns of any kind, no explosives.

Noticeably fake weapons are OK. Cardboard, foam, wood, resin, any non metal fabricated replicas are allowed.

Props are fine, even large ones. We would like to be consulted if you are planning anything large enough to impede traffic or cause problems.

Hopefully that will alleviate some fears about this year's show. I will try and have the official policy written up and in place everywhere tomorrow night.

Jason Merrill
AWA Special Events Director
cosplay@awa-con.com



Everything below the line doesn't apply but I am leaving it so people who come in the thread will know what the discussion was about.
________________________

I didn't see a thread that posted it so here it is

No prop weapons, except for the Costume Contest (Judging and Presentation). All of our previous policies are still in effect for the contest (no real firearms/expolsives, no whips, chains, etc).

So no weapons AT ALL on Friday and Sunday. Only to and from the Judging and the Costume Contest on Saturday. Security should not see any on Saturday before noon, from approx. 3pm to 7:30pm or after 10pm. At those times they should be taken to a room or a car.

If seen with a weapon by a staffer you will be asked once to put it away. That includes before and after the contest on Saturday. We may mark your badge in some way if you are stopped. If you are spotted with a weapon and a marked badge, you will be asked to leave. I'm still working out the details, but we are serious about not having weapons wandering around the show.

There might be an area set aside near the judging for photographers. Anyone stopping to pose with a weapon going to or from the Contest outside of the designated area will be asked to continue without stopping.

So last year some idiot con goer bought a sword at the dealers and was walking around with it unsheathed over his shoulder. He ended up cutting a lady in the face. So a few idiots ruined it for the rest of us.

I even asked just to make sure of Wolfwoods cross would be allowed around the con and that ended up being a negative so just FYI.

TechieCL
03-25-2006, 04:51 PM
Well, until that gets posted to the FAQ on the main website...I'm still planning on bringing my disabled airsofts.

UrMastrInuYasha
03-25-2006, 09:06 PM
Well, until that gets posted to the FAQ on the main website...I'm still planning on bringing my disabled airsofts.

Not a good idea, I just read the main website, Has the same thing, It's pissy.

Oh well.

DizzyFan
03-25-2006, 11:58 PM
...Totally not cool for a future cosplay. x_x
Unless Yoshiki's hair counts as a weapon, I should be fine for this year, though...

PatrickD
03-26-2006, 02:22 AM
No prop weapons... Pretty much the same thing they said on their forums in June 2003 (and updated in December 2004):
http://www.awa-con.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=162

Not sure what the fuss is about. It doesn't look like the policy has changed from what it has been for the last few years...

UrMastrInuYasha
03-26-2006, 02:26 AM
Gyah. My first year going to a major con, And what's the point if you can't see really huge swords! I LOVE REALLY HUGE SWORDS!

And dang, without the weapons allowed.. it's going to suck, Because I always got a kick-ass pic with the person, And then got a pic holding their weapon!

oh well, Things may change, who knows.

mocha
03-26-2006, 08:05 AM
It's not on the main page yet, but they do announce it in the forums. He also mentions that they haven't changed the page yet. Either way it cuts down on which cosplays people can do. I know that most of mine have props of some kind. -_-;

http://www.awa-con.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=5690

djanime2005
03-26-2006, 09:16 AM
yeah it is not on the main page yet. I am going as ichigo. I have made a sword to go along with the costume. Looks like i will have to leave it at home unless i enter the costume contest. I even asked if i could carry it on my back. There was reponse was and I quote " No weapons will be allowed outside the contest. That includes anything worn or sheathed. If you are not going to be entering the contest, then you should not bring them at all. " That was from one of the directors from the con. Who knows someting might change before then though.

Liz

sweetvenus
03-26-2006, 09:45 AM
I'm hoping they'll at least decide to have some sort of place where you can take photos with your weapons at some point. I was planning on going as Presea from Tales of Symphonia and it's just not the same without her gigantic axe.

livvylove
03-26-2006, 09:46 AM
I think the only way they have said things might change on the forums is if they get more staff. I know we where planning on doing Wolfwood and Meryl and the director told me unless we entered the contest we couldn't walk around with the cross. Since we don't even want to enter the contest, if we did it we wouldn't enter those costumes antways, so that idea was a bust. We will do that for Momocon probably. But we did come up with a fun costume idea for Friday. Saskai and Mr Himura. Unless kitty stuffed animals will be banned next I don't think we should have a problem.

So does anyone know if they are going to allow the weapons vendors again this year or are they going to stop allowing people to sell things that go against the cons rules that where already in place.

Aleathia Burns
03-27-2006, 09:06 AM
I'm hoping they'll at least decide to have some sort of place where you can take photos with your weapons at some point. I was planning on going as Presea from Tales of Symphonia and it's just not the same without her gigantic axe.

I see what you mean. I think that if some people might have photoshoots away from the hotel grounds. I know that there is a huge parking lot where Cumberland mall is and I bet you alot of cosplayers will be taking photos there instead of the hotel grounds.

TechieCL
03-27-2006, 11:42 AM
Well it just looks like its a matter of time till it hits the main page...

Guess I'll just have to do my silly Umbrella with umbrella pose (http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=621643) when I wear the uniform.

Second Angel
03-27-2006, 03:37 PM
That really sucks. And my friends and I were totally discussing that today and everything. O.o;;

I was just thinking about doing Sasuke's fuuma shuriken last night. It was a fun project to keep me busy and now I find out I can't even carry it around! >.<;

I guess I'll make it and keep it in the room. Hopefully my costume will come out good enough for the contest. If not, I guess there's always the next Momocon! XD

I think it really blows that we can't have our props because some doofus was too stupid to sheath his sword and carry it properly.

hyperperson
03-27-2006, 05:31 PM
I can understand not being allowed to have real weapons but I think that it's at the point where it's a little rediculous. It said that you can't even bring batons, baseball bats, hockey sticks, etc. o_O I wasn't planning on bringing any of those things but I think thta's a little extreme. Can't they just say "no real weapons."? The staff should have stopped that idiot in the first place last year and told him to put it away. Or they should have safety gaurds or whatever they're called) at the weapons vendor in the dealers hall that to put on your weapon as soon as you buy it to prevent accidents like that. I was planning on bringing a prop gun (or more than likely a squirt gun seeing as how I have no prop making talent) for my Moon Child Hyde cosplay but now I suppose that's out which really sucks since that's sort of what really makes the outfit recognizable and good (not to mention picture worthy...so much easier poses) T.T

Tetsie Seshi
03-28-2006, 08:34 AM
This is (obviously) my first post on AWA Forums, so I apologize in advance for not putting this on the correct board (if it isn't)...

My question is about the new weapons policy. If this hasn't already been discussed, or whatnot - I had planned to make a costume with a character that (like most other cosplay's) have a sword, or weapon of some type...I understand the rules for carrying said props, but my character is one who won't be easily identified without his sword. Now I'm not asking for special permission to carry mine, i'm not that juvenile...my question is moreso for designated photograph areas. It is more of a suggestion, I guess...If there is enough staff to watch an uncrowded area outside of the building, or in a certain room to where people can take pictures of cosplayers with their props, it would make this con a bit better than just a guy running around in a handmade microfiber captain's jacket with shiny black boots...

If you don't have enough people to watch a room or area like this, I would be MORE than happy to donate my time to a cause.

As I said, I don't know if this was the correct forums, and I'm sorry about that. Also, if this has already been discussed, and declined - I have a room I'd like to sell in the hotel where the con is being held...3/4 person room (smoking requested) for 3 nights...

I just posted that on AWA site, I'll keep y'all informed on the answer...

Aleathia Burns
03-28-2006, 09:11 AM
Man I can see it now Wolfwood no cross, Vash no guns, Cloud no Buster sword, Yuna no staff, and the rest well you guys get the picture. Oh well I might go to the con one day then instead of 2. But I think we can find a way to have fun prop less cuz I have no intentions of entering the costume contest this year but I tell ya I bet the attendnace of the contest may really increase now. I think the cut off number for it last year was 150.

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-28-2006, 10:02 AM
I may just enter the costume contest to show off Marth's sword (whenever it gets made.) This really sucks! It'll be my first AWA and i won't see any props! I just think props are a major part of some costume (using livvy's Wolfwood as an example! I have rarely seen a Wolfwood with no cross...it's just...wrong).

Maybe someone should put together a props photoshoot away from the hotel or whatnot. It would be something for people who HAVE props to go and show 'em off and just get pics with 'em. That way...I won't have to enter my shy self into the contest.

Tetsie Seshi
03-28-2006, 11:35 AM
This really sucks! It'll be my first AWA and i won't see any props!

it will be my first time at AWA, as well :bigcry:

Ciarathallya
03-28-2006, 12:30 PM
So many people are aware of the weapon, costume, & prop policy for AWA 12. Yes I said prop. Take time to read the links to the forums that previously posted rather than showing up at the convention and feigning ignorance. Yes I mentioned all three. Weapons have been mentioned time and time again. What some of you may not be aware of this extends to props and large costumes which are now being looked at. To para-phrase cause I am too lazy to cut a paste from the thread if the prop needs to be broken down to get into to the door then do not wear/bring it. Is it an inconvenience to non competing cosplayers? Perhaps. However, public safety is far more important than possibly alienating ppl (which I believe is not the staffs' intention) I know, I know there are lots of "well I don't do that with my props/weapons." Yeah you may not. But there are 7,000+ other ppl that will be there in attendance. It's hard to control that many ppl. Then toss in large props, weapons, and large costumes ...it's a formula for potential disaster. Not to even mention those individuals that may act irresponsibly. Basically it is impossible to predict how everyone is going to act. Prudence comes in, thus the policy is now imposed. I personally have been or witnessed ppl getting smacked/hit/bumped by those things (at large and small cons). Plus the staff is liable to what happens to attendees thus we get this revised policy imposed. If the convention is sued over something like this they lose money.... less money means cutting down on events for future AWAs. So think long and hard of what you will wear. Massive wings, Inuyasha swords, Seres big arse gun, Katamari balls, in-line skates... etc... think of things like that.

There was a mention of considering a designated area for cosplay photography on the site the other day. I think it's a marvelous idea. Cuts down on ppl stopping in crowed halls to takes piccies. Please post over at the AWA forums or email staffers with your suggestions. If you want your voices heard, tell them rather complain amongst ourselves.

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-28-2006, 02:04 PM
I agree with ya, Ciara. Con attendees are getting a little ridiculous about what they carry...and it is affecting all of us. If everyone is wary of what they do with their weapons, props, wings...etc. then policies won't start cracking down on it. This isn't only for AWA, but ALL cons! Be aware of the people surrounding you...and then there will be no reason to complain. I read past posts on this thread and the person carrying the sword on the shoulder and cutting the lady was...well...stupid! Who doesn't know that swords are SHARP and DANGEROUS!?

Ciarathallya
03-28-2006, 03:01 PM
Fullmetal Battousai....:confused: She's lost her mind with that one. I know that wasn't only incident cause back in like October/immediately post con, other incidents about props were mentioned. My kids are banned from weapons for this very reason. Yeah all their Links shall be swordless.


I want to be a Ragnarok ninja now. The artwork ownz.

Tetsie Seshi
03-29-2006, 07:26 AM
I know I'm just one person, but this is all I can do, and hopefully it can start a trend...I'm not asking for any discount, special treatment, or ANYTHING short of a small area or room where cosplayers with weapons/large props can go for a while and show people their mad skillz in crafting and doing what they love to do. I would definately volunteer to staff such a room for a few hour shift all three days if I have to.


We're in the middle of setting up a cosplay track. If you (or anyone else) has 'mad skilz' and you're willing and able to run a panel, send me a topic and an agenda for the panel and a short C.V. and we'll talk.

Tal

Thats what I got - Anyone wanna join me in opening a panel?

ladysubaru25
03-29-2006, 08:24 AM
No prop weapons...
Not sure what the fuss is about. It doesn't look like the policy has changed from what it has been for the last few years...

Have you been to AWA before?
I have never been... didn't realize the weapons policy was so strict. Hmmm...

I will be emasculated without my firearms... :(

Tetsie Seshi
03-29-2006, 08:34 AM
I have never been... didn't realize the weapons policy was so strict. Hmmm...


It wasn't before this year...now - because of some screw-ups...well...will be a shoddy first AWA for me...

ladysubaru25
03-29-2006, 10:05 AM
It wasn't before this year...now - because of some screw-ups...well...will be a shoddy first AWA for me...

True 'dat. The mistakes of a few *always* wreck it for the majority.

What surprises me is that large conventions like Otakon and Anime Boston do not put incredibly tight restrictions on props/weapons, when a small con like AWA (what do they average? 7,500 attendees?) does so.

Perhaps it is due to space requirements?
Otakon DOES have the entire BCC to spread out in, and Anime Boston has the Hynes Con Center... :confused:

(My costume is going to be totally *useless* without props! LMAO!!)

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-29-2006, 10:16 AM
My costume will also be useless without a prop...and i am seriously rethinking AWA for that reason. Its a quite a distance to go and not be able to showcase the really awesome costume i was planning...and my Belldandy has WINGS! ugg! people may not know who i am without 'em...

Jerry Hong
03-29-2006, 01:33 PM
Disclaimer: I'm here on an unofficial capacity.

Figured I'd say something from the staff side of things:

I just wanted to take the time to say that when all the weapons-related incidents happened last year, several of us on staff were royally pissed. For our security staff, I think the news was pretty much salt on the wounds. I know that our medical director wasn't happy 'cause she had to patch up some of the victims. What gets me is that two years ago, Mr. Jason Merrill, the director responsible for the costume contest, went through a lot of trouble to loosen the weapons policy. When the gratitude you get for it is people pulling ridiculously stupid crap, well, maybe it's no surprise that the weapons policy tightened up as it did.

AWA 11 was probably the most lenient AWA with regard to weapons, or at least ever since we started holding the convention at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel/ Cobb Galleria Convention Center. That those incidents happened is both a slap in the face and a downright insult to us. Understandably, many of us on staff were very angry, and many of us still are, with me being one of them.

-Jerry Hong

livvylove
03-29-2006, 01:54 PM
Maybe since your here you could reply to my one question. Are you going to invite the weapons dealers again or are you going to stop having weapons dealers selling weapons that are against the old and new weapons policy?

I know after discussing the new rules with some other cosplayers they all said these new rules would be pretty much useless if they invite the weapons dealers back because if the people, who wern't coslayers(just idiots who bought from the dealers room) from what I heard, didn't follow the original rules then they probably won't follow these rules as well.

Master Zero
03-29-2006, 01:59 PM
Wow, its even going to cons on the East Coast....this is becoming a serious issue now.

Jerry Hong
03-29-2006, 03:05 PM
Maybe since your here you could reply to my one question. Are you going to invite the weapons dealers again or are you going to stop having weapons dealers selling weapons that are against the old and new weapons policy?

I know after discussing the new rules with some other cosplayers they all said these new rules would be pretty much useless if they invite the weapons dealers back because if the people, who wern't coslayers(just idiots who bought from the dealers room) from what I heard, didn't follow the original rules then they probably won't follow these rules as well.

The person who determines policy in the Dealers Room is the one you should ask. While I could say what's up with regard to that, I'd rather that it come out of his mouth. I'm here on an unofficial basis, in any case.

On a side note . . . 7,500 people = small convention??? It sure didn't seem small to me last year . . . the Artist Alley area (which is more or less at the center of everything, literally) was so darned crowded that the air was tropical and the hotel air conditioning couldn't keep up.

-Jerry Hong

HopelessHavoc
03-29-2006, 03:41 PM
Disclaimer: I'm here on an unofficial capacity.

Figured I'd say something from the staff side of things:

I just wanted to take the time to say that when all the weapons-related incidents happened last year, several of us on staff were royally pissed. For our security staff, I think the news was pretty much salt on the wounds. I know that our medical director wasn't happy 'cause she had to patch up some of the victims. What gets me is that two years ago, Mr. Jason Merrill, the director responsible for the costume contest, went through a lot of trouble to loosen the weapons policy. When the gratitude you get for it is people pulling ridiculously stupid crap, well, maybe it's no surprise that the weapons policy tightened up as it did.

AWA 11 was probably the most lenient AWA with regard to weapons, or at least ever since we started holding the convention at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel/ Cobb Galleria Convention Center. That those incidents happened is both a slap in the face and a downright insult to us. Understandably, many of us on staff were very angry, and many of us still are, with me being one of them.

-Jerry Hong

Dude, you need to chill out. When you have a weapons policy you're supposed to have people on your staff to enforce it. I didn't see too much enforcing of the weapons policy at AWA 11, which is why those incidents happened in the first place. Don't go blaming all your paying customers, as irresponsibly as some might have been behaving, just becuase some people got injured by props.
Personally, I don't have many costumes that have props, and it makes me mad as well to see people acting stupid with their props.. as a side note: I don't think the kid that caused the injury was even a cosplayer.. but when someone does start waving something around or takes a steel sword out of its sheath, that's when Con Staff needs to step in and say, "hey, you're breaking the weapons policy with your behavior." and either take the prop/weapon or ask the owner to take it to their car/room. And as lenient as the policy was last year, I think some of the wepaons/props sold in the Dealer's Room were still against the policy none the less. I think that was a major factor in the incidents.
Don't come on here saying you and a whole bunch of the AWA staff is pissed cuz we all "slapped you in the face and insulted you" just cuz a couple dumb kids were acting rowdy and none of your staff was around to stop it. With 7,500 people showing up at your con, you can't expect everyone to behave like perfecr little angels.. that's why you have a Security staff in the first place, right?
While the need for a tighter weapons policy may be apparent, you guys have gone from one extreme to the other.. having a pretty slack policy last year, to absoluty no props this year. I find it hard to believe that there's no middle ground.. maybe tighten the policy a little and increase staff instead. Just a thought.

kitsunered
03-29-2006, 04:03 PM
Dude, you need to chill out. When you have a weapons policy you're supposed to have people on your staff to enforce it. I didn't see too much enforcing of the weapons policy at AWA 11, which is why those incidents happened in the first place. Don't go blaming all your paying customers, as irresponsibly as some might have been behaving, just becuase some people got injured by props.
Personally, I don't have many costumes that have props, and it makes me mad as well to see people acting stupid with their props.. as a side note: I don't think the kid that caused the injury was even a cosplayer.. but when someone does start waving something around or takes a steel sword out of its sheath, that's when Con Staff needs to step in and say, "hey, you're breaking the weapons policy with your behavior." and either take the prop/weapon or ask the owner to take it to their car/room. And as lenient as the policy was last year, I think some of the wepaons/props sold in the Dealer's Room were still against the policy none the less. I think that was a major factor in the incidents.
Don't come on here saying you and a whole bunch of the AWA staff is pissed cuz we all "slapped you in the face and insulted you" just cuz a couple dumb kids were acting rowdy and none of your staff was around to stop it. With 7,500 people showing up at your con, you can't expect everyone to behave like perfecr little angels.. that's why you have a Security staff in the first place, right?
While the need for a tighter weapons policy may be apparent, you guys have gone from one extreme to the other.. having a pretty slack policy last year, to absoluty no props this year. I find it hard to believe that there's no middle ground.. maybe tighten the policy a little and increase staff instead. Just a thought.

I seriously have to agree with this. I was cool with the new weapons policy (which doesn't *only* affect cosplayers) until you had to come over here and voice your "unofficial" opinion, blaming cosplayers for what happened last year when, from all accounts I've heard, it was regular con attendees *not* in costume, that caused the problem in the first place, and telling us it's a "slap in the face to complain".

Of course we're going to complain. We're not the people who caused the problem in the first place and many of our costumes do require props (sometimes large ones) to be noticeable. Since the con doesn't seem to be making any compromises aside from the costume contest for cosplayers with props (though setting aside areas for props used on photoshoots has been repeatedly suggested) people are going to be irritated.

Also, as a previous poster in this thread has mentioned, there has been no discussion as to whether the dealers' room will be selling weaponry this year which, as I have been lead to believe, was what caused the problem in the first place. As most cosplayers use *props* even for weapons, I'd put money on the fact that the item that did the damage last year was a real weapon that was purchased at the con by a non-cosplayer. While I'm all for public safety and I do think the rules are more than a little strict (Dragon*Con seems to do a decent job with keeping most people intact every year and they're a bigger convention with a more lenient prop/weapons policy than AWA), it might be better to focus on *enforcing* the rules when they are broken. You can make as many rules as you want, and make them as strict as you want, but when it comes down to it, it is *your* responsibility as convention staff, not *ours* to make sure policies are enforced and everyone remains safe. Blaming us when you fail to do your job is far more of a "slap in the face" than us complaining about tighter restrictions.

Perhaps, in the future, it would be if you kept your "unofficial" opinion to yourself and let the official people handle dealing with the congoing public. I'm sure you've dissuaded several people who read this thread *not* to come to AWA and I have to admit that I'm seriously considering skipping it now, myself.

Jerry Hong
03-29-2006, 04:06 PM
*sigh* . . . increase staff *rueful smile*. We're trying desperately to get the staff we need, and have been for a while. Want to volunteer? We really could use more people. Hell, even if you don't, could you send some people our way? I'm dead serious when I say this, too. We really could use some more people to help out.

Look, the purpose of my post was to show that we're just as pissed as you are about those people who spoiled things for everybody. To put it another way: we're on your side. I just wish people were pissed off enough about it to actually lend a hand, be it being a part of staff or simply just telling somebody to put that big chunk of metal away while you're wandering around as a general con-goer.

We'll do our best, that I will guarantee you, but we really need help!

-Jerry Hong

P.S. I *hate* how this communications medium loses so much, well, communication in the process of communicating. If anybody wants to actually talk to me, look for my number here (look towards the bottom of the page): http://www.awa-con.com/index.php?id=36

Since I'm responsible for what I post, I'll take responsibility for any earfuls you might have for me.

livvylove
03-29-2006, 04:17 PM
Here is my half bake idea to increase staff. On Friday and Saturday when people are waiting in the line to buy tickets look for people who are acting with common sense and manners. Ask them if they would like to be on staff and work for a few hours doing a mickey mouse task and let them get in free for the day or if they work enough the whole weekend. Do a mini interview to make sure they can follow simple directions. After you get a group fill them in on the rules and what they will have to do. That way you can free up the trained staff to do more important work.

mocha
03-29-2006, 04:21 PM
I seriously have to agree with this. I was cool with the new weapons policy (which doesn't *only* affect cosplayers) until you had to come over here and voice your "unofficial" opinion, blaming cosplayers for what happened last year when, from all accounts I've heard, it was regular con attendees *not* in costume, that caused the problem in the first place, and telling us it's a "slap in the face to complain".

Of course we're going to complain. We're not the people who caused the problem in the first place and many of our costumes do require props (sometimes large ones) to be noticeable. Since the con doesn't seem to be making any compromises aside from the costume contest for cosplayers with props (though setting aside areas for props used on photoshoots has been repeatedly suggested) people are going to be irritated.

Also, as a previous poster in this thread has mentioned, there has been no discussion as to whether the dealers' room will be selling weaponry this year which, as I have been lead to believe, was what caused the problem in the first place. As most cosplayers use *props* even for weapons, I'd put money on the fact that the item that did the damage last year was a real weapon that was purchased at the con by a non-cosplayer. While I'm all for public safety and I do think the rules are more than a little strict (Dragon*Con seems to do a decent job with keeping most people intact every year and they're a bigger convention with a more lenient prop/weapons policy than AWA), it might be better to focus on *enforcing* the rules when they are broken. You can make as many rules as you want, and make them as strict as you want, but when it comes down to it, it is *your* responsibility as convention staff, not *ours* to make sure policies are enforced and everyone remains safe. Blaming us when you fail to do your job is far more of a "slap in the face" than us complaining about tighter restrictions.

Perhaps, in the future, it would be if you kept your "unofficial" opinion to yourself and let the official people handle dealing with the congoing public. I'm sure you've dissuaded several people who read this thread *not* to come to AWA and I have to admit that I'm seriously considering skipping it now, myself.

OMG! You are so awesome! I agree completely and couldn't have put it better myself! :thumbsup:

Jerry Hong
03-29-2006, 04:28 PM
Here is my half bake idea to increase staff. On Friday and Saturday when people are waiting in the line to buy tickets look for people who are acting with common sense and manners. Ask them if they would like to be on staff and work for a few hours doing a mickey mouse task and let them get in free for the day or if they work enough the whole weekend. Do a mini interview to make sure they can follow simple directions. After you get a group fill them in on the rules and what they will have to do. That way you can free up the trained staff to do more important work.

Can you forward this idea to our staffing department? I know that they'd want to see this idea, and while I'm going to pass this along myself, I think they'd like to hear from you, too.


-Jerry Hong

Jerry Hong
03-29-2006, 05:01 PM
I suppose I ought to reiterate: I know I'm responsible for what I post, though I also know that something was lost in the communication given the responses (I don't think I ever blamed the people who were following the rules, cosplayer or not, in that post, but anyway . . . ). If you wish to speak to me directly, my number is (770) 936 9047. Yes, I'm nuts for posting my phone number here, but then, it's already posted on the AWA website anyway. As I created this mess here, I'll be the one to clean it up.

-Jerry Hong

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-29-2006, 05:15 PM
EVERYONE needs to chill out. Staff has just enough right to be angry as the cosplayers do. I don't know how much say I have in the matter seeing as how i wasn't AT last year's AWA, but being on staff and volunteering at a convention is a really hard task...and until you have done it...there is NO WAY you can know how they feel when incidents like that happen at their convention. And who exactly can keep up with 7500 people?!?! Ya can't watch everyone walking around the convention closely...Maybe the "unofficial opinion" was a little harsh...but the responses were equally as harsh.

Tetsie Seshi
03-29-2006, 07:48 PM
as for volunteers - I was told by one of the staff that if I get enough people to open a panel with me, we can have a section of the con where photo's can be taken...I am seriously trying to get volunteers for this...I don't plan on keeping the panel open the entire con, because I'm paying for it, and plan to have fun with it...so if we don't have enough people, I will try to run it with the help of about a dozen of my friends...we shall see..

JasonMerrill
03-29-2006, 07:50 PM
I'm Jason Merrill, the Special Events Director for AWA. I run the Costume Contest, the Cosplay Gallery, the Ball and a few other things. Let me try and set a few things straight on our policies for this year.

Last year we relaxed our weapons policy to allow prop weaponry. There were injuries due to weapons being handled improperly (and one very close incident involving a baby at the Hotel's Sunday brunch and a knife dropped off an upper floor). We do not want a repeat of those incidents. It was decided by all of the Directors of the show (not just me) to not allow weapons at AWA. I pushed for allowances for Cosplayers and got the exemptions for the Contest.

The problem with any kind of a policy is enforcement. It has to be easy to understand and follow by both attendees and by staff. I understand that some of the problems we had were due to attendees in street clothes with weapons. While I would love to have a "must be in a costume to carry a weapon" that gets incredibly hard to enforce. There are far too many costumes that do look like street clothes and far too many shows/manga/games for everyone on staff to recognize everything. There are too many ways to fabricate items that look like the real thing. Unfortunately the easiest way to ensure everyone’s safety is to ban the weapons outright. I’m open to suggestions for the future but this is what we have to work with for now.

There is always the question of having enough staff. We could double our prices and hire the staff we need. I don’t think anyone wants that. If you really want to help, join us. Our next staff meeting is 3pm Sunday, April 2nd at the Waverly Galleria (our host hotel). As much as we would like to, we can’t be everywhere, all the time.

As I understand it, we will stop allowing weapons dealers next year. I think it was too late to ban the vendors this year since many already purchased their space during last year's show.

And to clear up another point:

We have not banned props (small or large).
We have not banned large costumes.

What I did say about large props and costumes was this:
"If your prop is causing any problems due to size, etc. you will be asked to put it away. If your contest entry is incredibly large or has really big props, please let us know before the show so we can make appropriate plans. If we know what to expect, we can make things easier for everyone. "

And when asked what constitutes a large costume:

"If you have trouble getting around in it, or it has to be partially disassembled to get through doorways. That kind of thing. Once again, we are expecting around 8,000 people this year. If you are planning something that is going to get in the way, block hallways and doors, and can't be moved without hitting someone, we may ask you to either leave or rework your costume so it does not cause any problems."

I never said they were outlawed. If they are causing a problem, we reserve the right to ask you to correct that problem. As we get larger, crowd control becomes an issue. If anyone is causing a problem with the traffic flow, either a cosplayer blocking a doorway with their prop or a kid just sitting in the middle of a stairway, we will ask them to move. That’s just normal policy, really.

I’ve rambled long enough. While I’m not quite brave enough to post my phone number, there are plenty of other ways to contact me. You can email me at cosplay@awa-con.com or awa@jasonmerrill.com. I have this account here and I am also active on the AWA board at http://www.awa-con.com/phpbb/index.php

I want everyone to be able to have a good time at AWA. I’ve been working very hard to make it a show that cosplayers want to attend. I’m willing to listen to suggestions. But I can’t have any more elderly women sent to the hospital or worse. No costume is worth that.

Jason R. Merrill
AWA Special Events Director
cosplay@awa-con.com

kitsunered
03-29-2006, 08:34 PM
EVERYONE needs to chill out. Staff has just enough right to be angry as the cosplayers do. I don't know how much say I have in the matter seeing as how i wasn't AT last year's AWA, but being on staff and volunteering at a convention is a really hard task...and until you have done it...there is NO WAY you can know how they feel when incidents like that happen at their convention. And who exactly can keep up with 7500 people?!?! Ya can't watch everyone walking around the convention closely...Maybe the "unofficial opinion" was a little harsh...but the responses were equally as harsh.

You assume that I haven't staffed a con. I have. On more than one occasion. I can't speak for everyone else on the forum, but yes, I have a pretty good idea of all the headaches AWA staff has to deal with. That doesn't lessen their level of responsibility, however. If something happens during their convention, they are still responsible.

kitsunered
03-29-2006, 08:39 PM
I suppose I ought to reiterate: I know I'm responsible for what I post, though I also know that something was lost in the communication given the responses (I don't think I ever blamed the people who were following the rules, cosplayer or not, in that post, but anyway . . . ). If you wish to speak to me directly, my number is (770) 936 9047. Yes, I'm nuts for posting my phone number here, but then, it's already posted on the AWA website anyway. As I created this mess here, I'll be the one to clean it up.

-Jerry Hong

Unfortunately, the internet is not the best means of communication for getting your point across exactly as intended. I don't think it's necessary to call (as it would be a long-distance call for me anyway), but I appreciate your directness and willingness to work through disagreements. I also apologize if I got a little out of hand. We're all bit upset about the new policy, and the fact that there seems to be some speculation about what is and isn't kosher isn't helping any.

kitsunered
03-29-2006, 08:48 PM
I'm Jason Merrill, the Special Events Director for AWA. I run the Costume Contest, the Cosplay Gallery, the Ball and a few other things. Let me try and set a few things straight on our policies for this year.

Last year we relaxed our weapons policy to allow prop weaponry. There were injuries due to weapons being handled improperly (and one very close incident involving a baby at the Hotel's Sunday brunch and a knife dropped off an upper floor). We do not want a repeat of those incidents. It was decided by all of the Directors of the show (not just me) to not allow weapons at AWA. I pushed for allowances for Cosplayers and got the exemptions for the Contest.

The problem with any kind of a policy is enforcement. It has to be easy to understand and follow by both attendees and by staff. I understand that some of the problems we had were due to attendees in street clothes with weapons. While I would love to have a "must be in a costume to carry a weapon" that gets incredibly hard to enforce. There are far too many costumes that do look like street clothes and far too many shows/manga/games for everyone on staff to recognize everything. There are too many ways to fabricate items that look like the real thing. Unfortunately the easiest way to ensure everyoneís safety is to ban the weapons outright. Iím open to suggestions for the future but this is what we have to work with for now.

There is always the question of having enough staff. We could double our prices and hire the staff we need. I donít think anyone wants that. If you really want to help, join us. Our next staff meeting is 3pm Sunday, April 2nd at the Waverly Galleria (our host hotel). As much as we would like to, we canít be everywhere, all the time.

As I understand it, we will stop allowing weapons dealers next year. I think it was too late to ban the vendors this year since many already purchased their space during last year's show.

And to clear up another point:

We have not banned props (small or large).
We have not banned large costumes.

What I did say about large props and costumes was this:
"If your prop is causing any problems due to size, etc. you will be asked to put it away. If your contest entry is incredibly large or has really big props, please let us know before the show so we can make appropriate plans. If we know what to expect, we can make things easier for everyone. "

And when asked what constitutes a large costume:

"If you have trouble getting around in it, or it has to be partially disassembled to get through doorways. That kind of thing. Once again, we are expecting around 8,000 people this year. If you are planning something that is going to get in the way, block hallways and doors, and can't be moved without hitting someone, we may ask you to either leave or rework your costume so it does not cause any problems."

I never said they were outlawed. If they are causing a problem, we reserve the right to ask you to correct that problem. As we get larger, crowd control becomes an issue. If anyone is causing a problem with the traffic flow, either a cosplayer blocking a doorway with their prop or a kid just sitting in the middle of a stairway, we will ask them to move. Thatís just normal policy, really.

Iíve rambled long enough. While Iím not quite brave enough to post my phone number, there are plenty of other ways to contact me. You can email me at cosplay@awa-con.com or awa@jasonmerrill.com. I have this account here and I am also active on the AWA board at http://www.awa-con.com/phpbb/index.php

I want everyone to be able to have a good time at AWA. Iíve been working very hard to make it a show that cosplayers want to attend. Iím willing to listen to suggestions. But I canít have any more elderly women sent to the hospital or worse. No costume is worth that.

Jason R. Merrill
AWA Special Events Director
cosplay@awa-con.com

Thank you for coming here to explain certain aspects of the weapons policy. While I can understand your desire to maintain the safety of your attendees, I think perhaps your new policy is a bit more strict than it needs to be. I understand, given the circumstances of what happened last year, your desire to ban edged weapons and prop weapons with certain edges. What I don't understand, however, is the banning of obviously fake guns, or, as someone suggested on the AWA forums, props containing only sword hilts or gun butts. Since someone didn't pull a gun on someone else, to my knowledge, the banning of prop guns seems like overkill to me, and it would be difficult to injure someone with a weapon hilt that was not attached to a weapon.

I also understand that you need more staff to enforce the new policy, and I'm more than willing to help for the convention weekend, however, due to the fact that I do not live in Atlanta, I would be unable to make staff meetings on any regular basis. Due to monetary restrictions, I also would be unable to stay onsite and would not be available to be scheduled at certain times. If AWA would still be willing to have me under these conditions, then, yes, I'l volunteer for the convention.

JasonMerrill
03-29-2006, 09:34 PM
I don't like having to have these policies either. Not after I got them to be relaxed.

The issue I see with fake hilts is that we won't know it's just a hilt. You end up spending all weekend telling each staffer who stops you: It's just the hilt.
Lumping everything under one "no weapons" banner also keeps us from having to check every airsoft to make certain they are non-firing, etc. It all boils down to the same thing: where do you draw the line? Too many replicas look too much like the real thing and that makes more work for our already over-stretched staff. If we only allow the obviously fake items, those who made theirs look too real get upset they can't have theirs. And the same "running with a sword on their shoulder" incident can happen with wood or foam.

We have plenty of staff who live out of state. As long as you fill out the proper paperwork, AWA would love to have you. The general requirements can be found on our website here: http://awa-con.com/index.php?id=28

And I'm not saying we are not responsible for what happens at our show. From what I understand, our staff reacted to the incident as quickly as possible. I was not there when it happened so I don't know how many people were around, etc. One problem was that no-one stopped it, from our staff, the Hotel or the public. It happened too fast.

As a side note: I worked games at the GA Renn fest in the late 80's, early 90's running the "Test of Strength". I met my wife there while I was working as the Scenario Director's assistant and she was a town crier in 1995 (we retired in '97).

Jason R. Merrill
AWA Special Events Director
cosplay@awa-con.com

KenshinKyo
03-29-2006, 10:06 PM
hum I can't go to AWA how ever Tekkoshocon' only alows plastic and wood wapons/props and they have people right at the sign in tables checking every one with a wapon/prop to make sure it is in check with the rulles then marks it with something so that all the staff can tell that you ware checked out . last year I carried 2 live sized fake hand made swords and my son a short toy plastic sword and they passed marked us at the door only once about 2 hours later did we get stoped again only because my son's sword rolled and the mark was no longer viewable. and so far they haven't had any problems with how they do that. just an idea for you all.

HopelessHavoc
03-29-2006, 10:19 PM
AWA 11 was my first real con experience. Since then, I've been to about 5 other cons and AWA still stands out as the best one. I don't mean to sound negative about AWA or anything.. it's just the way that the post I quoted earlier came across as accusing us of being ungrateful and/or insulting to the staff.
I understand the need for a tighter weapons policy.. I just hate to hear people say they don't wanna go anymore cuz of the new policy. As I stated earlier, I hope there is a middle ground we can find for the cosplayers who repect the rules and policies. I've noticed suggestions for panels and designated areas being set up where pictures can be taken with props.
I still look forward to AWA 12 and I hope you guys have good luck with the staffing and such. ^_^

UrMastrInuYasha
03-30-2006, 01:35 AM
I don't know what to say.. Othen this:



AWA will be my first con, but what's the point of going if you can't see the kick-ass props people break their backs trying to make? hell, I actually held some of the weapons, and got pictures

oh well.

my first con? psh, not even worth it

Jerry Hong
03-30-2006, 01:58 AM
AWA 11 was my first real con experience. Since then, I've been to about 5 other cons and AWA still stands out as the best one. I don't mean to sound negative about AWA or anything.. it's just the way that the post I quoted earlier came across as accusing us of being ungrateful and/or insulting to the staff.
I understand the need for a tighter weapons policy.. I just hate to hear people say they don't wanna go anymore cuz of the new policy. As I stated earlier, I hope there is a middle ground we can find for the cosplayers who repect the rules and policies. I've noticed suggestions for panels and designated areas being set up where pictures can be taken with props.
I still look forward to AWA 12 and I hope you guys have good luck with the staffing and such. ^_^

My apologies, then, though truthfully, I never accused anybody of anything (at least, when I look over my post again. And again. And again). My fault for not remembering how easily things get misinterpreted on the 'net. In any case, the original intent was to show that we on staff were just as angry as the law-abiding citizens were when what went down went down, as well as the consequences resulting from it.

For the record, I'm also not blaming anybody for the misunderstanding. When some 90% of the message gets lost in a medium like this, well, messes like the one I caused are to be expected.

Drop by the Art Show and say hello . . . I honestly don't get the chance to get out of there all day, and I do miss out on seeing the costumes. By the time I do get out of there, it's usually too dark in the hotel to appreciate any of the costumes people might be wearing at that time (yes, I'm getting old).

-Jerry Hong

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-30-2006, 09:41 AM
You assume that I haven't staffed a con. I have. On more than one occasion. I can't speak for everyone else on the forum, but yes, I have a pretty good idea of all the headaches AWA staff has to deal with. That doesn't lessen their level of responsibility, however. If something happens during their convention, they are still responsible.

I was not "assuming" anything. I can very well voice my opinion as everyone on here so i hope your post was in defense of yourself and not a chance to try and "strike back at me". I still say the words were harsh and I didn't say anything about resonsibility. YES they are resonsible, but no one can not get angry because they are now TRYING to be resonsible and make a better weapons' policy, even if it is strict. I am just trying to see the situation from both sides of the spectrum.

kitsunered
03-30-2006, 10:00 AM
I was not "assuming" anything. I can very well voice my opinion as everyone on here so i hope your post was in defense of yourself and not a chance to try and "strike back at me". I still say the words were harsh and I didn't say anything about resonsibility. YES they are resonsible, but no one can not get angry because they are now TRYING to be resonsible and make a better weapons' policy, even if it is strict. I am just trying to see the situation from both sides of the spectrum.

convention is a really hard task...and until you have done it...there is NO WAY you can know how they feel when incidents like that happen at their convention

That is an assumptive statement and I was simply pointing out that, in my case, your assumption was incorrect, not "striking back at you". I think, perhaps, you are also jumping to conclusions.

kitsunered
03-30-2006, 10:08 AM
I don't like having to have these policies either. Not after I got them to be relaxed.

The issue I see with fake hilts is that we won't know it's just a hilt. You end up spending all weekend telling each staffer who stops you: It's just the hilt.
Lumping everything under one "no weapons" banner also keeps us from having to check every airsoft to make certain they are non-firing, etc. It all boils down to the same thing: where do you draw the line? Too many replicas look too much like the real thing and that makes more work for our already over-stretched staff. If we only allow the obviously fake items, those who made theirs look too real get upset they can't have theirs. And the same "running with a sword on their shoulder" incident can happen with wood or foam.

We have plenty of staff who live out of state. As long as you fill out the proper paperwork, AWA would love to have you. The general requirements can be found on our website here: http://awa-con.com/index.php?id=28

And I'm not saying we are not responsible for what happens at our show. From what I understand, our staff reacted to the incident as quickly as possible. I was not there when it happened so I don't know how many people were around, etc. One problem was that no-one stopped it, from our staff, the Hotel or the public. It happened too fast.

As a side note: I worked games at the GA Renn fest in the late 80's, early 90's running the "Test of Strength". I met my wife there while I was working as the Scenario Director's assistant and she was a town crier in 1995 (we retired in '97).

Jason R. Merrill
AWA Special Events Director
cosplay@awa-con.com

I do understand where you're coming from, but I feel there must be a compromise somewhere. One of the other posters suggestion of marking items which have passed inspection is a good idea, so your staff doesn't have to keep stopping the same people over and over again. For example, bright orange tags can be tied to a prop weapon, which are visible from a distance. To administrate, you may have one or two members of staff at registration where people can line up to have their props checked. I'd also advocate having each member of you security team carry the tags, in case someone doesn't get their item checked at registration. That way an item is checked once, and deemed safe or unsafe.

I'll send in the sign-up form either later this evening or during the day tomorrow. As for RenFest, I worked Rides&Games recently at the tower slide. You'd think pushing little kids down a slide all day wouldn't be that difficult, but I think my arms and shoulders were still sore almost a month after Faire ended.

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-30-2006, 10:18 AM
convention is a really hard task...and until you have done it...there is NO WAY you can know how they feel when incidents like that happen at their convention

That is an assumptive statement and I was simply pointing out that, in my case, your assumption was incorrect, not "striking back at you". I think, perhaps, you are also jumping to conclusions.

In your case, incorrect. In others, correct.



Ok, I am very much confused about the policy now. Small props are allowed or no? On the last page it was said that they aren't banned...And what exactly is a "small prop". My small may be different from others.

halafax
03-30-2006, 10:21 AM
I can say that if you are going to ban weapons but have ppl buying weapons whats the point? I some how fail to see the point in enforcing a weapons policy when everyone not in costume can go and buy a sword at the dealers room. Im seriously confused as to how that is going to prevent what happened last year from happening again.
At Dragon Con the weapons dealers will zip tie the swords and such so that they cant be drawn. The security ppl and the dealers have zip ties to give out to people to keep weapons from being drawn.
As for replica weapons being banned why? If my guns dont even look like real guns why cant I bring them? Its one thing if its an airsoft that can be fired, but my guns are made of wood so no firing mechanism. I planned on going to AWA this year to show off my Grave outfit and meet up with a few other people, but if I cant take my guns or my death hauler whats the point?

Mind you my death hauler is by all means a big prop, ask anyone who has one, and it may cause some issues due to its odd shape, (wheels help) but if its moving then who cares. If you are standing in one place to take pictures then again who cares. If you want to compare sizes of cons Dragon COn is a huge con, and they do allow for big props and weapons as long as their weapons policy is followed. Also I know that Dragon Con did hire a private security company to fill in the gaps from lack of volunteers.

Any who the wording on the prop rules isnt all that clear, and i think that the weapons policy that is going to be enforced on cosplayers and not other patrons of the con is unfair. Something to think about if you plan on having return con goers....

livvylove
03-30-2006, 10:32 AM
In your case, incorrect. In others, correct.



Ok, I am very much confused about the policy now. Small props are allowed or no? On the last page it was said that they aren't banned...And what exactly is a "small prop". My small may be different from others.
I have to say the prop size is confusing. Because I don't consider Wolfwoods cross to be big compaired to other props. I know the only time we had trouble with the cross was because we where forced to take the elevator to check out on Sunday and well that Brunch didn't even have a walking path so it was annoying to bring that on the elevator. I would say that my baggage was more of a pain then the cross.

So after what happened last year are they going to have that brunch again or are they going to schedual it for another weekend?

kitsunered
03-30-2006, 11:18 AM
I have to say the prop size is confusing. Because I don't consider Wolfwoods cross to be big compaired to other props. I know the only time we had trouble with the cross was because we where forced to take the elevator to check out on Sunday and well that Brunch didn't even have a walking path so it was annoying to bring that on the elevator. I would say that my baggage was more of a pain then the cross.

So after what happened last year are they going to have that brunch again or are they going to schedual it for another weekend?

Brunch is every Sunday in that hotel. It wasn't a special event that happened to be scheduled during the con, it's actually held every week and it's unlikely they'll cancel it for the convention.

livvylove
03-30-2006, 12:12 PM
Brunch is every Sunday in that hotel. It wasn't a special event that happened to be scheduled during the con, it's actually held every week and it's unlikely they'll cancel it for the convention.Oh because I remember something about a radio station holding it. They should at least have a path way along the side so the guest staying at the hotel can access the stairs properly.

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-30-2006, 02:00 PM
it depends on the size of the particular Wolfwood cross...because i've seen huge ones...skinny ones...tall ones...Ya get the picture...

but, in the case of prop swords and things like that...where is the line drawn? Is the problem people swinging 'em around like maniacs or the size?

livvylove
03-30-2006, 02:20 PM
Well this one we took it last year no probs http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=488789 we wanted to fix it up a bit and make it better for AWA and even one day make the actual cross gun. Then I was going to make a Meryl with a bunch of mini water guns. We still have it on our list for Momocon but it would have been cool to walk around like that at AWA.

I don't consider that large because I could carry it around easily without any problems even in the crowds.

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-30-2006, 02:24 PM
that cross doesn't look large at all...actually...it's a really good size considering some of the crosses out there

livvylove
03-30-2006, 02:33 PM
He worked really hard trying to get the porportions right along with the band placement. He loves that costume so much. More then the one I made for him :grr: But that is a prop that I would consider to be more medium sized. I was told it's a no go and even if we got an ok later I don't want to be hassled about the size of the cross.

halafax
03-30-2006, 02:48 PM
Still how are they going to justify enforcing a weapons policy if ppl can get them from the dealers room? That doesnt make sense.
Also what is constituted as passable. Mind you my death hauler in on wheels so it makes it easyish to move.

But if you cant have guns then characters like Vash, Gungrave, Helsing, and others are a bit out of sorts....

Jerry Hong
03-30-2006, 05:13 PM
Would you be willing to report an incident should you be witness to one? If it's in the Galleria, you can come to me if there's nobody else around; I'm in the Art Show room (room 103) all day, so I should be easy enough to find. Seriously . . . though we'll do our damnest to increase our security force, we still could use some help. Think of reporting an incident as dialing 911.

-Jerry Hong

Evali
03-30-2006, 05:41 PM
Alright, I admit I skimmed most of this thread so feel free to correct me if I make an error. Here's my two cents.

I was one of the girls manning the large Katamari ball last year. We informed the staff of its presence Friday night, and they went ABOVE AND BEYOND the call of duty to accomodate us. We tried our best to be unobtrusive but, truthfully we did need a little help here and there and the staff was always there working with us.

So I really doubt that courteous and respectful cosplayers will be punished for having large props. Just let them know beforehand and I'm sure it will be okay. I think it's obvious from the attitude of the convention staff posts in this thread that they are doing their best, and I'm sure the new weapons policy was not easy to come up with.

As for the weapons policy, it is indeed a disappointment, but after hearing about some of the injuries that occurred last year (and this near miss with a baby?!) how can you really blame them for it? Please remember that it only takes one careless person to ruin the fun for everyone. The con staff AND the hotel staff is responsible for any repercussions for that person's actions. Any anger or frustration should be felt towards irresponsible individuals, and only them.

I'd have to agree that I don't think weapons should be sold in the dealer's room, but I'm not familiar enough with the issue to know why they are allowed to. My feeling is just that owning a real weapon requires a lot of responsibility that I'm not sure every buyer would possess.

Furthermore, remember that you do get to show your weapons to the judges, on stage, and hopefully in a controlled area for photos. I'm not saying the restriction isn't a disappointment, but look on the bright side, please. I'm sure just as many people will want to take pictures of your lovely costumes.

And as Jerry said, report incidents of abuse! There's something like 7,000 people at AWA every year; the staff can't be everywhere at once. Get those jerks kicked out, and maybe they won't be back last year. If you want to have your weapons back in the future, the only way to get there is to avoid future injuries.

!*Jessi-Chan*!
03-30-2006, 08:28 PM
*standing ovation for Evali* That was a glorious post. It sums up all my feelings...You win at everything :)

phantomthief
03-30-2006, 08:35 PM
*hands over the Internet*

You win. :D

~Ari-chan

UrMastrInuYasha
03-31-2006, 12:31 AM
Alright, I admit I skimmed most of this thread so feel free to correct me if I make an error. Here's my two cents.

I was one of the girls manning the large Katamari ball last year. We informed the staff of its presence Friday night, and they went ABOVE AND BEYOND the call of duty to accomodate us. We tried our best to be unobtrusive but, truthfully we did need a little help here and there and the staff was always there working with us.

So I really doubt that courteous and respectful cosplayers will be punished for having large props. Just let them know beforehand and I'm sure it will be okay. I think it's obvious from the attitude of the convention staff posts in this thread that they are doing their best, and I'm sure the new weapons policy was not easy to come up with.

As for the weapons policy, it is indeed a disappointment, but after hearing about some of the injuries that occurred last year (and this near miss with a baby?!) how can you really blame them for it? Please remember that it only takes one careless person to ruin the fun for everyone. The con staff AND the hotel staff is responsible for any repercussions for that person's actions. Any anger or frustration should be felt towards irresponsible individuals, and only them.

I'd have to agree that I don't think weapons should be sold in the dealer's room, but I'm not familiar enough with the issue to know why they are allowed to. My feeling is just that owning a real weapon requires a lot of responsibility that I'm not sure every buyer would possess.

Furthermore, remember that you do get to show your weapons to the judges, on stage, and hopefully in a controlled area for photos. I'm not saying the restriction isn't a disappointment, but look on the bright side, please. I'm sure just as many people will want to take pictures of your lovely costumes.

And as Jerry said, report incidents of abuse! There's something like 7,000 people at AWA every year; the staff can't be everywhere at once. Get those jerks kicked out, and maybe they won't be back last year. If you want to have your weapons back in the future, the only way to get there is to avoid future injuries.


Wow.. Brovo! Brovo! You win!

Tsk, it's the truth. PEOPLE, OPEN YOUR EYES!

vampirate
03-31-2006, 01:31 AM
Well, I already wasn't going this year due to other reasons. But now more friends of mine are dropping out. Some costumes just really don't work well without the right props.

UrMastrInuYasha
03-31-2006, 01:50 AM
Well, I already wasn't going this year due to other reasons. But now more friends of mine are dropping out. Some costumes just really don't work well without the right props.


Exactly.. Some Characters without their weapons just like people dressed nicely, or street clothed people.

scandia
03-31-2006, 05:51 PM
I was planning on taking my Rosa Farrell costume. But it has a bow and arrow. Even though it is blatantly fake, it would not be allowed still.

Evali
03-31-2006, 06:17 PM
I'm glad you guys appreciated my previous post!

Some costumes don't work well without the right props, but most should be okay. I'm sure I'd still know it was Rosa, with or without a bow and arrow. I don't think you should let that influence whether you wear it or not.

There are some costumes that will be lacking without their weapons, but I can think of many costumes which will be just as recognizable. And hey, why not make a prop that's not a weapon, but related somehow? You can always make plushies =)

livvylove
04-01-2006, 10:18 AM
I was joking around with Tomahawkchunker that we could make a posterboard of the Wolfwood cross and then write AWA weapons policy safe on them.

Draculina
04-01-2006, 12:59 PM
Rock on, Evali! Thanks for giving us a positive perspective on things. I'm dissapointed too, 'cause this means I may not do Rushuna (Grenadier) on Sunday, but we'll still have an awesome time :)
Looks like I'll be following Techie's example and doing the "umbrella/parasol in lieu of weapon" thing for 2 of my costumes <huge grin>...

PatrickD
04-01-2006, 09:44 PM
I'm sure I'd still know it was Rosa, with or without a bow and arrow. I don't think you should let that influence whether you wear it or not.

I wonder if an unstrung bow (without the arrow) would be okay.

I was at another convention and saw a cosplayer bring a tightly strung bow with an arrow. When she posed, she pulled the arrow back in the bow. :eek: Yeah, that didn't last long before security stopped it...and I'm glad they did. That had "Accident Waiting To Happen" all over it.

JasonMerrill
04-02-2006, 11:26 PM
After some discussions, we have revised our weapons policy to be less restrictive. Instead of the total weapons ban, I've gotten it to a "No Real Weapons" policy. So no live steel of any kind (swords, knives, throwing stars, sai, etc.), no firing guns of any kind, no explosives.

Noticeably fake weapons are OK. Cardboard, foam, wood, resin, any non metal fabricated replicas are allowed.

Props are fine, even large ones. We would like to be consulted if you are planning anything large enough to impede traffic or cause problems.

Hopefully that will alleviate some fears about this year's show. I will try and have the official policy written up and in place everywhere tomorrow night.

Jason Merrill
AWA Special Events Director
cosplay@awa-con.com

JasonMerrill
04-02-2006, 11:31 PM
And as far as dealers selling weapons... this will be the last year we will allow it.
Unfortunately, we had already signed contracts with several before the incidents were known and a decision made. We have always had rules regarding the sales of weapons: No sales to anyone under 18. The dealer must wrap the weapon and the purchaser not remove it from that wrapping/packaging until away from AWA. Those will still be in effect and strictly enforced.

Jason

Evali
04-03-2006, 02:42 AM
That is excellent news Jason! You have done a great job, once again. =D

scandia
04-03-2006, 06:37 AM
Thank you so much, Jason!!!!! I am glad I will be able to take Rosa's bow. It is so blatantly fake, there's no way anyone could confuse it with a real weapon.

djanime2005
04-03-2006, 08:17 AM
This great news for all the cosplayers going to AWA. I would like to say Thanks Jason! A job well done. I can bring my wooden ichigo sword to show off. My costume will be complete. Once again Thanks Jason.


Liz

halafax
04-03-2006, 08:47 AM
First question will my death hauler be too big? its as tall as I am...

Second why not give the dealers zip ties to make sure the weapons stay sheathed?

Tetsie Seshi
04-03-2006, 09:21 AM
I was joking around with Tomahawkchunker that we could make a posterboard of the Wolfwood cross and then write AWA weapons policy safe on them.

LOL RAWK

Tetsie Seshi
04-03-2006, 09:22 AM
After some discussions, we have revised our weapons policy to be less restrictive. Instead of the total weapons ban, I've gotten it to a "No Real Weapons" policy. So no live steel of any kind (swords, knives, throwing stars, sai, etc.), no firing guns of any kind, no explosives.

Noticeably fake weapons are OK. Cardboard, foam, wood, resin, any non metal fabricated replicas are allowed.

Props are fine, even large ones. We would like to be consulted if you are planning anything large enough to impede traffic or cause problems.

Hopefully that will alleviate some fears about this year's show. I will try and have the official policy written up and in place everywhere tomorrow night.

Jason Merrill
AWA Special Events Director
cosplay@awa-con.com

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

and a few:
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

!*Jessi-Chan*!
04-03-2006, 09:44 AM
whoo hoo!!!! Super yay Jason! And also I am happy about the sale of weapons is still going to permitted...even if this is the last year. I know my bf is happy about this because he collects swords...and i think we have enough common sense not to carry it unwrapped on our shoulders... :)

livvylove
04-03-2006, 09:55 AM
This is good news to wake up too. Now I just need to finish waking up. I hate 'springing forward' for DST and on Masters week of all weeks. ::grumbles about traffic::

UrMastrInuYasha
04-03-2006, 10:38 AM
Ah, That's good to hear, I am glad that the weapons policy is 'less restrictive'

because a con isn't a con without huge FAKE swords, and people letting me hold them to get pictures :D XDD

Caligo
04-03-2006, 05:53 PM
This is a bit late to reply, I suppose, but to the person who commented about guns: two people in my group, on separate occasions, saw someone waving around and/or running with guns that looked very real. Some prop guns do look realistic, and sometimes the difference can't be seen when someone is waving them around.

I've been going to AWA since 7, every year. I've been cosplaying at AWA since 8. Personally, I feel that if you think a costume isn't complete without a prop, you need to reasses. If you think a con is going to be "shoddy" without large weapons, then you're at the con for the wrong reason. Mind you, this is merely my opinion, and not a judgement call or anything else. I've dealt with college freshmen who couldn't behave themselves, I can't imagine that people younger can be expected to do better, when the con itself just doesn't have enough to watch over this large con.

I'm thankful that no one was seriously hurt, despite the incidents last year, and while I agree that we're not to blame, I just shrug and accept it. I like going to AWA, strict weapons policy or no.

!*Jessi-Chan*!
04-03-2006, 06:10 PM
yeah...but the policy has been revised so the issue is settled. I personally think costumes with significant props DO look a little weird without 'em (an example being used over and over is Wolfwood without his cross) some costumes look like regular clothing without a prop or so. Basically, props are a major element to most costumes...Having no prop is the same as having a certain part of the costume that isn't really considered a prop (Analogy: having a wolfwood with no cross is like having a Chii with no ears)

livvylove
04-03-2006, 06:36 PM
The new policy is very fair. I am very happy they came up with this policy so people can have their props but real weapons won't be allowed. I am actually glad they are allowing the fake guns again this year because one of my favorite things about AWA is seeing all the cosplayers who dress up like military characters and to take candid photos. I always show those pictures off and people are always like 'wow security is really tight'

But I know the main reasons I fell in love with AWA was that I saw such great cosplays. The majority of the great ones had large props. It was just a sight to see and made me want to go back and actually join in and cosplay.

phantomthief
04-03-2006, 08:28 PM
I'm also very glad about the changes :)
SohRyu may just have his bow/sword/whatever I can think of >.>

~Ari-chan

TechieCL
04-03-2006, 08:59 PM
W00t, *gets back to tearing out the springs and zip tying triggers outa of cheap airsofts*

kitsunered
04-04-2006, 09:50 AM
Excellent, I think the new policy is more than fair. Thank you for the hard work Jason. BTW, I think I'm working under you in the cosplay dept. at AWA now.

Aleathia Burns
04-04-2006, 01:04 PM
God bless you Jason. I'll tell you one thing you do have a tough job and I respect you for you decesions. Thank you.

Neko-Ryu_Lander
04-05-2006, 07:45 AM
Thats the one thing i hate about Cobb. Shoot first ask questions and arrest later. I think the weapons policy was more of a "we dont want our costume attendies arrested" Yes cobb is the first level of hell. I'm all for weapons real or no because responsible people wont "wave them around" for costume of no. Sometimes its not the con being the jerks but the administration of the county the con is being held at that makes up the rules.

Hart
04-17-2006, 11:22 AM
Its very true that the county will have effects...but it regardless that most people who like anime act out of hand at cons...while in an everday setting they are calm and responsible. personally im fine wiht no real weapons being displayed or taken to room after purchase but taking prop weapons...thats a bit far...im glad to see that they have allowed those

UrMastrInuYasha
04-17-2006, 11:33 AM
Its very true that the county will have effects...but it regardless that most people who like anime act out of hand at cons...while in an everday setting they are calm and responsible. personally im fine wiht no real weapons being displayed or taken to room after purchase but taking prop weapons...thats a bit far...im glad to see that they have allowed those

Yea.. 'Coz lets face.. a con isn't a con without the characters and the props to go with them.

LokiPunk
04-24-2006, 10:32 AM
Ok, I hate to come in so late, but Im just trying to catch up, is jason's post the revised wepons policy?

so I can carry my wabisuke, Sougyo no Kotowari, anji's fans & umbrella, chipp's blade, and my other prop swords and guns?

as long as theyre wood, and I can show them

also is there going to be any sort of intrusive/non functional "peace bonding" such as at katsukon (an invasive piece of red ribbon that dosent in any way stop one from thwacking someone)

sorry for all the questions, are bokken allowed?

this can be solved in PM's, thanks in advance

Neko-Ryu_Lander
04-24-2006, 09:31 PM
so can i do a sephiroth costume with my nodichi i can peace bond it in its sheath.

livvylove
04-24-2006, 09:38 PM
If it has a steel blade then nope. The wood swords are ok from my understanding of the new rules just don't be one of those idiots and wack people in the head or swing it around in crowds(not saying you do that) .

Rukia_Kurosaki
05-04-2006, 08:14 AM
Good to hear about the policy ^_^ To Jason:If you still need volunteers, I'll be more than happy to be one. I've been a volunteer/staffer at Dragon*Con for at least eight years (not including last year) so I have some experience at volunteering for cons.

Also, peacebonding might be a good idea for future cons. It's a lot safer that way.

Ciarathallya
05-04-2006, 08:44 AM
NVM you edited your post. Guess you reread the thread. (lame rhymingl) It's publicly posted on the official site (http://www.awa-con.com/index.php?page=awa_faq#weapons) now.

Rukia_Kurosaki
05-04-2006, 08:46 AM
Yeah, I read it late. Also, I was going by what someone else had told me.

pigwidgeon
05-04-2006, 05:13 PM
"So last year some idiot con goer bought a sword at the dealers and was walking around with it unsheathed over his shoulder. He ended up cutting a lady in the face. So a few idiots ruined it for the rest of us."

I remember hearing some lady scream, and someone said she was cut in the face by a sword. I never heard anything else about it, but I guess it was really true then?

JasonMerrill
05-29-2006, 09:01 PM
The revised policy has been posted in our forums.

No live steel.
No firearms or firing replicas.
Obviously fake replica and prop weapons will be allowed.
We will have ribbons on hand to mark/peacebond anything that might cause problems or questions.

And yes, the incidents did happen.
We actually had several people go to the hospital due to sword and knife injuries. One was an older woman who was not even there for our show. There were also a few near-misses. We had a knife dropped off the second floor into the atrium during the Sunday Brunch. The family whose baby it missed was understandably upset.

Jason Merrill
Special Events Director
Anime Weekend Atlanta (http://www.awa-con.com)
cosplay@awa-con.com

JasonMerrill
05-29-2006, 09:10 PM
I do want to thank everyone for their kind comments. I'm doing what I can to make AWA a show worth attending and cosplaying. We welcome suggestions as well as anyone willing to help. Our next staff meeting is June 4th, 2pm at the Waverly (our host hotel). I've wrangled a room for us to use for Cosplay panels near our Gallery, so I'm open for suggestions on what you might like to see.
And a peek at where we will be holding our Judging this year... (http://www.cobbgalleria.com/gallery.html)

Jason Merrill
Special Events Director
Anime Weekend Atlanta (http://www.awa-con.com)
cosplay@awa-con.com