Join Date: Oct 2002
O.K. I've rested a bit more after returning from AX, so here are my thoughts, and I'll break it down to 4 main points.
While it could have been a lot worse, I would be lacking to say there were no confrontations.
I did witness a few close confrontations with the X-Games people myself.
There was the usual cuss words from some of the X-Games people at the cosplayers, and some of them were even directed at me.
I really hated going thru the special walkway connecting the J.W. Marriott/LA Live Area to the convention center. It was like running through a gauntlet of insults.
When I pass through the walkway, I heard comments like:
"What the F****!!!"
"What the hell was that?!!"
"It's a F**** freak show@!"
On the morning of Day 4, a worker drove his golf cart like vehicle, and parked directly inside the special walkway connecting the J.W. Marriott/LA Live Area to the convention center. The AX attendees had to squeeze themselves to pass through the vehicle, and the worker was being very rude to the attendees. (It never seem to occur to him that he was blocking the ONLY accessway in the walkway for the AX attendees.)
One X-Games man, (His group was wearing X-Games shirts, and was not wearing a AX badge) tried to corner a Lara Croft cosplayer to a wall at the South Hall on Day 2 late afternoon/early evening, and he wasn't interested in taking a picture. (He seemed to thought that it was funny to see her get scared.) When I saw that, I actually stopped in my tracks, and was ready to move if he did try something physical. But he saw the 2 con security staff in red shirts watching him and he backed off.
A few of my friends was returning from a cosplay photo shoot, and 3 intoxicated X-Games guys kept following them. My friend had to diffuse the situation & tried talking them calmly so there won't be a fist fight.
On Saturday night, the J.W. Marriott lobby had a very LOUD party, and the restrooms were filthy due to the LOUD X-Game party at the Lobby. Inside the restroom, there were various beer bottles on the floor, a guy was puking over on the floor, vomit on the floor, dirty wet foot prints everywhere, and piled up trash.
I even overheard a group of cosplayers who were passing through the walkway, and saying, "X-Games on the same day...What were they thinking?!!"
When I was traveling alone at one point, a group of friendly cosplayers even came up to me, and they told me to watch out & to travel in groups because of the X-Games.
2. J.W. Marriott:
I stayed at this hotel with my friends during AX, and I had an issue with the J.W. Marriott head of security, Mr. Mark Blackburn.
Mark Blackburn was giving the cosplayers & AX attendees a hard time. Even though we were guests of the hotel, Mark Blackburn was making it personal, and he would not let the AX attendees sit in the chairs & couches on the 2nd or 3rd floor. This happened two times & two nights in a row when I was there. He even tried following us all the way to the 1st floor lobby, and would not let us stay anywhere on the 2nd or 3rd floor.
One of the security staff later told us they were given orders by Mark Blackburn to not let people wearing costumes come up on the 2nd or 3rd floor or to use the facilities. (I never heard of any hotel that won't allow their paying customers to use their facilities. After paying over $190 a night, I better be darned able to use the facilities as much I want to.)
Mr. Mark Blackburn was also very rude, treated us with contempt when he saw us wearing costumes & was very disrespectful. He would not even allow us to sit on the hotel couches. He claimed that the entire wing of the 2nd or 3d floor were ALL "rented spaces". He even told us that the exercise room, escalators, restrooms & the upper elevators were all off limits.
When I told him that we were hotel guests, he completely ignored us & he told us that we were "invading someone's house", and he acted & treated us like trespassers.
I also noticed that when Mark Blackburn was gone from his shift, there were cosplayers who sat in the couches on the 2nd and 3rd floor, and nothing was said to them, and they were not asked to leave.
I had written a formal complaint against Mark Blackburn to the hotel manager and the Marriott's regional manager as well. (I had received apologies from the hotel, and they had assured me they will look into the matter.)
3. AX programs:
With the exception of Danny Choo, I thought that the program was very lackluster, and it just wasn't as good as the last few years.
4. AX Registration:
In terms of registration , it was a BIG improvement over the last few years. I also noticed how polite the staffers were when I asked them some questions on the early morning of Day 1, when I came to pick up my Pre-registration badge. They get a A+ plus for improvement in my book.
And of course, the countless cosplayers at AX was the best part in my experience.
Hopefully, since AX will be returning to LA next year, we would never have to see or deal with the X-Games ever again anytime in the future.
Last edited by Hakaider : 07-03-2012 at 08:05 PM.