I know I've made promises like this before, but occasionally, I actually deliver. Jean and me spent last evening hanging around with The Furries downtown. We were also around the night before as many were still checking in. We did not attend the actual convention but wandered around the Weston, and the neighboring bars like Tonic, which was a very furry place.
I may be kidding myself, but I feel a bit I have a better grip on what this is all about and mostly it looks like a whole lot of fun. It was pretty clear that "fandom" includes a huge group of people united by a broad range of interests, from Sci Fi, to comics, mascots, anime and video games.
What interested me was that many don't just obsess and imitate known pop culture, but create their own designs, fantasy figures and drawings. Better than a bunch of people who know every line from The Omega Glory.
One thing we heard was that the Furries are booked come here till 2014, which I sure hope is true. Estimated attendance this year was likely 5,000 people and may have come close to booking up 8 Pittsburgh hotels. Even deeper changes may be in the works, cause for the last several months I have seen the occasional tail in Pittsburgh. Are Furries behind some our recent growth, or do people feel more free to come "out" now? Remember, Richard florida's three t's.
Also, this convention unlike most also attracts gawkers and rubberneckers like ourselves, who themselves are coming in to see them.
Anyway, it's good to remember that the only other Convention close to this size is in San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley.