Word Count: 387
By Taariq N. Adams
The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the National Harbor near D.C. hosted Katsucon, a Japanese animation and video game convention February 12-14.
“I think it is a wonderful experience for those into geek culture,” said Evan Yost, 25, an attendee at Katsucon. “It’s like one big costume party.”
In this convention people gather in one area to meet with friends, spend time together, and attend events. Some dress up as characters from Japanese media and video games, which is called cosplaying.
Many events and activities take place at Katsucon, including various panels, cosplay photo-shoots, and workshops for voice acting, prop designing, and story writing. There are also vendors that sell various games, artwork, toys and more.
Katsucon is set up as a safe environment for attendees thanks to security and medical staff.
“Protocol is pretty straight forward,” said Nick Alan, 28, a member of medical staff. “If there is a fire alarm going off and we can confirm it’s not a drill then you pretty much have to bring that to attention immediately and get everyone out of the building. The best we can do on the medical side assisting alongside security is to clear the area in a smart, clever, safe way.”
According to Christian Savage, 32, the coordinator of Katsucon, it was founded back in 1994 in Blacksburg, Virginia. It eventually moved over to Virginia Beach, then Baltimore Maryland and then in the National Harbor area.
“Since then we’ve settled in the Gaylord Hotel for the last six years,” he said. “Its location is premiere, it gives you a beautiful view of the Potomac, from a cosplay standpoint it is an awesome facility to take photos of any type cosplay you have and just the relationship that we have developed with the Gaylord and their staff has been paramount.”
Katsucon has grown over the years and it continues to be a fun environment for all to enjoy.
“It’s always nice to see different cosplays and who’s doing what and just the amount of skill that goes into it,” said Oluchi Ofoha, 30, who works as part of the operations staff. “Usually you want to do everything at once and usually get upset because you missed out on particular things, but, as long as you keep your mind there’s always next year.”