Published on September 2nd, 2012 | by thoseguyspodcast1
Saboten Con Update Day 1
Saboten Con in Arizona is a very lively convention with very passionate people attending. I spent the first day walking around, taking pictures, visiting panels and just taking in the con experience. The event takes place this year in a Renascence hotel with a large convention center. On my way to obtain my badge, I got lost met an incredibly talented artist named Armand who draws an interesting comic series. An interview was scheduled for later in the weekend.
Things were off to a great start. My first panel was overlooking the history and evolution of Vocaloids. Vocaloids are voice synthesizers that are available for purchase from Yamaha. Most Vocaloids are based off of real singers. Many Japanese producers use Vocaloids in their own arrangements to create unique and interesting songs. Each Vocaloid has a visual representation, name and persona attached to them which helps them feel more like a reliable character and often dictate the tone or style of the songs being made.
Perhaps the most famous Vocaloid is Hatsune Miku. A stunning success in Japan, Miku “plays” immense concerts to crowds of adoring fans. This is pretty impressive for a fictional character. It is interesting to consider a persona being so heavily tied into a voice synthesizers that it gathers the same kind of fans that fill up traditional music venues. As time goes on, the software becomes more proficient, the Vocaloids increase in accuracy and clarity as technology gets better. Popular Vocaloids get updated to their existing software to improve them further. This has an interesting impact on the music industry. As a form of entertainment, many producers gain profits from releasing albums featuring Vocaloids. This opens doors to musicians who may have music and lyric writing prowess but no vocal talent available. Not only does the built in fanbase who appreciate certain Vocaloids become attentive to their releases, but the producers gain some notoriety as well. The panel was very informative.
I spent plenty of time photographing cosplayers. I was amazed at the amount heart put into every costume. Many people identify with their cosplay characters on some level, and it shows. From simple to complex all the cosplays were enjoyable to behold. People young and old were dressed in interesting and unique costumes, including an especially dedicated young Dragon Ball Z fan with some seriously impressive drawing talent.
I look to hear more from cosplayers about what inspires them in the coming days.
Later that evening I was able to dabble in Arizona’s fierce competitive gaming scene. Saboten Con hosts competitive gaming tournaments. Genres primarily include fighting games such as Street Fighter, Tekken, and Skullgirls as well as Shooters like Call of Duty and Gears Of War. There are plenty of very talented and competitive gamers squaring off against each other.
However, more casual competitors were easily found as well. Light hearted games like Rock Band and DDR were available as well. The friendly side of the gaming scene shone through and the room was glowing with friendly competition and laughter. While there is work yet to be done, hopefully these kinds of e-sport style competitions will seep deeper and deeper into the popular media as time goes on.
Day 1 was a success, and hopefully day 2 will bring more action and adventure. Stay tuned, and enjoy the gallery below.