RTX 2013 In Review
I’m going to try my best to not ramble on and on about an event that I’m pretty sure none of you had heard of before I started geeking out over going, but I have to talk about RTX 2013 a little bit.
The cool thing about going to an event like this, even in comparison to other conventions like Comic-Con, is that every single attendee is from the exact same community. We’re all Rooster Teeth fans, even with the small divisions over which series is your favorite. Before we left, a forum thread had started where people were listing off which airport they were leaving from and when, and through this I was able to actually find someone who was going to be on the same flight as us. I found him at the gate, where he had already found another person going to the convention. By the time the plane boarded, we had a total of 14 confirmed RTXers hanging out. Because we were a small plane, that meant that about 25% of the passengers were all going to RTX!
Austin was an interesting city to visit. I now understand where the catch phrase “Keep Austin Weird” comes from. People watching was “enlightening” and the 6th street scene on Friday night was reminiscent of New Orléans during Mardi Gras without as much boob flashing (note the “as much”). It was kind of nuts. There were tons of cool places to go eat, and while we only scratched the surface I’m excited about the idea of going back there and trying more of them.
RTX as a whole was great. It was not what I expected, but I’m glad we went. The length of lines was sort of a shock, and there were definitely some scheduling and line management issues that need to be worked out for next year, but really all in all it was awesome. I got to meet almost the entire cast of Red vs Blue as well as a good bit of the rest of the Rooster Teeth crew. I missed all of the Achievement Hunters except for Jack which was a little sad, but considering how many people there are to meet and how many people are trying to meet them, I don’t think I made off too badly.
I made it to two big panels and one smaller one, and I’m so glad I made time for them. It was really cool to hear straight from the crew how they do what they do. I did get a little irritated at some of the other attendees though. If you’re unfamiliar with the setup, usually whoever is hosting a panel will talk for a while, then open up the floor to questions. I’ve never been to a convention before, but I understand there are sort of unspoken rules about what you don’t do when the floor opens up. There are people who have legitimate questions, so taking up space in line to circumvent the process going on down on the main floor to ask “will you sign this for me?” is not cool. Asking for shout outs is not cool. Requesting a voice actor to say a specific phrase in the character’s voice so you can record it is not cool. Ignoring protocol for presenting gifts to the panel cast and coming to the microphone to make a show of it is not cool Asking a basic question that has been answered a hundred times over in various videos and other produced media from the panel participants like “where does the name Rooster Teeth come from?”, while slightly less egregious than the previous points, is still not cool. One of the big panels I went to, this all happened over and over again, and as an audience member it was irritating, but it was especially frustrating watching the people who were at the end of the line for the microphone not get to ask their questions because all of these other people broke the “rules”. I’m hoping that maybe in the future they implement a sort of screening process and weed out those people.
One of the coolest parts of the trip was the reaction to the backpack I made. I made updates on the RT site forums on the progress of it as I made it, so there were a good number of people who were able to pick me out of a crowd because of it. I had a number of “hey, aren’t you Jenn?” moments, which was really neat. The best reactions though were from RT crew. When I meet Matt, the CEO and voice of Sarge, he actually asked me for my picture with the backpack, to which I got all giggly. He also requested I go over and talk to the people who run the RT Store about it, and they were also impressed by it. The funniest one though was Kara, their office manager and person in charge of costuming. Since I try to keep my blog PG I can’t repeat exactly what she said, but “awesome” and “fantastic” were used. She had a mini-heart attack over it, and offered to pay me to make her one. Jenn = majorly happy
They’re a young convention, so they still have some issues they need to work out. Line management was a nightmare (though they did implement some on the fly fixes for the last day which helped), to the point where an unhappy fire marshal made an appearance on the second morning. Scheduling was a little cuckoo, where crew members were actually supposed to be in two places at once, leaving some unhappy attendees waiting for them for extended periods of time. The Guardians (volunteers who helped run the event) did a pretty good job corralling everyone appropriately, but there were definitely some inconsistencies in how the rules were implemented and enforced, also leading to some unhappy attendees. I’m sure they are issues the staff is aware of and will work on for next year, so I’ll be interested to see how they play out. Because I will definitely be there to see how it plays out.