I was lucky enough to go to Dream Con 2018 for its inaugural weekend. Considering one of my favorite YouTube groups, RDCworld1, was making it happen, it was something I knew I couldn’t miss. RDCworld1 has been making content on YouTube about anime, gaming, comics, and everything in between for years now. From skits and parodies to geekdom conversations, I’m sure you have seen their content at some point in your internet life.
Dream Con began when the group of young YouTubers, with over 1 million subscribers, tried to be a guest at conventions but were never forwarded the opportunity. Whether it was their age, form of delivering entertainment, or because of the color of their skin, they had enough of chasing other cons and decided to put on their own. Their goal was to create a convention different than any other where all felt welcomed and included on the con floor but also had their own RDC unique. They succeeded.
When it comes to describing Dream Con 2018, it was small — given it is in its first year — but they were able to bring creators and influencers from all over. Most of the guests were social media influencers. They had Berleezy, King Vader, Caleb City, Tutweezy, Daquan Wiltshire, and Young Don the Sauce God. All of the invited guests were all people of color, from music, cosplay, YouTube, and comics and manga artists, to a voice actor from Hero Academia, their talent and hard work were celebrated and on display. To be honest, I didn’t know any of these guys, but I looked up their content after I learned about them.
The one I will always remember is King Vader. Mostly because I made myself look like a fool in one of his soon to be released music videos. I had no idea who he was, so when King Vader asked all of the cosplayers to come up to be in his video I went up. Dressed in my San cosplay, from Princess Mononoke, I cautiously swayed back and forth and thought, “Hey, I can do this.” Then the beat dropped. Everyone is dancing and I’m in the middle of the crowd standing, looking at everyone confused because I didn’t get the memo that I was supposed to dance. Not being able to dance at all didn’t help either. Overall, it was awesome that people who knew him were given the opportunity to be part of his content even if it means I might become a meme when that video drops.
RDCWorld1 continued their mission to bring in creators of color by inviting professional cosplayer Fiona Nova. If you don’t know who she is, she’s kind of famous on Instagram. One of the reasons she is well-known is because she is a Black cosplayer who isn’t afraid to cosplay white characters that she loves. She was a part of a cosplay panel where she talked about the toxicity around cosplaying. Listening to her panel gave me the confidence, and I left knowing that I can cosplay anyone. After listening to her, I know that I should really put myself out there, and I thank her for that. Sometimes it’s terrifying to do a character since I’m afraid of what others will say since I’m a brown Latina. Knowing that I wasn’t the only one who has these feelings when others agreed, made me realize I should really go out there and not be afraid of what anyone will say.
While the convention had the traditional expectations of panels, special guests, and esports tournaments, Dream Con also had things that I am not sure I will ever see outside of this con. A squared circle was right smacked dab in the main event area where pro wrestlers put on a show for fans. Each day, these wrestlers went at it for the enjoyment of the crowd. In another section of the convention, they had a nerf gun and dodgeball tournament run by local professionals. An added bonus was that they gave the fans an opportunity to play against the crew of RDCWorld1 and other VIPs in this tournament. Talk about dedications to fan service. When one group would win and everyone just going wild and that’s when I realized that I was surrounded by mostly brown and Black con-goers and fans. I was comfortable. I was included. And I wasn’t weird for having such a hyped reaction when a team would win. This created an environment where I did not feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb. I felt like I was with my people.
Usually, when I go to a convention I go through all the booths and make a mental note about what I really want to buy. I say, “Ok I’m going to spend x amount of money and no more.“ This usually entails one lap around the booths and then going to pick what I want. Even though this convention was small and didn’t have many booths, this was the most I’ve ever spent at booths. I had set myself at a minimum of buying two pieces of art and ended up with eight pieces of art. Almost all the art we bought was from people of color since many of the booths were run by people who looked just like me. Creators like Scribbells, Where Da Waifu, Elia in a Box Studios, and Victoria Rivero provided beautiful art, unique appearance, and my first choker.
Overall, Dream Con 2018 was by far the smallest convention I have ever been to but one of the ones where I have had the most fun. Dream Con was an inclusive, unique, and energy filled convention and I cannot wait to see what the RDCWorld1 team can make it next year.