I have just successfully attended, and survived, Minecon 2011 in what is known as 'Fabulous!' Las Vegas. And despite various issues on the part of myself, and on the part of how Minecon and it's subsequent after party were organized, it was an awesome time and a success on the part of everyone who put it together. You will probably hear otherwise by others though, but I will address those qualms as best I can after just waking up from my recovery sleep. Anyways, on to the good stuff!
Because of personal issues I was unable to attend all of Minecon, but I spent much time in the main exhibit hall, popped in and out of a few panels, and missed the costume party. What I did see though was amazing and fun. I arrived at the convention around 10:30, bypassing the large line that was awaiting to get inside, and managed to find large lines leading to everything in the area. The first thing that struck me was that for the amount of people there the amount of content was a bit on the low side, and the main hall was a bit small. Nevertheless I spent a large amount of time heading back and forth between IGN, Curse, Razer, and any other booths I could find my way into. It didn't seem like long, but soon the mass exodus from the main hall gave way to the opening ceremony in one of the ball rooms. I feel that this was one of the high points of the convention to be able to see the official release of 1.0 in all its glory. Notch was exasperated, as was everyone else on stage, and the event was amazing. It really helped solidify the community as a whole and showed the Mojang staff how committed we were to the success of Minecraft, Cobalt, and Scrolls. Around mid-day I left with my brother-in-law to grab some food before coming back in. By that point we had already missed out on getting a sweet limited edition creeper that ran about $40. I was somewhat disappointed, but at the same time I hadn't planned on buying alot at the convention, and I more than made up with it by picking up tons of free shwag. We didn't return to Minecon until after the costume party was over, but in a stroke of amazing luck we were among the last to get autograph's from the entire development team. We had the chance to ask a few questions and praise them for their work before shaking hands and letting these star struck folk get ready for another day of excitement. And so ended the first day at Minecon.
The following day I missed a large part of Minecon due to my family, who had come to see me, leaving that day. So I ended up spending most of the day with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew before they had to leave. It wouldnt be until 1 in the afternoon that I would finally get the chance to switch to my second hotel, and get my ass back to Minecon. By this point it was nearly 2:30 and I had just missed the yogscast panel, and was about to find a second disappointment waiting for me. I am a huge fan of the Yogscast, and I had originally planned to attend the panel and get their autographs. Since I missed the panel it was onto the autographs, but as I was about to realize things weren't so simple. A large line had gathered for autographs, but soon after an announcer stated that if you had no autograph ticket you would not be getting an autograph. How and where was I supposed to obtain this ticket? It turns out that the tickets were handed out to folks in the main exhibit hall, while those in the ballroom attending the panel were not distributed tickets. It seemed like a really piss poor decision to hand tickets to those who weren't attending the packed panel, and instead give them to people in the exhibit hall who may or may not cared to get the autographs. I ended missing out on getting autographs, and attended the closing ceremony somewhat bothered by my sad state of events. In any case the ending ceremony was a blast as a packed hall attempted to get the wave going before Notch and crew hit the stage, and the donations to the Make a Wish foundation and the individual who got to attend Minecon because of the foundation nearly brought a tear to my eye. The development team gave us their heart felt thanks, and the lure of a potential Minecon 2012 hung in the air. And with that my second day at Minecon was at an end.
And so it was to the after party. I've read a bit about the after party in the wake of Minecon and most of it seems to be in the negative. Minecon attendee's were supposed to have been the only one's attending the after party, but the allure of deadmau5 brought a wide variety of regular club-goers to the XS. I've also heard that the after party wasn't the ideal scene for the general Minecon populace, and that the show was so packed that it was impossible to get around and just as hard to get a drink at the bar. I can state that all these problems were indeed there. Deadmau5 attracted such a large group that I could barely get in, and at one point I thought the main room would have to be evacuated due to the large amount of attendee's. It was a bit of a disappointment to see the Minecon crowd lumped in with regular club-goers, but as the party wore on I realized that it was mostly the regular's that were dancing and having a good time. I attended as long as I could, until 3 in the morning, and had a blast the entire time, but I guess im a party-goer, or maybe I just know how to have a good time. In any case I can understand the qualms that the general Minecon group could have with the after party. It didn't cater exclusively to us, and im sure many felt it was a disappointment. I on the other hand had a blast and am already planning on seeing deadmau5 live again. On top of this the showing of Minecraft videos and the decorations were spot on, and deadmau5 even put a creeper head on for awhile. There was even some remixes of C418's more well known in-game songs that really made the after party feel that it was intended for Minecon attendees. For all intents and purposes the after party was for us, but deadmau5 really is that amazing and brought everyone in.
Minecon 2011 was a success, no doubt about it in my mind. Alot of people thought Las Vegas was a poor place to have the convention, but Las Vegas is host to conventions year round, and even despite the general mood of Las Vegas, the convention was for all ages. There was plenty to see and do, actually there was too much to see and do. I missed out on so much because of the large amounts of people, the way the panels were structured, and just personal issues as well, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. If I were to pick one thing that stuck out in my head that bothered me the most, it would be not having attending the Yogscast panel or getting their autographs. But this is a small blemish in the scope of a convention that gave Minecraft fans just about everything they could possibly want. And I hope that Mojang decides to have Minecraft 2012 in Las Vegas again because it's in my neck of the woods and I do like having my car when in Las Vegas, it makes transportation so much easier, and cheaper. Thank you Mojang and all the people who put together such an awesome two days.