Otakon 2009: Behind the Scenes at the Dealer’s Room

When my colleague at TAS, Kucchi, asked me if I wanted a job for Otakon I was a bit conflicted. My first instinct was to turn it down, since I didn’t want to miss the entire convention on account of a job. On the other hand I was a recent graduate who had not worked in over three months. The idea of coming back from a con with more money than I had when I came was simply too attractive. Thus I accepted the job offer.

blahI only knew my employer as Takeuchi-san, who headed up the Manga Gamer booth. The company in question has made some interesting waves recently by offering translations of Japanese eroge for direct download. This creates an interesting conundrum for otaku as direct download cuts costs by eliminating packaging. Otaku are hoarders by nature, however, and most would shun the prospect of buying something that cannot be proudly displayed upon a shelf.

The booth itself was something to behold. The backdrop was one of huge promotional banners draped with a sampling of our wares. In this case t-shirts and scandalous dakimakura. Sales went fairly well and I got a chance to really experience the convention in a new way. One of the biggest problems with Otakon is its immense size, which makes it almost impossible to see everything. The dealers, however, is the hub of the convention. Everyone at the convention will visit the dealer’s room at least once and so by working in the dealer’s room you’re guaranteed to meet almost everyone at the con.

~Sebastian Padrino

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