Monthly Archives: July 2019

Popcon, IN, 2019

Popcon 2017 was my first “con” event in 2017 after arrival in Indianapolis, IN. It was mesmerizing. After skipping 2018 event in lieu of other travels and visits, I picked up chance to visit this year in 2019. Unfortunately, apart from some blazing exceptions, it was kind of “meh” event. Might be due to great expectations on my part, but still Popcon 2019 was like body without spirit, like beautiful visage of flower missing sweet nectar within.

Let’s take a look at good, best and ugly parts of Popcon 2019, IN.

Good

Cosplay…was again on par. Fans had clearly poured their hearts out into preparing costumes and playing the part. Some of them gone to extreme length (see below) considering the June summer heat.

Arcade and table-top Gaming: Arcade gaming had clearly saved the day for me from “deja-vu” wandering of the popcon 2019. Also presence of table-top gaming was most welcomed.

Bad

Same stores: Not much engaging stores apart from usual geeky clothing and paraphernalia. Not much variety in terms of art on display also. I also missed good comic stores.

Nothing special about special guests: It was like following the ritual to invite people related to pop culture industry without giving much thought and get it done with it just because it is ritual to invite someone at such pop culture event.

Ugly

Visible spaciousness… in any “con” events itself speak a lot. It was not like convention hall was completely empty but this year it was comparatively less foot falls than usual. Stalls were less and not much there to at-least cover up space available for use of the convention hall.

Best

Space Invaders in VR: one of the best experience of Popcon 2019 was playing space invaders in VR. VR setup was done using HTC vive and powerful supporting tower with VR enabled nvidia card by provider called Spectrum VR arcade (www.spectrumvrarcade.com).

Scary

Plank VR: I tried so called “plank” experience in VR which wants you to walk on narrow plank from top story balcony of Willis tower of Chicago and jump from it once you reached the edge ( yes, jump ). VR was more realistic and immersive than expected. ’nuff said.

All in all, this year’s Popcon was routine game which failed to hit “excitement” ball out of the park. Let’s see what happen to Comic-con 2019.

Date of visit : 08-Jun-2019.

Travelog: Orlando and Bahamas, Day 5, Kennedy Space Center

“Farewell to Space”

After leisurely “bobbing” on serene Atlantic for 3 days and 4 nights on cruise Carnival, occasionally heading off to islands of Nassau and Freeport, it was time to disembark. Early morning on the last day brought not so surprising drizzle which was very much welcome anticipating hot and humid Orlando weather, and surprise in form of origami out of beach towel on Carnival deck while going for breakfast. Whole top deck benches around pool and bars were occupied with curious little “audiences”.

Things to do: Pack your belongings very much in advance and be ready for your time slot. Each deck has allotted time slot which will be announced on PA. Moving out during your time slot will reduce hustle and bustle considerably. And it is quick.
Things to remember: Double check your stateroom for any "miss-outs". Have your passport and other identity documents handy. H1B work permit visa holders must have valid stamping. Seek out any further instructions on products which needs to be declared for custom.

Once successfully re-entered on US turf, we had almost whole day ahead of us to acclimatise Orlando after sunny, sandy beaches. After nature, we decided to take it up one notch up to science and technology and space mimicking humankind history in short span by visiting Kennedy space center.

Things to do: Kennedy space center is nearby cape Canaveral port; almost 24-25 miles. Easy to pay visit before going to proper Orlando nearby all amusement parks. There are many rental car options available at port itself. Also there are shuttle services provided by nearby hotels if you have reservations. Cab options are rare and expensive.

Kennedy space center is evidently something out of some Hollywood set on space opera. Replicas of various launch rockets adorning the horizon, it also adorned various space age symbolism almost conveniently placed for photo lovers.

Monetary note: Kennedy space center will cost you around $57 per person excluding any live launch observation.
Things to do: Check out any planned launch of space X or others. It will cost extra to be spectator of such event but might worth to see the launch (and land when it's spaceX vehicle) .

Apart from various 3D shows, plethora of space vehicle replicas scattered all over, future Mars program related info-games and other paraphernalia , best part of the visit was to witness Saturn V in its original size and capacity along with its science and intricacies on display at Apollo Saturn V center. NASA’s rocket assembly building was also one of the unique attraction during the included space center bus ride.

All in all it was something which we might not see in our lifetime. And hence worth to see.

We drove through congealing traffic towards our hotel in heart of Orlando from where we planned to “launch” our next 2 day trip towards Universal studio as well as Disney.

Previously on Carnival cruise and Bahamas: Day 1Day 2Day 3, Day 4