BritKig: First Year in Review
2018 has been a major year for me, with plenty of ups and downs both in and outside of cosplaying. It won't be much longer to the day one year ago that Irina came to my doorstep and I feel it is time to reflect on my first year as an animegao cosplayer.
On March 17th, I attended my first convention in a cosplay costume at MCM Comic Con Birmingham March 2018 in The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.
This is not the first time I have been to this venue for this event, in-fact, it is my third time. I have to attribute this being possible to my younger brother as, although I have an automatic driving license, I cannot afford to maintain even a basic car (and some of us do know what insurance and road tax can amount to).
The sensations I experienced this time was a complete contrast on past occasions and, make no mistake, my mindset was completely different. I was actually quite popular with the kids and their grandparents. Interestingly, I never thought it would happen, but my appearance made it into the gallery for their sister news outlet MyMBuzz. Unfortunately, due to a camera misconfiguration in the shutter department, only one image was clear and qualitative enough to publish on my photo-site-of-choice Flickr.
Going forward from that, summer 2018 marked the start of a difficult period for British citizens and, for me at least, was unpleasant in more ways than one. This year saw the United Kingdom go without any decent rainfall for over two months; it was so problematic that our land actually changed colour when viewed from space.
At the very end of July, I became the subject of an unfounded accusation by one of those I met in-person on March 17th with the claim that I have mistreated others and doing my cosplaying and running the Discord server I manage (more on that later) as a for-profit business. This couldn't in-fact be much further away from the truth; without any evidence to this very day of what the particulat incident one is claiming, the motives for this incident remains a mystery and I doubt I'll ever find out. If you are thinking of point your finger at someone, think of the four Ws and make sure you have evidence to back it:
- Where did it happen?
- When did it happen?
- What was spoken/said?
- Who was caught up in it?
On October 27th, I attended my second convention, MCM Comic Con London October 2018 at The ExCeL Arena, London. This event didn't go as smoothly as Birmingham, simply for the fact that, being it the most-attended venue on the MCM calendar, it was so packed you couldn't even hold your arm out and turn 360 degrees without hitting someone or something.
There was a lot to look at, hands-down.
Over 100 photo shots were taken, with 18 of the clearest from each burst of photos available now on Flickr*.
November 18th saw my final convention of the calendar year, HYPER JAPAN Winter 2018 at The Olympia, London.
It has to be said, this convention gave me the most confidence; not on the basis that I've got previous convention experience under my belt, but simply because it was less packed and it was much, much easier to spot and identify hazards before you know they're actually there. Truth be told, I am fine with crowds, but only to a limited degree.
This day saw me being stopped far more often for photoshoots than the previous two events, averaging one stop every 3-5 minutes an sometimes even shorter than that.
Over 160 photo shots were taken courtesy of my handler, with the best 30 available on Flickr now*.
Outside of conventions, photoshoots, live cams and live streams, I have been tending to my Discord server that celebrated its first anniversary on November 9th, The Animegao Circle.
This server didn't originally start off as a commons server, but was, for a time, a personal server; but as days went on, it occured to me that it wasn't going to serve me a lot of good. In the end, rather than deleting it, repurpose it into a commons server based on the image and operating ethos of this site (KigurumiOnline) but with the aim of catering for mobile and tablet users, as well as users frequently on the move.
It goes without saying that running a server is not without its challenges, such as bot malfunctions and Terms of Service-breaking conduct including but not limited to people just wanting to stir trouble and/or to eavesdrop for other, similar domains for the purpose of humiliation and ridicule.
I also have to mention that, as the server owner, I have made some careless and blind mistakes, the most difficult being identifying who is genuinely wanting to be part of our Circle and those who only come in for malicious ends.
On a positive note, my server has received praise by KigurumiOnline's admins for supporting an respecting their values and their image on the internet; I have as well had members, some with social difficulties and disabilites, tell me they feel more comfortable on my server because of our ability to recognise and value these traits and how it affects them in general day-to-day conversations. What would the world be if everyone was exactly identical?
Using 2018 as a learning curve going in 2019, I will be taking a much tougher stance against these rogue individuals and domains in hope to make our society and culture more socially-acceptable.
If you wish to join The Animegao Circle, you can use this invite link or the one shown on the front page of this website.**
I also wish to take the opportunity of making the recommendation that if you have been given a link to unknown or unvetted server, do your research for your own safety. The reason I am raising this is because some of us have found out (the hard way) that some these alternative servers are not as safe, let alone respectable of other people personalities and qualities, as they are advertised to be.
Rounding off, I wish to give my gratitude to the KigurumiOnline team for recognising my server and to wish them and all the members of The Animegao Circle a very happy forthcoming Christmas season, the new year celebrations and, of course, a even kiggier 2019!
* One image is released every day after the event from which the photo(s) were taken.
** Usage of this invite link/code means you accept the terms and conditions of KigurumiOnline, The Animegao Circle and Discord Inc..
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