This time last week in Southern California, a behemoth of a convention stirred beneath the shadow of the Land of Disney. Tens of thousands of attendees rushed to the hotels surrounding the Anaheim Convention Center, as Blizzard’s annual convention celebrating the games and lore held within their vibrant worlds began to awaken. Blizzcon readied itself for the onslaught of attendees, including Cirque des Betes’ own Crocodile Tears (me!). As the sun rose Friday morning it turned out that, unlike Blizzard’s famous Night Elf Betrayer, Blizzcon was in fact... prepared.
I was also prepared, representing the heart of Cirque des Betes, the performers inside all of us, the travelling circus in Azeroth itself: the Darkmoon Faire!
“The Darkmoon Faire showcases the weird and the extraordinary. Gathering the exotic from around the world, Silas Darkmoon presents the Darkmoon Faire as a celebration of the wonders and mysteries found on Azeroth.” -Wowpedia
Despite my costume consisting primarily of a handmade Darkmoon Faire Tabard (the rest was circus attire either already in my arsenal or borrowed from the fabulous Eve Riot), that did not stop the professional cosplayers from showing the same amity to me as they do to every single person in the cosplay community. Blizzcon is famous for bringing the best cosplayers out from the woodworks, or in the case of this year’s costume contest winner - the leatherworks, but the cosplay community recognizes their own and treats one another a respect and comradery that is largely unrivaled.
Once the doors opened however, con-goers milled about one another, pushed to the front of the stage, or held spots in the front of lines for gameplay, when suddenly the horde of attendees came to a standstill as the opening ceremonies began. The opening ceremonies included the normal “welcome” you find at any con, but then also a preview that was to come from not only that weekend, but what plans Blizzard had in the works for the next YEAR. That’s right, we shared in a moment of announcements that no one (at least those of us that had not signed an NDA disclosure) had heard of before. Despite the plethora of Internet Trolls and their kin infesting the web, the gaming community had a single peaceful moment where all were able to share in the glory of the promises the year to come contained.
Photo by Brain Matis : brianjmatis.com
After the moment had passed and the ceremony was over, all four halls of the gargantuan of a convention center exploded into activity. What did yours truly do? Well, head to the calling of a circus performer, of course - the Darkmoon Faire! The Faire was set up (in game and out) in a cozy corner near the Slaughtered Calf Inn (that ACTUALLY served beer - score!) and had tents, games, and pavilions, but sadly no circus performers. That shall be remedied next year, if Cirque des Betes has anything to say about it!
Also in a dark corner within the Darkmoon Faire was the 360 camera, taking high quality Matrix style photo shots! What better opportunity to bust out some circus moves than that…
After a full day immersed in Blizzard’s worlds and games, Day One wrapped up with their annual and infamous Friday Night Contests. I have to admit that I actually missed out on the live contests because with our ticket purchases we were also given the ability to stream everything online… and that was actually more appealing when you don’t want to camp out the “good seats,” so I took advantage of the smaller lines and got in some decent gameplay of Blizzards up and coming expansions, patches, and their new game: Overwatch!
That said, and despite not seeing it live, I watched the contests that evening and was surprised to discover that a wonderful circus sister put on a marvelous Warcraft themed silks performance, not to mention that she composed the music herself! She is paving the way for the rest of us carnies to start infiltrating the gaming cons!
Day two I went incognito (aka Street Clothes) and while it was an absolute blast for me playing the various up and coming games and listening to gaming, world building, and voice acting panels, I’m afraid that it would be quite boring for the rest of you to listen to me recount the nuances and intricacies of Blizzard’s game previews and synopses of the various panels. If you would like to chat about any of these, just contact our fearless ringleader and she will reign me in for a post-con gamer chat!
Written by Crocodile Tears
Photos by Crocodile Tears
Editted and layout by Eve Riot
Blog maintained by our lovely Ringleader-Eve Riot