Hello everyone from NDK 2016. This year marks the 20th annual convention organized by the Rocky Mountain Anime Association. And it looks like we’re going to have a very special convention this year. The guest list is packed, there are plenty of panels to attend, and lots of cool stuff to buy in the merchants room and artists alley.
I started out my weekend with a panel entitled “Sharing Otaku Literacy in Higher Education”, hosted by Alisa Freedman with Kazunori Sugiura. Sugiura is an instructor at Keio University in their Graduate School of Media design. His “day job” involves teaching about network infrastructure and IT resources, but he considers himself to be an otaku. In his otaku role, he teaches courses about fan culture, costuming, and creativity. Sugiura sees a huge potential in the creativity of fans to change the world. He also discussed the internationalization of Japanese otaku culture through the growth of the internet as a communication platform. He noted that the current internet infrastructure is great at sharing knowledge, but cannot yet share experiences. He hopes that this will be the next step in technological development.
Next, I went to a panel on independent animation hosted by Chris Bobko. He spent most of the panel showing various short animations that he had found in the past several years. Full coverage of this panel will have to wait until I have a stable internet connection with which to research the various shorts so that I can provide links to all of you. They were all very clever and amazingly well done.
Next was a discussion of Pokemon GO with Alisa Freedman. We discussed how the new game could potentially be used in a learning environment and its place in popular culture at large. Pokemon is one of the first properties to really push its “media mix”. That is, if you name a type of media, there is likely a Pokemon product that has been produced in that format. Finally, we discussed some of the difficulties and triumphs of the Pokemon GO, including exercise, trespassing, accidents, and artwork.
Finally, I attended Patrick Seitz’s “Come to Denver, see the Seitz” panel. This one is a bit difficult to summarize, as most of the panel was question and answer from the audience. We did talk about video games for a little bit; Seitz recently purchased “No Man’s Sky” but is somewhat disappointed with it. He also talked about “Monster”, which remains Seitz’s favorite anime.
And then I went home, downloaded all the new 3DS Streetpass games, and went to sleep. I hope all of the rest of you had a great day at the convention. I’ll see you again tomorrow.