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PAX Cosplayers - your opinions requested (about costume weapons)!

AaronCAaronC Enforcer - LieutenantPortland OregonRegistered User regular
edited August 2012 in PAX Archive
Hello everyone, my name is Aaron, my Enforcer handle is AirWolf. I'm one of the PAX Lieutenants and I'm one of the Enforcers responsible for Security at the show.

Over the last few years we've seen more and more people Cos-playing at PAX (which is awesome), but with that comes more people bringing costume weapons (and sometimes real weapons) to the show. We do have a weapons policy which if your not familure is thus:

A COSTUME WEAPON IS *NOT* PERMITTED AT PAX IF:

- It fires or can fire any sort of projectile. {Nerf is allowed if it has been deactivated)

- It is airsoft, even if deactivated

- It looks like a real firearm at "second glance." (Yes, even if it's a kid's toy.)

- It's sharp or pointy enough to cut or pierce someone with moderate pressure. (Yes, even if it's not made of metal.)



That being said, the implementation of this has not been even or terribly effective at times. Sometimes a cos-player was told their item wasn't allowed when another Enforcer told a different cos-player that their same item was ok. This isn't very fair and is the kind of thing we would like to fix.

So I'm here to ask your opinions on the best way to implement our policy so that its fair and every is playing by the same rules. One idea we have had internally is a weapons check booth and some form of "peace bonding". What I'd love to hear is what has worked at other Con's, what you as the cos-players would like to see done for PAX and what you know doesn't work.

At the moment we're thinking of having a booth where your costume weapons get checked and then some form of stamp, badge, hole punch, or zip tie being applied either to the weapon or to your badge which you can show to other Enforcers if they want to know if you have been checked or not.

Well, what do you think?

Aaron "AirWolf" Clark


p.s. I'm not looking for any debate on what we do and don't allow, please lets not get into any arguments over not allowing airsoft or anything like that. (Thanks!)

AaronC on
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Posts

  • arwen_doll16_LOTRarwen_doll16_LOTR Commander Registered User regular
    I think the check booth would be awesome. Another way is that any enforcer could sign off on it when it is encountered. This means no line at a booth, and it would be checked off while just going about PAX. It would also mean that those who are not aware of the booth would not have to be sent to it. People would also not have to wait for a friend or be seperated too long. It would also be a lot easier to get the less compliant to be stopped and checked for a few moments than get people to go to a booth, wait in line, then be checked which could take who knows how long.

    As far as symbol that the item is ok I have two thoughts. One is that the sign off should go on the badge so as not to interfere with the weapon or costume (many people do photoshoots and would not want something on the costume or weapon itself since it would detract from it or need to be removed which would start the process all over again). However the other side to this is that if the sign off indicator thingie is not on the weapon then someone could get signed off for one weapon, have the designation, but then bring in another weapon that was not signed off on and still get away with it. Not sure what could be done to fix either issue.

    Sorry if that is long, just some of my initial thoughts at 2am!

    I should go.
    534159_4247466298641_1660805487_n.jpg
  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    Long is not a problem, I appreciate the ideas, they are both good ones. As far as being signed off and then bringing in something else, we could put a short description on a sticker on the back of the badge, but that might be too cumbersome...

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    However the other side to this is that if the sign off indicator thingie is not on the weapon then someone could get signed off for one weapon, have the designation, but then bring in another weapon that was not signed off on and still get away with it.

    Yeah, having a badge sticker or whatever opens up this loophole pretty wide.

    If you want to be perfectly consistent, you'll need something like a check-booth. Personally I think that's obnoxious and will be frustrating to attendees.

    I think your best bet is to accept that these things are judgement calls, and try to better train those people who make those judgement calls to be consistent with each other. It's like the booth babe thing. One person can think an outfit is acceptable, another can not. Should there be a clothing check booth too for all the exhibitors? Of course not.

    Live with the fact that there might be an inconsistency. Have someone who can make final decisions on something that's disputed and communicate it to everyone necessary in an effective manner (Enforcer 1 says X is ok, Enforcer 2 says X is not ok, attendee asks for a final ruling, it goes to AaronC who makes a decision and communicates that decision to everyone who has the ability to make weapon policy calls so this attendee is not asked again).

  • d3r371ctd3r371ct Registered User
    AaronC wrote: »
    Long is not a problem, I appreciate the ideas, they are both good ones. As far as being signed off and then bringing in something else, we could put a short description on a sticker on the back of the badge, but that might be too cumbersome...

    that's pretty much what i was thinking. just to have a card with the weapon's description.

    lemon curry?
  • HemisphereHemisphere Registered User
    I don't think there is a particular way to do it that wouldn't be frustrating and time consuming for everyone involved. I did witness instances at East this year where people would be dressed as the same character and one would have their prop taken away while the other didn't encounter the same enforcers so they got to keep it. Peace bonding from a logistical standpoint is probably the most reliable thing to do but I know that depending on the prop whatever the peacebonded marker is can be kind of obtrusive in photos.

    Perhaps just having a detailed list of what's completely forbidden on the forums and posted near the entrances too? (similar to the current weapons policy only maybe broken down a little more because I know we always have someone coming in asking about nerf and squirt guns) and then maybe AaronC or someone else makes the final call on anything that's questionable from a centralized location near where any weapons that have to be taken are kept until the convention is over?

    It's surprisingly complicated to come up with a solution that works for everyone... Do you think it'd be crazy/useless to have a pre-approval thread on the forums for people to submit photos or questions concerning their props?

  • d3r371ctd3r371ct Registered User
    edited May 2012
    Hemisphere wrote: »
    Do you think it'd be crazy/useless to have a pre-approval thread on the forums for people to submit photos or questions concerning their props?

    good idea. i'm working on a nerf maverick for my borderlands cosplay (mordecai).
    it's completely unable to fire, but i figure it's worth getting the ok.

    d3r371ct on
    lemon curry?
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Hemisphere wrote: »
    Do you think it'd be crazy/useless to have a pre-approval thread on the forums for people to submit photos or questions concerning their props?

    People have used the cosplay thread for that in the past.

  • arwen_doll16_LOTRarwen_doll16_LOTR Commander Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Hemisphere wrote: »
    Do you think it'd be crazy/useless to have a pre-approval thread on the forums for people to submit photos or questions concerning their props?

    People have used the cosplay thread for that in the past.
    Lol yes, yes they have ;) I currently have the rules posted under FAQS but they are still fuzzy at times. Having a seperate thread would both cut down on the clutter on the cosplay thread but add to the clutter in general. Plus it would mean answering the same question over and over.

    I think having more detailed rules (sorry AaronC!) might help with fuzziness and cut down on one person saying a prop is good and another saying it is not.

    I should go.
    534159_4247466298641_1660805487_n.jpg
  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    I appreciate everyone's comments so far. People can continue to use the cosplay thread to post pictures and get a pre-show ruling. Of course I can't guarantee 100 percent that something that looked good on photo will be ok at the convention itself, but I'm pretty sure 99 percent of the time that it would work great.

    I don't think this is comparable to the booth babe policy or its Enforcement. Ultimately any complaints about booth babes are handled by the PA Staff / Robert. Its not something managed by the Enforcers. There also is a check of all exhibitors, its done by you the attendees, the Enforcers who work those areas and the PA Staff who oversee the convention. There doesn't need to be a check in booth because if there was a problem it would be found at the exhibitors own area.

    Costume weapons that we don't allow wander through the hallways, theaters and exhibit floor. As much as an inconvenience as it is, having one check out station makes sense. Is it wrong to say that's the small price you pay for cos-playing? Is that not how its handled at other anime cons?

    Nothing is set in stone yet, so please keep your comments and suggestions coming, thanks!

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    AaronC wrote: »
    As much as an inconvenience as it is, having one check out station makes sense. Is it wrong to say that's the small price you pay for cos-playing? Is that not how its handled at other anime cons?

    This isn't an anime con. Cosplay is a very small part of PAX overall, and I think this would be a deterrent. Considering how bad PAX is at getting important information about the show out to everyone that needs it, I think a lot of people would never know about the check station until they were already AT PAX, and by that point it would be pretty shitty to be told "hey go wait in this line so you can wear your costume".

  • tsrblketsrblke Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    AaronC wrote: »
    As much as an inconvenience as it is, having one check out station makes sense. Is it wrong to say that's the small price you pay for cos-playing? Is that not how its handled at other anime cons?

    This isn't an anime con. Cosplay is a very small part of PAX overall, and I think this would be a deterrent. Considering how bad PAX is at getting important information about the show out to everyone that needs it, I think a lot of people would never know about the check station until they were already AT PAX, and by that point it would be pretty shitty to be told "hey go wait in this line so you can wear your costume".

    I'm not a Cosplayer (although my wife may Cosplay this year) but 1000X ^this^. Pax has a bit of a Laissez-Faire (or "Laissez les bons temps rouler" if you prefer) which will not play nice with an official check in table. Not that people would revolt against it, just many people would be halfway around the WSCC before they even heard/thought/whatever about it. (Heck if not for good veteran friends, I wouldn't have even known where to pick up my swag bag on day one, or that you didn't have to wait in the Expohall line to get it.)

  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    Is there any other comments anyone would like to make?

  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I don my top hat, and adjust my monocle, Like a god damn sir.Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Sometimes a cos-player was told their item wasn't allowed when another Enforcer told a different cos-player that their same item was ok
    Honestly, this sounds more like a training problem on the Enforcer end than a problem for the cosplayers.

    The rules for the weapons are pretty clear on the user end save for maybe the blunt object one because technically anything can be used to bludgeon someone if it has enough mass, even my Megaman helmet from last year or a nerf gun if it's been reinforced in some fashion. Other than that, there's really not a whole lot of ambiguity from what I can tell.

    TOGSolid on
  • ChazzonChazzon Registered User regular
    Me and my buddy had all the gear to Cosplay for MOH and Ghost Recon Future soldier. I see no weapons that "look real" Are allowed. But if we Safety tie the trigger would that be acceptable? It would defeat the purpose of Cosplaying that if we gotta walk around with no weapons....

  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I don my top hat, and adjust my monocle, Like a god damn sir.Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Chazzon wrote: »
    Me and my buddy had all the gear to Cosplay for MOH and Ghost Recon Future soldier. I see no weapons that "look real" Are allowed. But if we Safety tie the trigger would that be acceptable? It would defeat the purpose of Cosplaying that if we gotta walk around with no weapons....

    Not even a bound trigger would work. If it's a replica of any sort of actual rifle, you're pretty much hosed. However, you could get one of the baller nerf machine guns, deactivate it (which is easy as hell to do), strip the logos off with careful sanding, and then use some black gloss spray paint and a clear coat to turn into something that would work though.
    Spoiler:

    This would be extra workable with the GRFS cosplay since..well...that whole future thing, lol.

    TOGSolid on
  • ChazzonChazzon Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    Chazzon wrote: »
    Me and my buddy had all the gear to Cosplay for MOH and Ghost Recon Future soldier. I see no weapons that "look real" Are allowed. But if we Safety tie the trigger would that be acceptable? It would defeat the purpose of Cosplaying that if we gotta walk around with no weapons....

    Not even a bound trigger would work. If it's a replica of any sort of actual rifle, you're pretty much hosed. However, you could get one of the baller nerf machine guns, deactivate it (which is easy as hell to do), strip the logos off with careful sanding, and then use some black gloss spray paint and a clear coat to turn into something that would work though.
    Spoiler:

    This would be extra workable with the GRFS cosplay since..well...that whole future thing, lol.

    Now, I'm not trying to stir up trouble. I just like to know the history. Many cons I've attended across the United States and Japan have all allowed Weapons if they are not "real" As in, they can shoot real bullets. You just Banded it, and added like a orange tip if not taking a photo so everyone can see it's a prop not a real weapon.

    I've even so far as seen real swords being sold, and all they did is attach a zip tie to the pumble and sheath. Having to use Nerf guns just takes the effect away. I've got full set of Tactical gear I use for these events, and lowering the quality of my display with a nerf gun is kinda sad.

    Chazzon on
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Haven't read though all of this, but have you guys considered a black light stamp?

    This will be my first pax so I'm not sure how much enforcers walk around or if they just stand in designated spot and keep watch, but If i was the person in charge i would envision it as the following. Every enforcer would get a black light stamp and a black light flashlight, the design of the stamp could be w/e the person in charge decides to make it. While/If they walk around the convention floor and they see someone cosplaying with a weapon they could either ask the attendee to show them where the stamp is and use their light to check it. Or if it hasn't been checked by an enforcer yet they could do the check and if it's ok stamp it for future enforcers or say its not ok and do whatever you guys do with a not ok weapon.

    I really only see two(maybe 3) downsides to this method. The first being that fact that stamps, ink, and flash lights for every enforcer might get a little expensive and idk who funds enforcers or if it is completely voluntary. The second being this could be a little time consuming checking for stamps/finding them on the weapon. The 3rd potential downside is on the part of the actual cosplayer and remembering where they got their stamp if it was Okd. I know before I decided against it I was considering cosplaying Axel from KH and it would be have been a PITA to try and remember which which spike of which chakram got the stamp

  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I don my top hat, and adjust my monocle, Like a god damn sir.Registered User regular
    Chazzon wrote: »
    TOGSolid wrote: »
    Chazzon wrote: »
    Me and my buddy had all the gear to Cosplay for MOH and Ghost Recon Future soldier. I see no weapons that "look real" Are allowed. But if we Safety tie the trigger would that be acceptable? It would defeat the purpose of Cosplaying that if we gotta walk around with no weapons....

    Not even a bound trigger would work. If it's a replica of any sort of actual rifle, you're pretty much hosed. However, you could get one of the baller nerf machine guns, deactivate it (which is easy as hell to do), strip the logos off with careful sanding, and then use some black gloss spray paint and a clear coat to turn into something that would work though.
    Spoiler:

    This would be extra workable with the GRFS cosplay since..well...that whole future thing, lol.

    Now, I'm not trying to stir up trouble. I just like to know the history. Many cons I've attended across the United States and Japan have all allowed Weapons if they are not "real" As in, they can shoot real bullets. You just Banded it, and added like a orange tip if not taking a photo so everyone can see it's a prop not a real weapon.

    I've even so far as seen real swords being sold, and all they did is attach a zip tie to the pumble and sheath. Having to use Nerf guns just takes the effect away. I've got full set of Tactical gear I use for these events, and lowering the quality of my display with a nerf gun is kinda sad.
    PAX has much more stringent weapon policies. It cannot look real at all. Even with an orange tip or a band or whatever will not make it legal.

  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    I'm sorry, but replica weapons, such as airsoft, or prop guns that are accurate replicas of real guns are not allowed.

    We've talked about UV marking, its not feasible to equip every Enforcer with a UV flashlight.

  • RobogirlRobogirl Registered User regular
    Personally, I'm all for a peace bonding booth. Have someone check the weapon and then tie a specific ribbon around it. It isn't cool to punch holes in people's props.

  • XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
    While I would love to carry a prop gun around... it's usually not good practice, in case it might attract the ire of the police or other citizens. For example, many municipalities ban the display of weapons in public, especially a place like Boston. I know airsofters who keep their gear in bags until they reach the field.

    The policy should stand as is. You don't need a weapon to have a cool costume.

  • Thin Red PasteThin Red Paste Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I see no problems with the policy as is, especially in light of Tango's comment in one of the cosplay threads about this pax east having a record low for contraband weapon props. The rules aren't difficult, and they're pretty well known at this point. If there start being instances of people nerf darting exhibitors or there's a wild airsoft gunman, then step up the regulations, but as long as nobody's done something to ruin it for everyone, I see no reason to just go ahead and ruin it anyway.

    Thin Red Paste on
  • KellyShepard087KellyShepard087 Registered User regular
    I think the best and simplest solution is just more cohesive/better training. Nothing against any Enforcers, you guys are great! but maybe in the whole rush and busyness to get ready for Pax, cosplay prop rules/guidelines just slips through the cracks. it happens, and until an attendee gets conflicting judges on their prop, it isn't really noticed, or remarked upon.
    Its really the only one that's feasible for such a diverse and vast convention.

    - Biting's excellent! It's like kissing. Only there's a winner.

    Pax Attendee/Enforcer:
    Prime - '11 Attendee, Enforcer '12, Enforcer '13
    East - '12 Attendee
  • ChazzonChazzon Registered User regular
    AaronC wrote: »
    I'm sorry, but replica weapons, such as airsoft, or prop guns that are accurate replicas of real guns are not allowed.

    We've talked about UV marking, its not feasible to equip every Enforcer with a UV flashlight.

    I've not been around the forums for the entire history of this. But I've not gotten a clear reason why? Besides people saying "rules, are rules" That's not really a explanation. I of course will follow the rules. I'm not going to fly from Tokyo to Seattle just to get kicked out of the event. But I feel this very tight rule set needs some additional explanation so we can understand the "why". As stated before, I've been to Cons all over the US and Japan, and never had a issue with weapons as long as they got banded and secured. So this ultra tight policy is different.

  • XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
    Chazzon wrote: »
    AaronC wrote: »
    I'm sorry, but replica weapons, such as airsoft, or prop guns that are accurate replicas of real guns are not allowed.

    We've talked about UV marking, its not feasible to equip every Enforcer with a UV flashlight.

    I've not been around the forums for the entire history of this. But I've not gotten a clear reason why? Besides people saying "rules, are rules" That's not really a explanation. I of course will follow the rules. I'm not going to fly from Tokyo to Seattle just to get kicked out of the event. But I feel this very tight rule set needs some additional explanation so we can understand the "why". As stated before, I've been to Cons all over the US and Japan, and never had a issue with weapons as long as they got banded and secured. So this ultra tight policy is different.

    I think the issue is the city of Boston. In Boston, weapons (those of the gun and metal variety) cannot be displayed in public. Of course, replica weapons often look like the real thing (including airsoft guns) so I guess they don't want to deal with judging what can be bought to the event or not.

  • RobogirlRobogirl Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    edit: apparently I already posted about this. I shouldn't be online while drunk. Sorry guys : x

    edit 2: though I will say, this issue with the system as it is now(for all those people saying just to leave it as is) leaves too much up for enforcer discretion. That's why you end up with 10 enforcers saying a weapon is okay, and then one says it isn't. That isn't a good system.

    Robogirl on
  • MarySueMarySue Registered User
    Chazzon wrote: »
    I've not been around the forums for the entire history of this. But I've not gotten a clear reason why? Besides people saying "rules, are rules" That's not really a explanation. I of course will follow the rules. I'm not going to fly from Tokyo to Seattle just to get kicked out of the event. But I feel this very tight rule set needs some additional explanation so we can understand the "why". As stated before, I've been to Cons all over the US and Japan, and never had a issue with weapons as long as they got banded and secured. So this ultra tight policy is different.

    I'm not a cosplayer, and that's part of the reason why I'm glad PAX doesn't allow anything that even vaguely looks like a real gun.

    PAX attendees, as I understand it are mostly not cosplayers, have never cosplayed, and haven't been to cosplay conventions. It's just the nature of the con. So when someone like me sees a gun in a massively crowded hall, it's nice to be able to tell at first glance that I shouldn't be looking for cover.

    Because it'd be embarrassing if you came up to me just to say "Hi, saw you on the forums!" only to have me freak out and dive behind the nearest booth because I couldn't see the banding.

    Portland, Oregon, and sloe gin fizz. If that ain't love, then tell me what is.
    +++BRONYS BEFORE BROS!+++
  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    XX55XX wrote: »
    Chazzon wrote: »
    AaronC wrote: »
    I'm sorry, but replica weapons, such as airsoft, or prop guns that are accurate replicas of real guns are not allowed.

    We've talked about UV marking, its not feasible to equip every Enforcer with a UV flashlight.

    I've not been around the forums for the entire history of this. But I've not gotten a clear reason why? Besides people saying "rules, are rules" That's not really a explanation. I of course will follow the rules. I'm not going to fly from Tokyo to Seattle just to get kicked out of the event. But I feel this very tight rule set needs some additional explanation so we can understand the "why". As stated before, I've been to Cons all over the US and Japan, and never had a issue with weapons as long as they got banded and secured. So this ultra tight policy is different.

    I think the issue is the city of Boston. In Boston, weapons (those of the gun and metal variety) cannot be displayed in public. Of course, replica weapons often look like the real thing (including airsoft guns) so I guess they don't want to deal with judging what can be bought to the event or not.

    I doubt the city has much to do with it tbh. It's a PAX rule, and exists uniformly between both paxen.

  • Thin Red PasteThin Red Paste Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I imagine they're just leveraging the law of averages. You get 70k turnstyle counts, its pretty much guaranteed that someone is going to be the kind of stupid dick that would comply until they got their stuff through the door, then unbond it and start airsofting people.

    Thin Red Paste on
  • RobogirlRobogirl Registered User regular
    I imagine they're just leveraging the law of averages. You get 70k turnstyle counts, its pretty much guaranteed that someone is going to be the kind of stupid dick that would comply until they got their stuff through the door, then unbond it and start airsofting people.

    I would say to still have to have them be deactivated, along with peace bonded. If your weapon isn't peace bonded, you have to either take it to the booth, or remove it from the con. It isn't that complicated. At a different con I used to go to, they used this system, and in all the years I went (4-5, I think?) there was never any incident like what you mentioned above.

  • TOGSolidTOGSolid I don my top hat, and adjust my monocle, Like a god damn sir.Registered User regular
    It's not just a matter of airsofting people. You also don't want people running around to and from the convention with realistic looking weapons. Especially considering that most cops these days are just begging for excuses to taze and pepper spray people.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    For better or for worse, the policy isn't up for debate. The only thing up for debate here is the implementation of said policy.

  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Chazzon wrote: »

    But I feel this very tight rule set needs some additional explanation so we can understand the "why". As stated before, I've been to Cons all over the US and Japan, and never had a issue with weapons as long as they got banded and secured. So this ultra tight policy is different.

    I can try to give you an explanation, its my interpretation of the direction I get from above, so don't use it against PAX managment "AirWolf said...."

    PAX is cosplay friendly, but its not the main focus of the convention like an anime con. To that end we don't want anything that is going to intimidate or make other attendees feel uncomfortable. This more restrictive policy is how we keep out props and costume items that we feel are not appropriate at PAX. (yes, we feel airsoft, wooden swords and the like are not appropriate at PAX).

    It is not about not trusting cosplayers with their costume weapons. The people who post on this thread are not the person who shows up with a working fully functional airsoft rifle (which has happened every PAX I've been to since 2009 [all of them]).

    The rules we have have nothing to do with Boston or Seattle laws (although there may be other laws in Boston or Seattle that would prevent certain items, I don't know).

    All this being said, the rules themselves are not up for debate. The purpose of this thread is finding out what the actual cosplayers would like to see done for the implementation of the rules we have.



    TL:DR: PAX doesn't feel realistic looking weapon props or weapons that can be used to hurt someone have a place at PAX, even if we trust the people who carry them for show.




    AaronC on
  • macwblademacwblade Registered User
    CLEAR (see through) deactivated airsoft guns, or spray painted deactivated nerf. Yes or no to each?

  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    You can get the answers you seek in the other thread, first page, but I will happily answer you here as well.

    No airsoft of any kind is allowed, clear, solid, deactivated or active.

    Deactivated nerf is allowed assuming it doesn't break the rule of looking like a real gun at a glance.

    The gun rules are strict, we understand that and thank you for your understanding.

  • FacelesscogFacelesscog Registered User regular
    While I don't have a lot of experience with other Cons and how they handle Cosplayers, what I do have experience with is a local LARP that I used to take part in, before getting sick. We had a weapons safety check that was part of the check-in process. Your weapon was tagged by someone that was trained in weapon safety and if you were caught (several times) with a weapon that wasn't tagged, you were ejected from the game. (The tags had to be replaced every event, because people didn't treat their weapons well, which often lead to unsafe conditions.)

    From experience, I can tell you that having a central location for weapons check is almost the only way to go. If it is left up to the individual to track down an Enforcer and get him/her to check their weapon, then some people will do it, but a very large number won't. They will go out of their way to avoid Enforcers, if they think their weapon won't pass, and the Enforcers, who are often exceedingly busy in the field, probably won't see them unless they're actively looking.

    I hope that helps somewhat. Also, pleasure to get a chance to talk to you, Aaron! You remain our (my wife and I) favorite Enforcer!

  • AaronCAaronC Enforcer - Lieutenant Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    Thank you! We will have one central location, the info booth, but before the show starts the team will work the exterior line to check as many people as possible.

  • DuelLadySDuelLadyS Registered User regular
    AaronC wrote: »
    Thank you! We will have one central location, the info booth, but before the show starts the team will work the exterior line to check as many people as possible.

    This is actually what I was going to suggest- unlike the anime cons I've been to around here, PAX has the distinction of having open/close times, so a lot of attendees will be in a line at the start of the day. It won't get everyone, but if you have guys working the mid-day queues before events too, you'll hit almost everyone.

    My only other suggestion is- be very clear to everyone what happens when weapons DON'T pass. I had a friend lose 2 nerf guns at a con becuase he didn't know they needed to be deactivated. The booth folks broke policy and confiscated the guns immedately (they were supposed to let you take such items back to your car/hotel room). He had to leave early, forgot to try and get them back, and despite some quick emails, the guys in charge of the whole thing had dumped them already by the day after the con. It wasn't a pleasant affair. (I guess that means 'try and hold onto people's stuff for more than 12 hours' too. :P)

  • craigumscraigums AbleGamers Columbus,OhioRegistered User regular
    I have seen other cons do the branding, I think it would be good, just a random zip tie or something around the weapon would be good. I don't cosplay but I think it would be good for the group as a whole, so no one gets whacked with an object by accident. I also think it will be good for the event, If the zip tie (or whatever) is slightly bright then people can see that the item has been checked from a distance just to be safe.

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  • LoneWanderer88LoneWanderer88 Registered User
    Hey all, I'm one of those few that enjoy cosplaying to PAX (I've done it every year so far in some degree). Obviously, I'm trying to do my best not to get things taken away. I'm planning on doing a Garrett (from Thief) costume next year, and while most of his stuff is easy enough to make sure it doesn't break the rules, I wanted to confirm one other detail before deciding on it. I wanted to do his bow and some of his elemental arrows, but obviously, the rule against projectile weapons covers that as well. Is there any way to be able to bring that in without problems? I was thinking of messing up the string and putting a cheapy one that doesn't bend (as long as part of the check isn't to like TUG VIOLENTLY on it, breaking it). Would that work? I would just like the call of an enforcer on the matter. :)

    As to explaning prop security, etc, to Aaron who was asking, most anime cons (Otakon in particular which I go to) don't have check locations, but most of the security knows the rules which are pretty clear. Prop weapons, even real looking ones, are allowed as long as it has a non-removable orange tip, and doesn't actually shoot anything. Airsoft's aren't allowed at all. Melee weapons are fine as long as it isn't a real sword (obviously), from what I've seen. They are pretty easy going as long as you don't mess around hitting people, or waving prop guns around.

    However, I realize these are two different styles of cons. The best way I think would be to have a weapon check area, A COUPLE OF THEM, so there isn't a huge line to further dissuade cosplayers if they have to wait like an hour to get in just to get stuff checked, and get something on your badge to show to other Enforcers if you get stopped. My friend last year encountered the whole "5 Enforcers said it was okay, one didn't and it got taken away". I know you guys have to do your job, but that situation is rather frustrating from our end, since majority ruled that it was fine. A central location with a final say that you have to go through is a fine plan, as long as, like I said, it doesn't take forever to get through.

    "Bein' brave doesn't mean you're not scared. It means you're scared as hell, and then you pick up the shotgun anyway." ~"Bill" Overbeck
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