The word 'nerd' conjures an image in the heads of normal humans that we nerds find both offensive and slightly saddening when we look in the mirror and realise there may be some truth in the lies. A sweaty 14 year old locked in his room, surrounded by balled up tissues and being slowly turned into a Cheeto devouring zombie, doomed to roam the earth through Google street view because he's morphed into his bean bag. But allow me to wrench myself from my hovel and yell at you through the megaphone of indignation when I say "oh come on this isn't the nineties!"
Nerd culture has evolved into a full blown renaissance with anime and gaming taking place as Michelangelo and Da Vinci respectively, no longer a zoo for the closeted and the socially awkward. Being involved in such an exciting time I decided to attend the MCM Expo in the Excel Centre last weekend and shall now convince you why you're utterly mad for missing it and why you must book tickets for the next one.
This twice yearly event is essentially an enormous convention for gaming companies to show off their latest wares and independent merchandise makers to display their talents for moderate prices and always takes place in the Excel Centre (a bunch of warehouses the size of small cathedrals on the Thames). Not that this premise makes it overly exclusive! This isn't like all those other sweaty conventions like Kitsune or Kaoticon, this is probably the easiest nerdgasm to really get into on the planet even if you don't know your Gangam Style from your Slender Man.
Allow me to run off categorical reasons why you should attend this truly spellbinding event. Firstly there is the Cosplay.
Apart from being seen as the norm for most conventions, it is when you dress up as a beloved character from anything in the world at all from gaming heroin's to packets of Pocky (no joke). So if the idea of every movie character ever to grace a screen wandering round you and occasionally springing into impromptu dance contests (the last one saw Cubert wipe the floor with the Incredible Hulk...somehow) doesn't appeal then I'd advise you to check your pulse. There is something that truly does seem magical about a cascade of fictional characters conversing, gaming, eating, drinking and often singing together that is almost impossible to not find heart warming. So before you know it you'll be carried off into the atmosphere, which leads me with all the subtlety of a brick to my next point.
The atmosphere is incredible! It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes it such a nice place to be. Maybe it's that everyone talks to each other despite being from completely different parts of the world, or maybe it's the aforementioned wordless agreement to begin dancing but I managed to get in on the Saturday night fever and I usually hate my fellow man so what more do you want? There is food from all four corners of the globe outside the complex and the old favourites inside if your boring and want to go to Pizza Express. There is even Japanese whiskey tasting (which I had a great deal of fun at) and the stars of the various Q and A sessions wander and mingle within the crowds without the fear of being gushed at from all sides. It's just all so friendly you will find yourself wandering around with a silly grin on your face all day.
Then there are the various competitions that take place round the clock, dancing contests, costume contests, Guitar Hero, pie eating the list just doesn't seem to end and their regularity ensures that boredom is simply not possible. I've heard friends moan at me that they just don't get the reason behind any of it but the fact of the matter is that you can read too much into these things. The concept of eating blue cheese (which is essentially mould) isn't steeped in reason but its still utterly delicious.
Just get tickets for the next one, lie back and enjoy the madness, like life itself... (Yes the pretension is meant to be ironic).