Youmacon takes Detroit for 13th year

Cheyanne Kramer, Managing Editor

Convention season is wrapping up, and Youmacon is the best way to go. This year marked the 13th year of the event and it returned to its seemingly permanent home of the Renaissance Center and Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit.

Last year, over 20,000 people attended and this year seemed about the same.  However, with so many people, there’s bound to be issues.

One of the escalators, the only accessible way to get to the third floor, got shut down and staff wouldn’t let people walk up it. So you had to go downstairs to get to the elevator to go up. Which was confusing and horrible as a con goer, in all honesty.

This year was disappointing for many reasons. The printed schedule had false and inaccurate information, making it nearly impossible to use as a reliable resource. You could use the app, but many pieces of information were absent from it. Since we were so close to Detroit, you could easily start picking up Canadian towers, or just not have a signal all together.

Personally, I was frustrated when I found out the one panel I was hosting was excluded from the schedule. I know this was simply a mistake or oversight, but it was very disheartening as a panelist, and I can’t imagine what it would have been like for first-year panelists.

I also felt like the events this year were lackluster. When Nate Wants to Battle was confirmed as a guest, I was expecting some sort of concert, and was let down when that wasn’t advertised at all. There was no Steam Powered Giraffe this year, a staple of Youma, which was disappointing too.

However, Youma did a fantastic job of improving the lines for the elevators this year, though. Part of me is actually considering staying at the Ren Cen for the first time next year because of how professionally it was handled.

I did notice that the convention seemed less densely packed. The artist and dealers area was laid out fantastically, and had enough room in case people decided to stop and ask for photos. It reminded me very much of the layout of New York Comic Con.

There were a lot of artists this year, which I appreciated. I also appreciated that the artists who had tables for the cancelled Midwest Media Expo were given tables at Youmacon. However, there were a few booths selling pretty similar things, which was a bit off-putting.

The additions to the game room this year made up for any issues the convention had. The staff took note of how long lines were for games like Jubeat, and doubled the number of machines. I rarely had to wait more than one play to get on a machine, which kept down clutter and crowding. There were a couple times I could just jump right onto a machine, which is unheard of. It gave me more time to experiment with new games I had never had the chance to try before.

If you like conventions, Youma is a for sure one to go to. It’s less than an hour from campus, there’s cheap food on site and at $65, the badges are reasonable priced. With the ability to commute or to stay in a reasonably priced hotel, this convention is well worth it.