This weekend at the Valley Forge Convention Center in Valley Forge, PA, there's a video game convention (which is why I'm here), and anime convention, a Mind, Body, Spirit expo, a wedding, a costume contest (this is Halloween weekend, after all) and the usual hubub you'd expect to find at one of the largest shopping centers on the East Coast.
It is, quite frankly, a one-stop shop for the lunatic fringe.
Today, while walking from one end of the convention center to another, I met over a dozen vampires, three boys with extraordinarily large swords, a half-dozen (at least) French maids, several zombies (some who were also French maids), over a hundred people dressed as things or characters I couldn't identify if I tried and someone wearing a cardboard box over their head, with two holes cut out for their eyes.
It's reminiscent of Halloween in the Haight, except here the participants are much younger and (one assumes) far nerdier.
What's surprising is that there's very litte (or so it seems) carry-over between the VGXPO and Zenkaikon. It would seem that these anime fans eschew the games and vice versa. What's not surprising in the least is that the Mind, Body Spirit people look to be in fear of their lives. Which is, I suppose, as it should be.