As Americans join together to grill outdoors and open the summer swimming season, we come to the end of another MomoCon! If you missed my preview article, MomoCon is an Atlanta-born convention focused on the family-friendly side of anime, gaming, comics, and pop culture. This year’s convention was held at the Georgia World Congress Center and boasted the largest gaming area of the con’s existence. Here’s what I caught in my time wandering the packed halls of MomoCon 2018.
Gaming: This year, MomoCon dedicated an entire exhibit hall to it’s analog and digital gaming areas. The games ran nearly 24 hrs day for the convention; featuring streaming tournaments, rows of LAN party-style PCs, arcade cabinets from around the world, and a board game library that was the envy of all who beheld it. While the lines for the fully immersive Gundam Mech pods were always packed, I did get to play I game I can’t believe exists: Cho Chabudai Gaeshi, or, Super Table Flip!
Seek this game out. With amazing Japanese imports provided by Tokyo Attack and classic American cabinets and pinball machines from Player One Arcades, the electronic gaming area was packed. DreamHack provided over 100 Free-to-play PCs along with consoles galore. Crowd-watching people in line for a Dance-Dance style game that tracked your actual body movements rather than just your feet was another highlight for me personally. A line of 50 people all doing the same moves to practice for their turn on stage was just pure joy.
The board gaming area was packed as well, providing not only a massive play library, but also a chance for busy congoers to take a bit of a break and game with friends and PUGs. I got a few board games in, including Black Orchestra, Sushi Go!, and Stockpile. In addition to the library, game publishers donated games for a play-to-win batch. If you played a specific game, you entered a raffle for that game.
Publishers were also represented in both the exhibit and gaming halls, showing off prototype and near-production games, both analog and digital. I’ll have a separate article detailing some of those games coming up.
Cosplay: With its roots fully vested in anime, MomoCon has always been a cosplay haven. Unlike its big brother, DragonCon, most of the cosplay at Momo is single-topic and focused on fandom. While there weren’t a lot of clever costume mash-ups, there were some fantastic versions of anime, cartoon, comics, and other pop culture costumes. The favorites I came across were a Back to the Future II duo and a truly fantastic Lotor. Check out my article detailing cosplay with pics I took over the weekend.
Exhibit Hall: The MomoCon Exhibit Hall is as big as many other conventions of its size, but with the anime start to the con and the younger crowd, many Japanese culture vendors were on site. There was booth after booth of various plushy things and mystery bags holding various combinations of toys, snacks, and other goodies. K-Pop bands and Pop Vinyls were also exceedingly popular (heh), with the ubiquitous toys populating seemingly every other booth.
The artist’s alley at MomoCon was also quite large with indie comic artists and writers mixed up with well-established comic and anime artists. There were several other interesting booths, including one who made art from pressed paper. Around the edges of the hall were a row of prop/cosplay makers, including several local to Atlanta. With the film industry now so ingrained in Georgia, it makes sense that Hollywood-level prop design would set up shop as well. With screen-ready replicas of various movie props, as well as cosplay accessories, the con could be a one-stop shop for many amateur cosplayers looking to improve their game.
One of the highlights of the convention is the collection of replica cars and other vehicles brought in by different dedicated groups. From a Fallout-themed camper van to a replica 1966 Batmobile, these are high-quality replicas that always get a great reaction from the crowd.
Atmosphere: MomoCon has always been a family-friendly, open environment, allowing congoers to really embrace their inner nerd and whatever that means in their particular situation. There were a huge number of young people in attendance and the diversity of the convention, in terms of race, age, and identity are tributes to both MomoCon’s openness and the appeal of having a place to feel comfortable as one’s honest self. Lines were long, but never pushy. The gaming area is open to the whole convention and people were constantly sitting down for pick-up games, no matter who they were. The welcoming atmosphere of such a massive convention is a testament to the hard work and dedication the staff has created.
If you’re anywhere in the Southeast US next Memorial Day, consider checking out MomoCon. In the next 5 years, this con will be talked about as one of the premiere gaming and pop culture conventions in the country, perfectly beginning summer in Atlanta.