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Geek out in Atlanta

by Cass Teague

Steven Universe's Garnet and Kossie Gardner, III at Dragon Con.

Steven Universe’s Garnet and Kossie Gardner, III at Dragon Con.

The internationally known pop culture, sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming convention that is “Dragon Con” celebrated its 31st year over the Labor Day weekend. Fans travel from all over the globe to partake in the Dragon Con festivities that span the four-day weekend. Downtown Atlanta is the epicenter for the 82,000+ Dragon Con fans, spread throughout five host hotels and the Atlanta Convention Center.

New to Dragon Con this year were: the eSports tournaments and Dragon Con TV. Dragon Con regularly hosts PC and console games, board games, role-playing games, and collectible card games that run 24 hours a day. Now Dragon Con has partnered with Twitch, a live streaming service, to broadcast its video game tournaments to the nearly 10 million eSport daily viewers. ESports, commonly referred to as professional gaming, has grown at an exponential rate in the past 10 years through its audience growth and major sponsorships. Dragon Con’s tournaments will pay-out up to $10,000 to a tournament winner depending on the game and competition level.

Dragon Con TV offers fans comprehensive coverage of the four-day convention. Through the live stream, viewers have access to guest panels, costume competitions, the Dragon Con parade and so much more. Subscribers also have access to a DVR feature that contains all the convention programming, available until December 4th. This service is $30 for fans not attending and $10 for those that have purchased admission for any of the convention days.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael, Kossie Gardner III, Shredder at Dragon Con

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael, Kossie Gardner III, Shredder at Dragon Con

Through donations to various charities and community service projects, Dragon Con makes it a point to give back to the community. More than 2,400 hours of community service have been poured into Atlanta-based non-profits. Special Olympics Georgia was selected as its charity for 2017. Thirty-five of Dragon Con’s “Superheroes” participated in the Special Olympics Georgia State Summer Games.

Dragon Con hosts some of the largest names in movies and television. Leading the pack this year was Stan Lee, creator of the most iconic comic book Superheroes. Other stars participating in the weekend activities were William Shatner, Michael Rooker, and Nathan Fillion. All of the stars were available and excited to meet fans, sign autographs, and take pictures throughout the entire convention.

No two Dragon Con experiences are ever the same. From the annual Saturday morning parade to the three floors of vendors in the Convention Center, Dragon Con had something for everyone, of all ages. Just remember your walking shoes!

“It’s great to see a convention of this scale held on this side of the country. If you missed it this year, put it on your calendar for 2018 as Dragon Con is a must see experience!” – Stewart Watts II.

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