Two days in, and I can safely say that RTX is the most out of place I've felt at a convention yet. I'm definitely still having a great time. But I'm absolutely unequivocally an outsider here. At other non-Kinda Funny-centric events like PSX or PAX, I can always fall back on games or panels. But my outs here at RTX were in much shorter supply.
Today started off with the room lazily waking up and eventually heading to the show floor around 10:30 AM. The 3 AM dreams of waking up at 7 AM were a laughable pipe dream. But eventually we made it to the expo hall and starting wandering around.
Yesterday on the convention floor, we basically said, "I want to go there," and we went to a booth. Today's mission was much more free-flowing as we just walked up and down the aisles, looking at all the show floor had to offer. There's a whole lot of cool little merchandise tables, a lot of used games shops set up, and an ever-increasing number of "mystery crate" companies of seemingly varying qualities.
Having just debuted my own 16-bit Trevor Trove pins, I was certainly a sucker for most of the Pixel Art and Bead Art at the booths. Fun fact: I created the logo in Excel because I know that program so much better than Paint, Photoshop, or anything else, design-wise. And I used a bead art design of Tellah from Final Fantasy IV as the base model, before tweaking it here and there to make it a better match for my likeness.
There was a ton of talent on display in "Artist Alley" so it was great just walking up and down the booths. Eventually, we left to grab a quick lunch before heading right back to the expo floor to catch the guys showing off a new digital, Twitch-integrated beta of Superfight. As that panel wrapped up, a bunch of us headed over to the Pizza Hut sponsored arcade section of the floor, as that was to be Greg Miller's next appearance locale.
I found out Friday that Supergiant Games was at RTX with their next game Pyre. Announced just before PAX East, I desperately wanted to play the game there but the lines were huge. Everyone I know who played it had a blast though and the art style looks to continue the trend Bastion and Transistor have set as some of the most stunning art design in gaming. In support of that, I decided to pick up some Supergiant merchandise from their booth and committed to returning Sunday to wait in line for the demo.
But at this point, I was drained and worn down so I actually retreated to the hotel for a few hours to relax and squeeze in a nap, while other members of the group hung out on the show floor, went to a place called Gordo's featuring sandwiches/burgers made with doughnuts as buns, and generally hung out. My nap was real nice, though.
I awoke to a message from Xyger saying they were actually going to skip the Cards Against Humanity panel that Kinda Funny was taking part in in order to be the first in line for the Screw Attack vs. Kinda Funny panel that night. On my way to join them, I stumbled across Barbara Dunkelman of Rooster Teeth walking down the street (talking to a friend or co-worker?). She was immediately stopped for a picture and it was just one more reminder of why I felt a bit out of place. So many people at that convention would have loved to be in my shoes in that moment: to walk a few steps up, ask her for a selfie together, and go on their way. But there was no desire to make that ask myself.
Even with the Kinda Funny guys, I have enough pictures with them that I don't feel the need to stop them on their way to something for one more. If I'm asking them for a picture at this point, it's because I'm treating it as a picture with old friends. After the Screw Attack Panel, a lot of the Best Friends were hanging out in the lobby bar and the KF guys came through and stopped to chat with people for a bit. I hung back, as I usually do at this point in order to give the fans that haven't met them before that little extra bit of precious time. They know me well enough and if I ever really want to bend their ear, I have the means to do so. Greg and I even talked about it a bit, as he acknowledged that I just kind of hang around on the edge of his interactions at this point, letting everyone else have that moment that I first got with him back at the first PlayStation Experience. And that's very much the kind of guy I try to be in these settings, I want everyone else to get those great Kinda Funny introductions that I was blessed with. They don't need to win me over in terms of engaging with me. I'm already in the 1% of the 1% of fans that are crazy enough to travel to all of these things to hang out with friends and support them. Perhaps somebody getting that extra minute with Greg or photo with Tim or Nick will lead them down the same path I've taken.
Another reason for feeling the outsider that I identified was the overwhelmingly "young" audience in attendance. Yes, there's the ongoing joke that I'm "Daddy Trevor" and play the role of responsible adult in the community. But most of the friends that I've made are probably mid-20s and attending the Kinda Funny events on their own. When compared to the teenagers in attendance at RTX with their parents, it was a bit jarring. It's almost scary to realize that the 15-year-old sitting next to me doesn't actually put it together that the "rivalry" between Screw Attack and Kinda Funny is fabricated in the face/heel-stylings of a WWE feud. So when they continually repeat, in their pre-pubescent shouting, that they want to fight Greg Miller in a parking lot, it hammers home the idea that Kinda Funny plays largely to a (somewhat) more mature audience, at least based on what I experienced.
But enough waxing philosophical, eventually the guys did leave to another engagement. A bunch of us continued mingling around the bar for a bit, before heading over to Voodoo Doughnuts. Judging from the line out the door and the word of mouth that led us there, it was a pretty safe bet the doughnuts would be good. I had an "Old Dirty Bastard" featuring chocolate icing, Oreos, and peanut butter. And holy hell was that rich. Might have been the most filling meal I had all weekend. More great conversations ensued and we decided to part ways for the evening, with Xyger, Frank, and I returning to our hotel room. Joe had returned pre-Voodoo because he needed to be up early in the morning to volunteer at the Superfight booth again.
Xyger, Frank, and I all visited for another hour or so and discussed the morning plans for checkout, when we would go to the show floor, and when we'd all be heading to the airport.
I still ended the day feeling somewhat disjointed from the convention itself. But my friends helped ground me in the notion that I was still where I was meant to be.