Thousands of video game/anime/comic book fans flock to Baltimore every summer for a social ritual and display worthy of documenting, Otakon. These fans go all out, some working months to prepare their costumes for this epic gathering of likeminded fans. I can imagine being the only person in my hometown that likes some obscure show or character, and no one else around is interested. Then coming to a gathering like this, it’s got to be paradise. I know that people have been dressing up as their favorite super heroes since the beginning, but only since the advent of the internet have the social stigmas started to break down. I think it’s because there’s now a niche for everyone, and a safe anonymous place (in front of the computer) to gather and share. Occasionally, that safe and social world collides with the real world, and you get Sonic the Hedgehog girl, roaming around the city letting her freak-flag fly. Where else but Baltimore, a place know for quirkiness and our embrace of the weird and otherwise outcast. Brings color and fun to the streets, shaking people from their everyday routines and monotony. It’s a shame they’ll be moving the convention to DC, it just seemed to fit in perfectly with Bmore.