Less than ten years ago I bought four-day badges for SDCC with no trouble. There was no line overnight, no hunkering down in front of every wi-fi enabled device waiting for the button to turn green. I just bought badges. In fact, I bought a 4-day badge for my adopted grandmother just so she could see what SDCC was all about. That year, the Exhibit Hall was not crowded. SyFy (or, as it was known back then, Sci-Fi) had a huge blobby looking thing in the middle of the floor, and there were huge areas dedicated to kids and adults playing Pokémon and D&D.
Nowadays, you’re lucky to be able to walk on the floor of the Exhibit Hall.
Back in 2011 I spent the night from Preview Night until 8am Thursday morning to buy badges for 2012. It was worth it. The people who showed up at 6am found themselves at the back of a 2 mile long line. I got there at 11pm and was about a hundred people back from the front of the line. I was with a guy named Tony who was from Florida. He kept drinking Vodka from a water bottle, and at 3am he was infuriated that all of the liquor stores were closed. And then there was the Ninja from Alaska. He kept telling us he was half Chinese, and Tony and I didn’t believe him until the sun came up and we saw that he was in fact half-Chinese. It remains one of my favorite Comic Con memories. But that stopped after 2011.
Let’s face it, people, the times, they are a changing.
For 2014 badge sales, we know a few things so far. Prices have increased, 4-day badges no longer exist, and you can buy badges for three other people. Now there is going to be a lottery system once you arrive in the Waiting Room. (For those of you not in the SDCC know, the Waiting Room is like something from “The Matrix” where a bunch of us geeks and nerds wait patiently for our turn to buy badges)
So this lottery system…is anyone else getting a Hunger Games vibe? “I’m here, I’m in! …oh damn, my number is too high.”
For all of you anticipating the SDCC Badge Purchase Day, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”