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Identities and Confusion
Posted Nov 25, 2009 - 9:33:12

I have no idea who you are, sorry.So, for those of you who didn't notice last night (or at least have a life where they aren't constantly checking my blog, Facebook or Twitter feed), I've posted my Daisho Con 2009 report. It is resplendent with amazing artwork like you see accompanying this post, and I believe it's actually quite funny. You should read it, memorize it and do your best to enjoy it. I won't go too much more into Daisho Con 2009 in this blog now, since that convention report pretty much sums up the experience.

That said, I've decided to revisit this particular moment as it happens at almost every convention I go to in Wisconsin. This moment is not so much a Daisho Con moment for me as a EVERY Wisconsin con moment for me.

Because of what I've done and what I continue to do at No Brand Con, I've become a recognizable (albeit for the most part unimportant beyond my own con) figure in the local con scene. When you are on stage for 8 hours over a weekend, including for the last several years our Cosplay contest, people tend to recognize you. Add in that I've generally stuck out of a crowd my whole life to start with, and you've guaranteed that most people will remember who I am.

Sadly, this doesn't work in both directions.

I'm terrible with faces. I say that in my Daisho Con report, but I want you to understand how much I mean that. I've run into people who I've known for over a decade but haven't seen in a few years... and totally not recognized them. When they began to speak it clicked in, but I really had no clue. And these are people I've known well.

Now, imagine that I've only had one conversation with you ever. Chances are, I remember that conversation. I mean, I remember information quite well. I also remember moments too, and overall that information clicks.

Now add in the fact that while I only had one conversation with a person, they also saw me on stage a bit... making it even easier for them to remember me.

Add in my inability to remember names, which is even worse than my inability to remember faces, and you understand that most of my convention experiences involve me figuring out where I know people from.

It's absolutely insane, and because of it I've developed a set of instincts where I always assume I've met the person if they call me by name. If I can't come up with them in five minutes, I probably don't know them well. Of course, usually I do recognize them eventually -- but even then, I still often can't remember their names for the life of me... which makes it awkward if I then need to introduce them to someone.

Oh god... it hurts my brain.

That said, I actually love talking to random strangers, so feel free to call me by name at a convention if I don't know you -- watch me assume we've met, and be entertained.
- Traegorn

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First off your brain can't physically hurt (a nursing student reminds me all the time).

Now I am glad you can still remember my face even though we don't talk at all in person except in some cases.
Langland -- you're Langland.  It is impossible to forget you. :P
I seem to be having this sort of experience more and more often myself--which is odd because I don't spend nearly as much time on stage as you.  In fact, I think I was only on stage for opening and closing ceremonies last year.
My situation is slightly different, but equally strange (though marginally less awkward).  I've made a NAME for myself in the Wisconsin con world, but no one knows what I look like.  So when I went to fill out a Geek.kon badge I got the sudden everyday geek to total fanboy conversion from the guy at the desk.  And I quote "You're Meep!!!!!!"  I do get it from time to time from my on-and-off relationship with the Geek.kon and NoBrandCon forums, but generally it's because Wisconsin con staff (wiscongoers?) are aware of the founding NBC staff.

Advantage: No one in their right mind expects me to know who they are.  Disadvantage: I have no idea who anyone is.

Though my favorite con moment was also at this year's Geek.kon when Orange referred to me by my legal name and I got "You mean you have an actual name?!?!?!"
I throw people off nowadays with the hair.  

Is it odd that we're like the mythical creatures of con lore?

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