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San Diego Comic-Con is a complicated time in every geek's life - with all of the news, articles, photos, and videos pouring out of the event, you get a serious sense of FOMO. "I should have found a way to be there - I could have been doing all that cool stuff!" you might think. Well, think again - because going to SDCC isn't all fun and games.



1. It's way too crowded

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The San Diego Convention Center (which holds the bulk of the action at SD Comic Con) hit its attendance limit in 2007 - around 125,000 attendees. That was 10 years ago - and in the past decade, the hype and popularity of the event has grown by leaps and bounds. So the convention has spread to other areas of San Diego (including the nearby baseball stadium and other locations), and the official attendance numbers have continued to swell to nearly 200,000. In short, THAT'S TOO MANY PEOPLE.

Not only are you desperately competing with trying to make your way through massive crowds 24/7, but you're also fighting for tickets, hotel rooms, places to eat, and the ability to walk from point A to point B due to the sheer number of other wildly excited humans, desperate to get some cool merch and get into one of the cooler-sounding panels.

It's like Times Square on New Year's Eve, except everyone is wearing bulky cosplay and trying to buy the $10 slices of Domino's pizza before they run out, and the only reward is MAYBE getting to see that Avengers: Infinity War trailer.



2. You can't get into any of the cool panels anyways

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"So what?" you think to yourself. "I can deal with crowds - I'll just get to all the cool events super-early so I can make sure I get into the DC and Marvel panels!"

Enough backsass, reader I'm imagining. Because you're WRONG. Incredibly wrong. Mind-bogglingly wrong. The wrongest someone could possibly be. Because you're not getting into SHIT.

So, you're at San Diego Comic Con and you've got one goal in mind: get into Hall H on Saturday, the hallowed ground where all the raddest panels take place. If you're not in line (for Saturday) by the early evening of Thursday, you're already boned. That's right - you pretty much need to be in line about 30 hours early to get into the top-tier panels, and basically give up the entire convention trip to camp out on a sidewalk.

And even then, you still probably won't get in.

Special guests and press get special access to Hall H, leaving a smaller and smaller number of seats available for the general public. And even then, line shenanigans might leave you totally screwed:

Check out some of the individuals who didn't make it into Hall H after waiting over 30 hours this weekend:

That could be you - spending two nights camping outdoors on concrete, completely nervous and anxious about what will happen the entire time, and the end result is that you get rejected and have nothing to show for your time spent.

And that isn't even the entire story - to get into Hall H, you need to get a Hall H wristband the day before FROM A DIFFERENT LINE. That's where the journey ACTUALLY begins - get in line for the Hall H wristband, then get in line for Hall H. Theoretically, a wristband should (more or less) guarantee you access to the next day's Hall H panels, if you're lucky enough to get one. But, of course, it's never that simple.

This year, there were multiple reports of COUNTERFEIT HALL H WRISTBANDS. Yes, people are so desperate to get in that they've begun making fake wristbands just to guarantee an earlier spot in line that would allow them better seating (or ANY seating, period) in Hall H.



It's basically Lord of the Flies, except everyone's the nerd with glasses this time (and if the kids wound up watching that sweet-sounding Infinity War trailer instead of trying to kill each other).




3. Everything will be online instantly

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Miss the big DC panel? Here ya go.

Miss the Marvel panel? Don't worry 'bout it.

Studios have begun figuring it out - there's not A TON of value in REALLY impressing a few hundred exhausted geeks in a room when you could just throw the SAME FOOTAGE online (or let it get leaked by attendees) and get your promotional material in front of BILLIONS OF PEOPLE.

Well, except for that Infinity War trailer. That's not going up. I saw a leaked shitty 15 second clip but it sucks and is actually worse than not having seen anything at all. Goddammit I wish I was at that panel.



4. It's expensive

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Just getting the basics of attending SDCC are incredibly difficult, complex, and pricey - hotel prices skyrocket (shock!) during the con, going for $300+ per night (less if you're willing to stay in a hotel a decent distance out of town) and selling out within minutes of going on sale.

Oh, and that's assuming you got picked for the lottery drawings for the block of hotel rooms available for the con, which is far from a guarantee.

Flights are usually costly as well, depending on how far from San Diego you live. Between a few nights at a hotel and a plane ticket alone, you're probably going to spend over $1,000. And that's just to GET to San Diego and have some accomodations. YOU STILL HAVEN'T PAID TO GET INTO THE CON.

Convention badges go for $60 for each of the good days, $40-45 for the less great ones. And, again, that's assuming you can GET them, given they too sell out the instant they go up. But given the badges are non-transferable, at least you won't have to deal with the old temptation of getting price-gouged a few hundred bucks on eBay in order to get a badge.

And then you end up at SDCC - full of overpriced food, overpriced merch, and having to pay the dude who played Jack Harkness on Doctor Who $40 just for an autograph. All in all, you'll be spending around two thousand dollars to fight crowds, desperately scrounge for hotel rooms and badges, and - if you're really lucky - camping on a sidewalk to see a trailer that will go online an hour later (except Infinity War, GODDAMN do I wanna see that trailer).



5. You can actually follow along BETTER from home

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So WHAT if I've been checking Youtube and Vid.me and every other video site I know of every 12 seconds for "infinity war leaked trailer"? And so what if I made a bunch of new Google Alerts for the phrase "infinity war trailer leak"? I'm not bitter at all that I couldn't get a badge to San Diego Comic-Con this year. NOT AT ALL BITTER, DO YOU HEAR ME???




UPDATE: well, since I wrote this, a leaked version of the Infinity War trailer DID go up...and it's tilted, half the screen is cut off, sound quality sucks, and it's generally also even worse than just not having seen anything in the first place. GODDAMMIT.