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PortConMaine 2014

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PortConMaine, an annual anime and gaming convention, celebrated its twelfth annual convening this weekend at the Hilton DoubleTree in Portland, Maine. PortCon reported its total attendance at 2,634, a considerable increase over its 250 debut in 2002 and 100 higher than last numbers reported in 2013. The convention's motto:

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Our motto is for the fans, by the fans. Our convention is a community of fans from different hobbies getting together every year to celebrate their fandom and maybe find something new to enjoy. We try to keep things fun and entertaining. We are a small, down to earth, and friendly 2,000 plus convention community. We're trying to have fun and meet other people with our interests, which include anime, gaming, and more!

The con has expanded to an additional day to accommodate its fans in a fashion similar to New York Comic Con, which announced "New York Super Week" extending New York Comic Con to an entire week. PortCon promised:

...a lot of people crammed together in one hotel for a weekend of events and crazieness. There will be filled rooms, laughter, noise, screaming fan girls, signs, a vendors room stuffed FULL of goodies, more events than you can attend, and more. There will be times you have too much to do and times you don't have anything. Thursday is a day for pre-registered people to mingle and meet earlier than everyone else. Friday is a great lead in to an explosive Saturday and a slowing down Sunday. Expect to meet people, talk to staffers, spend time with guests, and enjoy yourselves.

And the con delivered! I arrived on Thursday evening and, in-between game sessions, attended four panels, "The Path to Publishing" on Friday, "Gamemastering Skills" and "Gamers & Gaming in Business" on Saturday, and "Gaming Through 2020" on Sunday.

The con is primarily cosplay oriented, with some gaming and a thriving dealer's room and artist's alley, along with events for adults, kids, and in-between. Portland was a fun city and the staff was exceptionally friendly. PortCon definitely lived up to its promise.

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