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Virtual reality and the changing demographic at Comic Con

STARS OF THE SHOW: Comic Con sees people dressing-up as their favourite characters from film, TV, comic and games

GAMERS, SCI-FI fans and comic book collectors descended upon the steps of Excel to participate in the much-anticipated MCM Comic Con.

Comic Con has become a worldwide phenomenon as people passionate about games and comics gather in one space and enter an abyss of fantasy in a three-day, fun-filled convention.

For someone who's mildly into comics, I was somewhat intrigued to discover what Comic Con had to offer and boy did I discover it.

Excel transformed their space into a gamer and comic book-enthusiasts paradise, as the large scale event space was filled with arcade games, live demonstrations and numerous merchandise from your favourite comics and anime characters.

Some standout moments from the convention include the large-scale demonstration of Tekken Live – where fans entered a mock boxing ring and played the game in front of an eager crowd – to entering the trippy world of virtual reality courtesy of Sony Playstation 2, which had queues of people waiting in the wings to enter the world of VR.

Beyond the hoards of games, Comic Con also provided an opportunity to flash the cash, as many stands from Dark Horse Comics to Marvel were selling artwork, anime merchandise, and there was even a section for Minion fans to get fake mini-Minion tattoos - could it get any cooler/weirder?

COOL OR JUST PLAIN WEIRD? The Minion tattoo parlour

As I ventured deeper into the Comic Con world, I became fascinated by the costumes I saw before me. These costumes weren't homemade or amateur but professional and bared striking similarity to the authentic costumes that I’d seen countlessly on screen. One guy I spoke to dressed up as Captain America and purchased a matching shield for £250. Talk about dedication. Other great character dressing I witnessed included Deadpool, The Walking Dead's Negan and a guy dressed up as superwoman – totally normal for Comic Con.

When I decided to take a break from superhero spotting, I checked out some of the panel discussions that took place across Excel, including a talk with the star of IP man, Donnie Yen. While the line up of panellists left a lot to be desired compared to their international counterparts, (San Francisco Comic Con gets Robert Downey Jr. and we got the '90s Power Rangers) what they lacked in guests they made up for in effort.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN: As well as technological advances, Comic Con showcased classic mediums

What I really took away from Comic Con was the shift in attitudes towards the international convention and their demographic. Those who are not in the know may still think only white teenage boys who are into anime and comics would attend the event – but that has certainly changed. The demographic at Comic Con consisted of everyday people like you and me, having fun and celebrating a culture that was once ostracised and deemed geeky by the masses.

Thanks to the commercialisation of comic books - largely due to big budget films from Marvel and DC Comics - people who are embracing this world come from all different walks of life and paint a very different picture from what has often been portrayed in the past.

The October London MCM event will run from 27-29 October 2017 and tickets will be on sale nearer the time.

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