San Diego Comic Con Registration Gets A Facelift

Photo courtesy of insidetherock.com

Photo courtesy of insidetherock.com

Roxanne Powell
Staff Writer

If you followed San Diego ComiCon registration drama for the last couple of years—or if, like me, you are a long-time Con attendee—then you know they changed their online registration system. The EPIC system has booted in-person sales during ComiCon weekend, and has ensured that the one fastest server will rule them all.

Earlier this week, the convention giant announced yet another change to its EPIC system. The waiting room feature, which was previously based on whoever logged on to the site first, will now be based on a randomizing algorithm. This change has sparked discussion among fans—new and old—over whether or not this change is for the better.

Many feel that this new change is just another way to alienate fans, forcing them to choose if such a task will be worth their trouble. A reported by SDCC’s blog, Rhodora Carpena, a long-time attendee of the convention, posted her opinion on her Facebook page.

“Each announcement stabs at the dedication I have left to keep attending SDCC year after year. If CCI is committed to growth, they should prove it by going through a registration company that has been proven to handle the increased numbers effectively. Not by using chance as a scapegoat. Can you imagine the havoc this will cause with the hotel reservations?”

Other fans, like Twitter user @idlephase

, feel that they no longer have a grasp on the system. In previous years, all you had to do was walk up to the gallery and stand in line for a computer. Losing this method of pre-registration has taken away attendees’ confidence in the system as a whole.

But not every user feels this way.

And still others feel the new EPIC system opens more doors than it closes. On her Facebook page, Christy De Luna Randolph said it levels the field.

“I’m thinking this may even the playing field for us! I honestly think this may improve our chances!”

With the new system, there is less stress on how much the customer can control. It’s all automated, with no room for human error. But humans programmed the system, so there’s always the chance that something could go wrong. In past years, servers have crashed due to the influx of site traffic, causing thousands of fans to lose their place in line and start over.

Anne Kirn, also known as House of Darkly on her blog, drew parallels between ComiCon passes and the “Vegas Effect”: the CCI is not always in control, but as long as the public thinks it is, they’ll keep coming back for more.

“So while you may have felt in the past that carefully controlling your registration preparedness determined whether you got a badge, it may NOT have been true for several years. Carefully timing your caffeine intake, restarting your computer, selecting the right browser and killing background operations – at one point, they may have made a split-second difference that mattered. But right now, SDCC may just be acknowledging that these techniques influence the outcome about as much as what color underpants you have on.”

But don’t let your excitement and anticipation for SDCC keep you from enjoying other conventions! As Pink Bunny points out in a recent tweet, WonderCon is coming up a lot sooner, and tickets are going fast!

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