On Saturday, A-Kon Broke The World Record For Gathering The Most Video Game Cosplayers In One Place.
The organizers behind the 25th rendition of A-Kon, Dallas annual anime-centric convention, had one goal in mind at this past weekend's festivities. They wanted to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of costumed video game characters.
The rules, at their core, were pretty fair and simple: If you were at this weekend's convention, and you were dressed up like a character from a video game, you were counted toward the running total. Well, with one caveat: You had to have been in full character. For instance? Let's say you can to the convention dressed as Ness from Nintendo's Earthbound series and you were wearing pink shorts instead of the expected blue; in that instance, you didn't count.
Yes, the Guinness folks are indeed that specific when it comes to this sort of thing. And maybe they should be. Similar conventions to this one aim to break records like this all the time, and with a group from Finland holding the record with a count of 491 costumed characters heading into this weekend, the A-Kon team didn't want to leave anything to chance.
But it's goals weren't exactly modest, either. A-Kon organizers were clear heading into this weekend's Hilton Anatole-hosted event: They were attempting to hit a figure of 625.
And at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning — the day in which the convention would specifically aim for that goal — things were looking pretty good. By noon, 336 video game characters had already been counted toward the goal — and herded into the hotel's Veranda Club, where they were asked to stay and wait until at least the 491 goal was reached.
And, yes, they did have to stay in that space. Organizers were clear on that. But they weren't quite held captive. Inside, the staff had set up access to three ballrooms in addition to small tables where these cosplayers could play games and eat provided snacks.
Lucky for A-Kon, these participants were a dedicated lot — and one that didn't seem to mind the wait. Some of these cosplayers had spent upwards of a year to ready their costumes. Others had come from as far as South Carolina to get in on the action.
But by 1:30, the crowd was getting a little restless. The goal was near, though, and, over on a piano in the foyer, one talented musician started playing Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'” to keep the room's spirits high. That ploy worked: Everyone in the room starting singing along.
And before long, it all paid off. With a count of 599 costumed video game characters, the goal hadn't been met, but the record had been earned. Lines were then formed and the attendees were led outside to the courtyard to be photographed en masse for proof.
Unsurprisingly, after the pictures came the cheers.
Officially, it'll be a few weeks before Guinness gives A-Kon's attempt at the record a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. But by the time the photos were snapped on Saturday, everyone at A-Kon already felt like a winner.