Why can't I carry ______?
This is our number one question, so I'm going to answer this first. The short version? Probably because it's one (or more) of the following:
c) something someone has caused major problems with in the past
d) related to something which has caused problems at other conventions (we like to learn from their mistakes, rather than duplicating them here.)
The slightly longer version? It's probably something which you wouldn't be allowed to carry out on the street, or which would make people uncomfortable. When FanimeCon arrives in town, everyone knows, but that doesn't mean that everyone will remember when they see something which makes them feel uncomfortable. (Or, they may remember it as a negative thing, and hold it against the convention.) In order to stay in San Jose, we have to make sure we keep the goodwill of the San Jose Convention Center-- and surrounding businesses-- and in some cases, that means honoring their rule requests, and in others it means addressing complaints which have been made. But I spent a lot of time/money on this prop. I wouldn't do anything stupid with it!
In most circumstances, it's not actually you
we're worried about. Nor is it most of the thousands of con-members. It is, in fact, that idiot who's trying to show off for someone and decides it's a good idea to duel with someone else in the middle of the Road by Stage Zero. Because we can't test for common sense, and if we could, we can't account for bad ideas, we have to create rules with minimal gray area, so they can be most evenly enforced. We don't get to say "Oh, it's [name]! I remember you, you're cool, go ahead and carry that [banned weapon] around the convention center!" I think your rules are stupid.
I know. I hear it a lot. People don't like our rules, but without working alternatives, we can't do anything about it. The rules which are here are largely here to stay, though if you have a major
issue, and feel like you can suggest a functional, enforceable alternative
please PM Me
with it.Now for the classic FAQ:What is Peace Bonding?
FanimeCon Rovers peace-bond props with "Peace Bonds" (aka zip-ties) to mark that the cosplayer carrying the prop has agreed to abide by the rules. For safety reasons, we require all props to be peace-bonded as soon as possible after they enter the convention center.What can't be carried?
We do not allow real guns, or toy guns which can shoot things. We do not allow props with actual blades, or which could be sharpened to have a blade. We do not allow things which are illegal according to State or Federal Law (sai, nunchuku, and tonfa are in this category). What we do allow are props which are clearly props, things which are not weapons, and which cannot shoot anything. We allow items which are part of a costume, and which actually suit the costume. They must be peace-bonded, and they may never be used, or brandished—this means no play-fighting, no pointing at people, and no actual fighting.I just bought this awesome ______ in the Dealer's Hall/Artist's Alley/Swap Meet. Can I get it peace-bonded?
Only if you are in a costume which the prop is appropriate for, and it meets all other peace-bonding requirements, will we peace-bond the prop for you. Most of the time, the answer to this question is “No.” Sometimes we have to say no because the prop is not allowed, sometimes it’s because it doesn’t suit the costume you’re wearing, and sometimes we say no because you’re not in a costume at all.You said I couldn't carry this, what now?
Weapons and props which have not been approved for peace-bonding should be promptly removed from convention center property and public hotel space. They need to be taken back to a hotel room or car, and should remain there for as long as you are in the convention center. We cannot hold your props for you, even if you lack a car or hotel room. If you get a cardboard box and put the prop inside that, you may carry the cardboard box, provided the prop is inaccessible while it is in the box.I don't have a car/hotel room, what do I do?
If you don't have a car or hotel room, there are a couple options. First, you can ask a friend to use their car or hotel room. If you don't have a friend with a place to stash your stuff, you can sometimes ask the hotel desks to hold stuff temporarily. The last option is to get a box which can hold your prop, and then put your prop in the box. As long as your prop stays in the box, you are ok.This was OK last year, what about now?
We review our rules yearly, so items and costumes okay for 2011 may be disallowed in 2012. Please come by and get your prop checked and peace bonded for the current year.You just said no, but I saw someone else carrying the same thing...
Locate the nearest Rover and politely point the person out to the Rover. Give the Rover a brief explanation of what you believe is the peace bonding violation. We’ll take it from there. We try to be even, but there are never enough Rovers for the number of people at Fanime. You can deal with it yourself (by politely
asking someone to go get their prop checked), or you can have a Rover take care of it for you by notifying one and pointing the other person out.What about the signs carried by Durara cosplayers?
Those are OK since they are a part of a cosplay. As long as they are just the street signs and they’re not soliciting anything we won’t stop them.Are there rules about the flags carried for Hetalia or other anime?
Yes, actually, thanks for asking! You must be respectful of flags at all times, this means keeping them on flag-poles and carrying them carefully, keeping them off the ground, and not wearing them as capes or other articles of clothing. While carrying flags indoors, keep them held firmly against their flagpole so they are not drifting behind you and causing safety issues. Please do not modify or attach things to official flags.What if I'm in the Military and want to wear my Uniform?
You may wear your Class A or B uniform while in the convention hall area as long as you:
1) Are a currently serving member of the United States Armed Forces.
2) Have your Military ID on you and can present it to the Convention Authorities when asked.
3) Present yourself to the props tagging room to have your badge marked as official military.
4) Continue to wear your uniform properly. There are NCO's who work this convention and they will insist you wear it correctly or not at all.What about NERF guns?
This is a common one for us. There are two rules to carry NERF:
1) It must not be functional. If you could put ammo in and shoot it, we cannot let you carry it.
2) It may be painted so long as the tip remains fluorescent.
I personally think it’s better to leave a whole side unpainted, but the only requirement is the tipCan I carry this shovel/wrench/hammer?
The answer is probably no. Tools are heavy, and can often be dangerous.Can I have metal armor?
Sure, as long as your metal armor doesn’t have sharp edges or large metal spikes and you follow visibility rules. A full helm for example requires a handler as you have restricted visibility and hearing.I have a cane, and I actually use it to walk. Does it need to be peace-bonded?
No. If it is medically necessary, we do not have to peace bond it.Can I carry this tonfa/baton/sap/club?
No. California State law lists tonfa as well as several weighted (and non-weighted) baton type instruments as illegal to carry. In many cases, this includes wooden baseball bats. In most cases, if it is a functional club we will have to say no.Can I carry my bow & arrows?
If the bow has absolutely no tension to be able to fire something, and the arrows have no tips, then yes, we can let you carry it. Real bows have an ability to fire something, and are considered functional projectile weapons. To carry a “real” bow you’d have to string it with something which could not
be tensioned to fire anything.My prop got damaged from peace-bonding.
and/or This Rover was a jerk.
If you can describe the person who peacebonded in such a way that your prop got damaged, or if it happens in 2012, get the person's badge number or name, we (the Rovers) can take care of it. (If you have reports of this from previous years, please PM Me
If a Rover is acting in an unprofessional way, get their name/badge number and take it to the Rovers Shift Lead at Rover Base. Please be aware that we cannot fix this after the convention is over.
The best way to deal with a Rover who is being overbearing/mean/unprofessional is to get their badge number and description and come to Rovers Base ASAP.
These questions are lumped together because they're frequently related. Can you tell me if my prop will be OK?
It's very difficult to approve a prop over the internet. What I can do for you, if you provide some key things, is give you a tentative answer. I need to know what you are cosplaying, and I need pictures of your props. If you have them, I'd like pictures of you in costume with your props. If your question is early on in the fabrication process, I can sometimes make suggestions that would make your prop OK, or give you things to be sure you include. I try to work with you guys, and I try to help you make your props OK whenever I can. Please feel free to post in this thread and I'll do my best to help you out.I'm confused by what you mean by _____. or What about _____?
If you don't see your question answered here, or in the above post, please post in this thread. I will do my best to answer your questions promptly.