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otakuapprentice

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2009, 12:05:43 AM »

My room was in the Hilton, so for me, having to walk down "Hug Alley" every time I went from one side of the convention center to the other was somewhat annoying.....especially when it became a massive conglomerate of people shouting for hugs(with many being shirtless, thinking that would make it easier); while sometimes they stayed along the wall, eventually the huge group slowly migrated outwards to the middle of the walkway, making it even harder for everyone to walk by(and causing a traffic jam in the process).

As much as I did hate this type of mob-mentality behavior, it is a huge improvement from all the random glompings of years' past. Some type of solution/system should be implemented for next year, or at least put signs up saying they NEED/ARE REQUIRED to stay up against the wall(and don't shout like a mofo) if asking for hugs.....and to keep their damn shirts on...or just ban the hug line altogether. Whichever works.
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Gwydion

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2009, 12:11:26 AM »

Honestly it seems to happen every year so I totally ignored it and no one bothered me. I thought the line up of them was kinda dumb but if they want to look like desperate idiots that's their problem. I didn't look at them for more than a glance and with the general noise level of the Concourse you could barely hear anything they might have been saying anyways. And I was never accosted.

A friend of mine though kept getting hugged because he did pay them notice. So if you don't want them near you ignoring them and passing by does work.
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otakuapprentice

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2009, 12:16:42 AM »

Personally, I figured either they were ditched by their friends, were just extremely bored, craved attention, or already spent all their money(which is true of that one chap selling his DSi to pay for his way back home...people need to make a budget).
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heeroyuy135

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2009, 12:35:22 AM »

I didn't have a problem with the line itself as I gave a few hugs that evening.
I did hug those who were clothed and avoided the shirtless ones.
I do agree it's better than the glomping massacre last year.

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2009, 01:27:33 AM »

Here is a simple test... would those same people stand around in a mall and do the same thing? Would the mall let them do it?
The answer would most likely be no to the first question and the mall would most definitely not let it happen in the first place.
That's not a very good test. By that same token, since it would be ridiculous to cosplay in a mall (let alone have large gatherings of cosplayers), take pictures of people dressed interestingly, or make friends simply by unprovokingly saying hi to somebody, I shouldn't be doing that at cons either.

Comparing a mall to a con is like comparing apples to oranges. They're both very social places with lots of people walking around, but that's where the major similarities end.
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ryuyasha

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2009, 01:59:18 AM »

I passed that line many times..it didnt bother me a bit. They didnt seem especially loud or obnoxious (I found the roving huggers more annoying, if you by some luck got near them in a crowded hall, they basically expected a hug ><) and I usually find the random hugging a pretty fun thing, specially since signs are banned at AX, so its something i havent done since my first ax. All in all, harmless fun, IMO
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Xeluu

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2009, 02:33:21 AM »

I wasn't fond of it, but agree that is was an improvement from last year.

The first time I passed them, they were up against the wall, and while it did slow traffic, it wasn't horrible.

The next time only half were against the wall, some people were hugging others in the middle of the hall, and some were just hanging out more towards the center of the hall.

So... eh. I MUCH prefer them to unwanted glomps. I had potentially one person, but they were stopped before it would have/could have happened.

Now, costume/tail pulling is a WHOLE 'nother story this year. And one for a different thread.
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Thisiskat

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2009, 02:42:14 AM »

They're not annoying, I've yet to see one demanding hugs. Granted the one guy with free hugs sign seemed to be weirded out that I was hugging him... I don't think it's a crime to want a hug, nor should signs really be banned simply b/c someone wants a hug.
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Aelia

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2009, 02:48:15 AM »

As a Rover- one who decided who went where from 8am-4pm, I have to say, I didn't have anyone disperse them because I didn't hear at con that they were a problem.

We'd like to know what is thought about hugs and hug lines because we want to decide future policy. We did crack down on signs last year, and we have tried to cut down on unwanted glomping. Signs which ask for money or otherwise solicit will never be allowed and we have always asked them to stop as soon as we found them.

But specifically, we tried to keep this hug line under control. When Rovers spotted them they (were at least supposed to) made a point of asking them to stay near the wall and not harass. Being in a group made it easy for attention whores to be attention whores, and people who wanted hugs to get a lot at once.

If we had heard complaints at con about it- Rovers is, by the way, where you should go with that information, if it's bothering you- we would have dealt with it. Whining after the con about it isn't going to fix what has happened.

What we want to know is whether the majority of people would rather there be no signs, whether they were bothered by it, etc. as was asked in the first post.

I have to say, I'm not bothered by non-soliciting, non-sexual signs on the concourse, so long as the sign carrier realizes that "no means no" and so on.

But please, respond to the first post as well as anything else in the thread.
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Mordyan

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2009, 07:35:04 AM »

Here is a simple test... would those same people stand around in a mall and do the same thing? Would the mall let them do it?
The answer would most likely be no to the first question and the mall would most definitely not let it happen in the first place.
That's not a very good test. By that same token, since it would be ridiculous to cosplay in a mall (let alone have large gatherings of cosplayers), take pictures of people dressed interestingly, or make friends simply by unprovokingly saying hi to somebody, I shouldn't be doing that at cons either.

Comparing a mall to a con is like comparing apples to oranges. They're both very social places with lots of people walking around, but that's where the major similarities end.
/soap box
Sorry to break it to you but I know lots of people who have cosplayed in a mall, and had gatherings in public spaces. I have attended some events. And that's my point. I am willing to guess that almost no one at the wall would ever consider doing what they did anywhere else. Yet I know lots of cosplayers who have dressed up in normal public situations. Sorry this discussion is not the point of this whole thread.
/end soapbox

The first post asked if people found it annoying or offensive and to that I would say some did. The people at hugger's wall were at times acting like aggressive pan handlers. I saw them link arms and walk down the concourse trying to trap people, only to quickly break apart when they saw a rover. It made other people uncomfortable and diminished their enjoyment of the con. It impacted the walkways and took staff time away from other areas.

Most con's have deliberate bans on activities in major walkways to prevent issues like these. However I do think con staff did the right thing by letting people alone and trying to minimize the impact since there were no formal rules against it. They will review their policies and decide if something else needs to be done.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 08:08:41 AM by Mordyan »
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Stormfalcon

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2009, 08:11:46 AM »

Here is a simple test... would those same people stand around in a mall and do the same thing? Would the mall let them do it?
The answer would most likely be no to the first question and the mall would most definitely not let it happen in the first place.
That's not a very good test. By that same token, since it would be ridiculous to cosplay in a mall (let alone have large gatherings of cosplayers), take pictures of people dressed interestingly, or make friends simply by unprovokingly saying hi to somebody, I shouldn't be doing that at cons either.

Comparing a mall to a con is like comparing apples to oranges. They're both very social places with lots of people walking around, but that's where the major similarities end.

Here's the difference: cosplay generally doesn't involve unwanted physical contact or expectations of unwanted physical contact.  You may look odd in the mall, but unless you're wearing a mask over your face (hiding your identity), wearing a particularly baggy costume, or carrying around prop weapons, you're not going to get into much trouble at a mall for cosplaying unless you're seen as a threat or otherwise a potential criminal.  The way the hug line behaved at times (especially as they started to move away from the wall later in the day on Monday) could be seen as harassment as they began to bother passersby for hugs, and that bothered people as seen in this thread.  There probably should've been some reporting to the rovers as things progressed, but I suspect a lot of people decided not to bother as it was the last day of the con.

Was it better than previous years?  Yeah.  Could it be better controlled still?  Yeah.
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Pengin-san

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2009, 08:20:47 AM »

I didn't really have a problem with it.  I'm a minor, and I wasn't "intimidated" at all, so that's not really the case.  Although, there's something eerily creepy about the children (under 12) being hugged by older men (this coming from someone who hugged Pedobear with great fervor XD!).

HOWEVER.  I did experience problems.  Last year especially!  I cosplayed as a character who is afraid of women.  Naturally, he's one of the more popular characters in the game.  I was glomped SO many times, I was getting really pissed off.  My cosplay was incredibly fragile, and these girls had no idea what it feels like to be bombarded by someone twice your size, considering I'm really short (5'0") and small.  This was near the stairs, mind you, so the floor was really hard, not to mention that one of us could have close to falling down the stairs.  I tried to be polite, but I was furious and in a lot of pain.  

My cosplay was even more fragile this year, so I was very aware of who was around me.  I didn't experience it too badly, and I occasionally had to put my hands in front of me saying "gentle gentle".  Believe it or not, it stopped the rampaging fan girls.  The hug line didn't bother me too much.  I received a few very polite hugs, and some not so much.  I was hugged by a creepy guy who wouldn't let go until I had to shove him away.  I didn't report it because I wasn't touched inappropriately, and I was the one who accepted the hug.  However, I was getting a little annoyed at constantly being asked for a hug.  I just wanted to get to the dealer's hall.  If it gets banned, I don't care.  If it gets controlled better, I would be happy.  Besides, I did all of the free hugging stuff back when I was 12, so I can't really see myself doing it now.
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chococlatte

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2009, 08:44:25 AM »

I went on Sunday, and yes, there was a huge hug line on the walk to the Dealers' Hall.  I thought it was quite alright.  Most of the people were properly clothed, although one or two actually cosplayed.  A lot of the people did not just go over and glomp me or my other friends.  They simply just asked for a hug.  I'm not one to hug random strangers, so I just politely turned all of them down.  But my friend who did a wonderful cosplay of Amu (Some of you may have taken her picture because she was asked for a picture a lot) was suddenly kissed by some random guy.  Now that was definitely an over-the-line move.  A lot of the skeezy guys need respect the fact that they're only getting what they asked for: a free hug.  No kisses or glomping or anything like that.  My friend's rather attractive, so I could understand that guy's motives, but I would have punched the guy so hard if was there with my friend.  (I tend to think with my fists.  ^^;;;)

It was somewhat of an annoyance to have 20 people yelling in your ear, but as long as they didn't touch me, I was quite alright.  Big events like these aren't always so calm and gentle.  They really should ban other signs soliciting other things.  (ie money, death threats, diseases; I saw a guy who wrote free syphilis on his chest, and I don't think that was in good spirit at all)
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chococlatte

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2009, 08:47:57 AM »

HOWEVER.  I did experience problems.  Last year especially!  I cosplayed as a character who is afraid of women.  Naturally, he's one of the more popular characters in the game.  I was glomped SO many times, I was getting really pissed off.  My cosplay was incredibly fragile, and these girls had no idea what it feels like to be bombarded by someone twice your size, considering I'm really short (5'0") and small.  This was near the stairs, mind you, so the floor was really hard, not to mention that one of us could have close to falling down the stairs.  I tried to be polite, but I was furious and in a lot of pain.

That is exactly why I didn't want any hugs!  I'm a really small girl, so it's quite easy to just smother me with your sweat-soaked shirt.  I didn't cosplay, but I'm planning to do a maid cosplay and maybe a lolita dress-up if I end up going multiple days next year. 
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Re: The hug line
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2009, 09:05:40 AM »

The most annoying was this guy late at night that would hug you regardless without permission and then yelling out group hug! It got me really angry not only he was a dude but he was sweaty and reeked, he's lucky I was in a happy mood but if I wasn't I would of twisted his arm before he even reached me.
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Kandybar

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2009, 10:27:58 AM »

It was Sunday afternoon that the hug line by the dealer's room started to get a little out of hand.  I didn't have issues myself, but I was in costume with props (and with the shoes I had on, I was almost 6'3"), but the friend I was with kept having people jump out in her way to demand hugs.  And they were occasionally yelling mean comments if you passed them by without hugging them.

It would be nice if you could in and out both sides of the Dealers' Room so you could avoid them if necessary.

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kaizoku

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2009, 10:49:13 AM »

If you don't want a free hug, you don't have to get it. : /

People need to lighten up.  It's the ones who are afraid of hugs that truly have trouble in social settings.

I disagree. This isn't about "lightening up" this is about common courtesy. As I said earlier, it's fine if there are a few people walking around giving out hugs, politely. More power to them...

when you have 40-50 people standing in a line screaming with no shirts on for hugs, that is not a good environment. Also, I resent the assumption that just because I don't want to be hugged by a complete stranger that makes me socially awkward, lol.

Anyways I'm going to walk away from this thread now because I have a feeling it's going to turn south very soon now...

Like I said before, you are not required to get a hug.  I think that it falls somewhere in the line of freedom of speech.  If you're going to restrict people from giving out free hugs, you might as well stop people from being able to protest as well.  It falls within the same line, and if you don't like it then just deal with it. It's 3-4 days of your life and you'll never have to see them again.  If you want to cry more about FREE HUGS, you shouldn't be at Fanime.  Fanime in a sense a place of expression.  Everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy themselves as long as they don't do anything illegal.  Last time I checked free hugs aren't illegal.  

Last time there were a group of people that were giving out free hugs and asked me if I wanted one.  I was fine with it.  But I can see where you are coming from if they just randomly charged you and hugged you.  Now that can be borderline illegal for harassment or sexual harassment.  So as long as huggers follow the law, I don't think there should be any problem.  If you feel threatened by someone asking to give you a hug...I don't know what to say.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 10:55:46 AM by kaizoku »
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Saeko

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2009, 11:06:43 AM »

I don't think it has anything to do with the first amendment :|
If Fanime implemented a rule saying 'No Hug Lines' then it's just a rule. Just like how you can't bring in real weapons, and how you have to wear shoes to Fanime. Does that not also violate the first amendment if we put it into those terms? Just like how people were not admitted into the black and white ball because they just came with jeans and a tshirt. What's the difference?

I'm not saying hugs should be restricted; rather, I think it would be better if maybe there was a specific location where people can go to if they wanted hugs. It would be better than having hug lines randomly in one spot where it causes issues. I don't know where you can exactly put such a thing, but I think it might work out someway or another.

Can you imagine? A small room full of yelling and screaming and people who want to hug you and do whatnot. :D Yikes. Hahah.
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Kertus

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Re: The hug line
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2009, 11:21:48 AM »

I think the hug line itself is fine, it's just a few people in it who are overzealous that seem to affect the opinion of how good/bad the hug line was.  It's true that traffic did have to slow down a bit in that area where the hug line was (I saw it mainly on the outside wall of the dealers room) but really the only times I saw it as an issue to traffic were when it moved late night on sunday I think it was to the cross area between the con and the Hilton, or a few times when hug people would be on both sides of the walk towards the dealers entrance.

It would be really sad for there to be no hug line I think.  I believe there just needs to be some rough guidelines so it doesn't turn into such a free-for-all and kinda disorganized.  Maybe like a specifically defined distance and such or level of cleanliness.

I can understand how some would find it intimidating or annoying, hell I was by a few of them, but overall I don't think the hugline/wall should be outlawed just because of a few people.  If it's a matter of too many rovers or other people being taken away from other tasks maybe people could volunteer specifically for hugline control, or hell maybe just a set of guidelines would be enough and with people knowing them they'd police themselves.
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Re: The hug line
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2009, 11:23:05 AM »

Walking by kinda felt like passing a street on the bad side of town where many "workers" are asking you if your looking for a good time. XD
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