Anyone else let down by this year's Fanime?

Started by xBladeDragonx, May 29, 2011, 01:02:22 AM

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For me, the biggest issue was the schedules. Probably due to my expectations, the last two years we got the little booklet schedules that were easy to carry around and very convenient. So I expected the same this year.

Three+ years ago, getting schedules from the con was always iffy, so I use to make my own mini-schedules to carry with me, I think I'll be starting this practice up again next year.

Though one positive about not having schedules, is I found myself walking around more than usual, mainly to check out what was going on in the different rooms. But it gave me a chance to also check out the cosplay stuff and what not, so I still had fun either way.
I learned everything I needed to know about life from Hentai.



As someone who stepped up an spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars (of my own money) to pull off my part of the con to hear some of your complaints is hurtful and does not necessarily encourage me to come back or volunteer.  If you complain, be prepared to step up and volunteer.  I mean, I did... For every hater there is someone who appreciates what you do.   If you didn't like something then perhaps all the others that feel the same way and you will help make improvements or at least understand why it isn't a certain way.

SJCC is a union venue and as a result, there are union rules for a lot of things that limit what the con can do either due to liability or cost.  To put it in perspective, tradeshows at sjcc (even with millions of dollars in sponsorships) cost at least over a two hundred for a multi-day ticket and those don't include the overtime or double overtime costs of being on a weekend or holiday.  

In the support of the rovers,  would you rather be hassled by a coplayer friendly rover or a non-cosplayer union security guard?

Summarized remarks:
Lack of schedules sucked.
not having posted schedules at the info desk sucked.
signage needs to be improved.
Step up or shut up.


I agree with a lot of what eHash said. I'd also like to add that staffing is not so much "be the change you want to see" as a lot of us, apart from reg and rovers, work behind the scenes, but rather it lets you get an inside look on how a con/large event works and how/why things turn out the way they do.

I have worked tech and other ops-related positions in larger events (ie. film festivals that run from 10-13 days) and, no matter how well the heads plan and execute, something always goes wrong and we always try our best to fix it -- that is, if we even know something IS wrong.

Something else that I think most people don't know is that ALL staff, even the heads, are taking time out of their own busy lives to plan and run Fanime for no pay. While that means that a lot of these people are truly passionate about what they do, it also means that they do not have time to screen and train lower level staff to the last detail. I'm sure they hope that their staff use common sense in whatever they do, but in practice it doesn't always happen.


i wasnt really let down by the con other than me missing my mini schedule xP i like to plan my day, the thing that let me down most was my hotel. NEVER EVER EVER stay at the crowne plaza. the bathtub was broken, the toilet broke, the hairdryer was broken, the promised mini fridge wasnt there, the coffee maker was broken, and there was hair in the shower. and at the con there was a rude rover i had to deal with once, i wasnt able to get his name to report him but if youre gonna be a rover and all i did was ask a question you could be nice about it and not be an ass to me kthx lol
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Quote from: bebop on May 30, 2011, 11:26:05 PM
yeah these "traps" from Japan have started to become a trend here as well. I didn't know I took pictures of a guy when I was doing a group photo.

You guys brought up good arguments but it won't change anything. I still think this year was pretty bad.

no I dont go just to check out girls. I didn't see much good male cosplayers this year though, however

I guess perhaps it is the trickle down theory. if the anime scene is stagnant or sucks, then the community gets driven down too  ???

Uh.. get over it? I'm male, and I love dressing up in cute outfits because people like you seem to have a problem gender biases. Is there anything wrong with the males who crossplay because they enjoy it? No. If you're really this paranoid just go up to people and ask their gender. Sorry that you fell and got caught in a trap, but we're not going to stop crossplaying because some people feel uncomfortable about it (I'm not).

Oh, and to clear up any misconceptions, I only like girls.

Anywho... complaints:

2 Rovers: I was in my Zero (MMX) costume and walked from the Marriot to the opposite side of the Con (Room F) and I was about 15 feet away when a rover comes up and stops me. He asks about my lightsaber and if it's peace-bonded yet. I tell him my story; I'm late to check in for the Masquerade and I will do it as soon as I finish checking it. It took me about 20 minutes to walk from one side to another (and it's quite uncomfortable to be in also) and if I turn around and go all the way back... I'd be late. So, he thought I was lying and decided it was a good idea to be pushy/touchy to move me... a big no-no. I was very fortunate that another nicer rover came up, stopped him, and let me pass.

One of the peace-bonding people said my wooden scythe was a Sai. I then look around and see other people with scythes walking around just fine and was wondering  what she was talking about. Needless to say, she refused to peace-bond my scythe...

Schedule: No big deal for me, though I would have liked to have went to a few panels.

TC X0 Lt 0X

Only real complaint I have this year that is not a personal problem was a lack of a printed schedule, and not properly informing attendees that there would be no printed one, as far as I know. But basically everyone agrees in this and it was stupid to not include one.

Everything else is insignificant and based off the person, their tastes, their personality, and where they were. Though of particular note.

STAFF - Almost all of them I encountered were very nice. Only a few at best were somewhat moody,and that was not a big deal.

ATTENDEES - Today's Economy leaves more then a few of us stressed so it is no surprise that some would be a bit more cranky then usual. But even then, it is a personal experience and all depends on who you encounter, and more importantly, how YOU present yourself. For instance, I would be quite rude to a Teen/Tween Attendee whom is flipping off the walls in excitement as in general is being a nuisance. On the other hand, I would be nice and calm to someone who is laidback and keeping their cool in general.

Yeah, I had a fun time. It was not as fun as my other years, but that was because I did not have my MoeBroMo with me and was forced to chill with people who had, some different tastes then me in things.

"Never beg. You earn. By Winning.
Or else you won't get anything..."

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Seriously people?? seriously?

I've been attending Fanime and have been behind the curtains this entire time... in many ways.. holding back the need to register for this forum.
Reading over these complaints... I have crawled out of my hiding... and will place my feedback. If you find me rude as such.. than it shall be.. but most of the stuff I'm seeing are from a very select few that had some disappointing moments.. and does not reflect on the overall success of the convention this year. And for goodness sake.. DO NOT take my opinions and think that just because I am staff myself, that it reflects upon the rest of us. That's just being ignorant.

I will agree on the aspect where schedules were lacking.. but knowing that things were thrown upon the staff almost only a week before the convention itself started.. it is NOT THEIR FAULT that things went the way it did.

Such "rudeness" from the staff that you may have experienced, I would have to say from observation, can be blamed from to the rudeness of the ATTENDEES. As conventions of any sort, or of any genre grow.. you get more and more individuals who are nothing more than belligerent folks who make the job of the staff much more difficult. Each attendee needs to be treated the same way from all the staff.. and as such.. they need to make judgement to do what they need to to keep order. If that requires enforcing rules they were told to enforce in a stern manner.. then why would you be complaining about them just doing their job?! I witnessed behind the scenes of how many intoxicated people they had to deal with. Not to be a killjoy, but it is very much emphasized that Fanime is a DRY CON. I have no sympathy for those that fail to abide that rule.. and you can blame them for ruining your fun.

Now... continuing on with "proper training" of the staff.. I don't know what other departments do.. but with Rovers in particular.. they were given PLENTY of training.. and to the point where they have implemented proficiency tests to filter out people. There's ALWAYS an understaffing issue.. and as the con grows.. and as more and more people who want to join staff increases as well... it makes it more difficult to make the balance between filtering out people vs. making sure we have enough.. I'm sure a few slithered their way in.. having that knowledge.. but perhaps poor application was witnessed. There is absolutely NO WAY you can be trained for that... that only comes from on-hand experience.

With regards to the military outfits and uniform stuff... the people you had to deal with (probably rovers)... the people that had to tell you no.... they weren't the ones that made the call.. they were following orders from higher ups.. where, from somewhere.. made the decision that it was the proper thing to do. Does that make those higher ups correct? no.. they're human... we make mistakes... but to complain about the person "power tripping" only because they were doing what they were told to do?? SERIOUSLY? You're going to whine about that? Sorry, but that's the way it is.

(FYI, I'm former military myself.. and we have plenty of active and former active military on our staff that have the same thoughts and concerns)

If you really have an issue with a particular staffer, do what any person would do: Take their name, and file a complaint. It's that easy. You can't complain about an entire group of staffers or a certain department off of what one or a few people that you had a bad experience with.

I suppose I'll add something else about me that might help with my credibility: I have worked at MANY different conventions, along with AX (which you guys seem to love to compare Fanime to).. and there is no comparison for me. Fanime is the most organized group of staffers for what they need to do.. and with what they have to work with. I parted my ways with AX during the 2010 staff walk-out... and guess what? Did you see the numerous complaints on the AX 2010 staff??? SOOO MUCH more worse than I have ever seen... and nowhere close to how bad some of you guys make this year's Fanime seem to be.

Other things I saw earlier in this topic:
- something about bootlegs being sold in the Dealer's hall? Simple solution.. report them. They are not supposed to be selling them.. obviously.. and unless you tell someone... WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING.
- Money stuff: with regards to reg. prices.. and dealers price gouging... People already answered about the economy, exchange rates, as well as operating fees that you guys seem to forget about. No further commenting needed.
- video rooms: contact Fanime and make sure your input is heard, but again.. agreeing with other people, I liked the setup they did.
- crowd control: staff can only do so much.. and unless YOU GUYS HELP us (by self-policing lines, cooperating with staff, etc)... we can't really help you beyond that.

In the meantime.. having being stuck at the Autographs room the entire day Sat & Sun... I have to thank everyone who came by that helped make my job easier. I personally am sorry about how long the lines got and profusely have to apologize to those that could not get an autograph. I think we did the best we can to be able to get that many people through with how things had to be set up. In only one hour, Yuya was able to sign close to 400 autographs each on both Sat and Sun.. which was amazing (~800 in 2 hrs total?!). FLOW, even with a 2-hr session on Sunday.. I think the numbers were just under 600 because of slower pace that we got from having a 5 person group. That, I know... and AM VERY SORRY for those who couldn't make the cut... even after we even capped off the line, towards the end.. we still had to cut a large group. :(
Trung D. Nguyen
Fanime: Autographs Head '11 | Rovers '01-present | Gopher '99-'00
Anime Expo: AxCon '07-'2009
ComicCon: Vol '04-'05

staff/vol. for misc. conventions all around the nation... ranging from 30.. to 130K+ attendees...


Quote from: idontknow on May 31, 2011, 08:18:24 AM
SCHEDULING. (Different from schedules :P) I'm pretty sure staff members thought about this a lot more thoroughly than I did, but might as well put my input. Why were big events like the B&W Ball and the Masquerade scheduled at the same time?! Couldn't it have been possible to make the big off-site events like B&W Ball, Masquerade, and the music concert thing on different days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday?).
Tbh I think that they schedule it that way so that there is space. If you go to the BWB, even with the Masquerade going on at the same time, it is SUPER packed. @w@ I don't think that if they were spaced out, that there would be any room at all. I think it would just lead to more people complaining that BWB was super packed and not fun and that Masquerade was super packed and not fun either. Eh, my two cents. :x

Quote from: idontknow on May 31, 2011, 08:18:24 AMSTAFF. Oh my gawd, staff. I believe this year wins for RUDEST STAFF MEMBERS. I understand some staff personal have to be mean every now and then to make sure everything runs smoothly, but I felt like some staff members got power hungry. I can't think of a specific example at the moment because not all of them were bad ... but I remember being irked at staff for part of the con.
Tbh it might also be that some departments are understaffed and they might just feel the pressure. Registration had about 70 staff members but Saturday, we were totally just @W@ really bad because of the huge demand for at-con membership. We knew that the line was uber long, but we always try our hardest to go fast and be polite at the same time. Think about this for other staff depts who have more pressure than us = x.x Of course, if you feel that staff are completely out of line, you can always voice your concerns and let a higher-up know. That way we can make sure that it doesn't happen again. (:

Quote from: idontknow on May 31, 2011, 08:18:24 AMCON-GOERS. There's not really anything Fanime could do about this, but I would like to rant a little. Even though I'm happy Fanime is becoming bigger, a lot of the con-goers are getting a lot ruder. A girl almost hit hit me while she was trying to put a box on her head. Her friend told her "be careful, you might hit someone" and she just replied saying, "That's their own fault." I'm sorry if you were STANDING IN THE WALKWAY AND YOUR BOXHEAD GOT IN MY WAY. I was ready to rip that box off her head.
Yeah, I don't know about that either. I kind of did notice this a lot more this year, but I just feel like with the huge influx of people just amounts to more stress to each individual attendee. o:

Hopefully regardless of these things, Fanime was still majorly fun for you guys and we do hope to see all of you next year as well. :3

I think maybe my one concern might be: water service around the SJCC? I didn't see any this year except for right outside the dance, I think? I just remember walking around being SUPER thirsty the entire con.

(My opinions do not reflect anyone else's but mine~)
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One small suggestion about dealing with crowd control that I haven't seen suggested yet. Either get rid of or move Stage Zero. Reason being is that it is placed in the middle of the area that gets the most foot traffic of the convention; and especially when a big event is going on, it tends to really limit the movement of the crowd even with those lanes near the back. Won't fix all of the crowd issues, but it'll help where it counts.

Other than that, the fact that they didn't make schedules, especially after having the godly pocket schedules last year kinda makes me wonder.

Check 1


- Removed and sent directly to division/dept heads as requested -


volunteers.. unfortunately.. receive the least amount of training out of anyone that helps with the convention.. most don't show up for meetings.. and when being assigned to a station.. they barely get any training, and get inadequate instruction...

that always happens.. and needs to be addressed more on the volunteers side... but hopefully fixed or at least implemented better in the future.
water stations, i agree were kinda lacking.. i really don't know what happened there.

the biggest thing i remember was the MASSIVE crowd control issues in front of Stage Zero... but last year, someone was smart enough to tape down that "roadway" and attendees used it properly and kept traffic moving as it should've. Before that was implemented.. IT WAS HORRIBLE.. many Rovers had to be stationed in that area to instruct people to keep moving.. and that took away manpower that would've otherwise be better elsewhere.

this year, the roadway was taped down again... but it seems a lot more attendees didn't care.. and as such.. some stopped in the middle of the roadway.. causing traffic issues. as a staff member, in my opinion... i would not mind another attendee to help self-police the crowd and tell people to keep moving when they should. if other attendees become rude to you, then you can go and seek help. we love attendees that help us find and fix problems.
Trung D. Nguyen
Fanime: Autographs Head '11 | Rovers '01-present | Gopher '99-'00
Anime Expo: AxCon '07-'2009
ComicCon: Vol '04-'05

staff/vol. for misc. conventions all around the nation... ranging from 30.. to 130K+ attendees...


I had a great time, no real complaints except for no mini schedule book.


Quote from: Jelly Soup on May 30, 2011, 02:02:47 AM
What a lot of people don't realize about the dealers room is that the dealers have to pay a more than just the space fees and transportation costs. SJCC has a union and if a given dealer is bringing in more than he/she can carry themselves, he/she has to pay the union to do all the moving, both in and out (this is actually listed in the dealers paper work). As you can imagine, this is pretty expensive, so it makes sense that we'd see some gouging of some kind.

Then we need to move this con to a non-union place. Or stop those proprietary mafia thugs from messing with the dealers. 

Jelly Soup

Quote from: aarondirebear on May 31, 2011, 02:58:46 PM
Quote from: Jelly Soup on May 30, 2011, 02:02:47 AM
What a lot of people don't realize about the dealers room is that the dealers have to pay a more than just the space fees and transportation costs. SJCC has a union and if a given dealer is bringing in more than he/she can carry themselves, he/she has to pay the union to do all the moving, both in and out (this is actually listed in the dealers paper work). As you can imagine, this is pretty expensive, so it makes sense that we'd see some gouging of some kind.

Then we need to move this con to a non-union place. Or stop those proprietary mafia thugs from messing with the dealers. 

Good luck with that. Any convention center (specifically convention centers, not sure of other lodgings) of equal or greater size will have union workers on staff and require patrons to use them.


Seems a lot of people are being whiny for nothing. I'll be addressing some of the "complaints" myself as well thoroughly and in details. People don't realize that this is one of the best conventions out there and I can attest to it from personal experiences from other major and minors conventions I've attended. All the little complaints people have made you see in EVERY con. The prices of the dealers will be the same at EVERY anime con. "Bad" attendees will be at EVERY anime convention. Confusion will happen with EVERY anime convention. Hell, some of the complaints don't even have anything to do with the actual convention. Either way I'm not just defending this convention for nothing because I've bashed other conventions before. From my personal experience, this is one of the most diverse and interesting conventions in the nation and I've traveled across the country to speak for this. It's just my personal opinion of course but I can't seem to wrap my mind around some of the complaints made here. At all.

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i probably shouldn't post this as me since I kind of know the answer...but I'll post it since it's how I feel.

I was let down by the lack of industry participation in the dealer hall again.

-removed and sent directly to dept head-


My friend's and I brought hella water with us. People should just be prepared. In addition, there were water fountains so you could use those.
If you don't like that the sodas are .50 cents more at the concession then go get them from the machine. It's not that complicated.
That's just some of the things that I've found problems with in these complaints.
A lot of you people are just complaining to complain. Everything can't be perfect just for you. You should just accept what you can get and have fun with it. A lot of people worked really hard to put this huge event together and we should appreciate the dedication they all have year after year instead of just complaining about what we didn't like.


Quote from: gsp113 on May 30, 2011, 02:20:05 PM
Quote from: SukebeStudios on May 30, 2011, 11:43:38 AM
QuoteI noticed a lot of rovers who either didn't know what they were doing or were 'drunk' on 'power'. I think better training and/or screening of rovers would be a good idea.

I dunno if they're willing to train their staff much, since it'd be taking time out of changing their rules at the last minute, not printing schedules, losing pre-reg badges, and telling people to not wear costumes based on a non-existent rule. (SJPD told my friend they had nothing to do with the rule about  "no military or law enforcement" costume rule, and that it was stupid.) Oh well, I think it's fair to say that Fanime staff has lost control and it's going to spiral down.

They're trying to be PC...they don't want anything right wing at the convention, period.

You're kidding me SJPD told u that!? The more I think about it the more silly it sounded to me along with the threatening in todays political climate rule.


Quote from: bebop on May 30, 2011, 09:38:11 PM

You do not have a single legitimate point in anything you posted at all. Every single thing you complained about either, didn't apply, or was you basically stating how you don't like people. "I don't like crossplayers" "I don't like the music they played at the dance"... etc. Seriously? Then you go off on a rant like Fanime is terrible because of things like this? Are you serious?

But here's the fun one, not because it's my department because it makes absolutely no sense.

Ok... service. What do you mean by service? You don't even explain anything in this, you just complain about the food and say you don't get anything from it. Again, what kind of service did you expect? Do you even know what a maid cafe is? Seriously... first off, it's a cafe... not a restaurant. So if you're going to whine that it's not a 4/4.5 star restaurant you really need to get your head out of your ass. It's not about being blunt, it's about knowing what you're talking about and making an appropriate comparison. It's fine if you don't like the cafe, I honestly and truly do not care if it's not your kind of thing. What I do care about is how you're attacking it totally off base. Just so you know, one of the staff members of the cafe is a cook in a high class restaurant. So please give me legitimate complaints instead of just "It sucked". And this goes for pretty much everything you said.

While I appreciate reasonings of opinion, opinions are just opinions. For every opinion of "I don't like crossplayers" there is one of "I love crossplayers". So stating that as a reason is quite pointless and accomplishes nothing. Give me some legitimate weight in things that were actually problematic that are imrpovable.

ZeroElement: Please stop replying like you have any idea what you're talking about in concerns to a lot of these things. You're kind of replying back like you're staff and you have good knowledge of what is going on, when it's clear you do not, as a good amount of what you said has been completely false.


Lots of things to be said, though most of it has been touched upon.

I've been attending for 8 years now, and I've gone through the personal transformation of annoying squealing fangirl to something a little more mature. That being said, I've also seen the con morph to what it is today. It went from space - artist alley in the hallway, anyone? - to almost no space to get around. I agree with the sentiment that Fanime may be getting too big for itself, but that just means that changes need to be made and it's a matter of trial and error.

For me, on a scale of 1-10, I give it a 5. It wasn't horrible. It wasn't the best either.

2011 Positives:

Maturity Level of Attendees I'm not saying it's perfect, but I'm seeing a lot more maturity from the attendees. In years passed ('04-'07ish) I noticed a lot more annoying squealing/glomping/general discord. I remember seeing people do stupid and dangerous things (back in the days of Der Cosplay, on my way out, I saw 2 guys having a battle with the swords they bought from a booth) and reflecting back on that, it seems it's gotten 100x better.

Table Top Gaming I loved the selection of games - board, video, and arcade. I stayed up until all hours playing jenga with random people and it was some of the most fun I'd had all con! Needs more tables and chairs, though the floor sufficed.

2011 Negatives

Staff Issues I know that Fanime is severely understaffed, and so I try to be understanding, however, I think that if you're working the info desk you should actually have the information I need, or at least be able to lead me somewhere else that does have it. More than once I went to an info desk to be told they had no idea where I was talking about. The most important of this was the blood drive. I had an appointment at 10, and I needed to find Parkside A (later changed to Parkside B). I was under the impression it was at the con center, so I tried looking for it myself. After wandering about and noticing 10 o'clock approaching quickly, I decided to ask an info desk. I went up to the staff member there, and they shrugged their shoulders and told me they didn't know. They looked at a map, and said he just couldn't help me, sorry. ..Ok, I'll try a new one. I went downstairs and asked that desk. They were a little more helpful, though they were wrong - they told me it was outside, I just needed to go outside, take a right, and walk until I saw the blood drive bus. They said not to worry though, the blood mobile hadn't come in yet. One guy there kept talking into his headset to get more information for me, and said he might have more info if I came back later - and it was already 10 by this time. I went back upstairs to the main one, and they said the same as the one below (Go outside, keep walking til I see the blood mobile). I kept wandering back and forth until I made it over to the info desk near the Hilton where I finally got the correct lead - it was connected to the tech museum, about a 10 minute walk. I was already 10 minutes late so I skidaddled my butt over, and ended up being 20 minutes late to my appointment, and I ended up missing the Pokemon gathering. It wasn't such a huge deal, I'm not terribly upset by it now (though I was at the time), but I just think that people at info desk should maybe have A. Updated Maps and B. Basic knowledge of where events are happening.

Another thing I noticed was attitude by some rovers. I didn't get their names, and I was so tired that I can't really give a description - nor do I really want to, as maybe they were just having a bad day - but I didn't really appreciate being talked to in the manner they did. The first incident was as I was walking down the designated walkway by stage zero. I was quite angrily snapped at to keep moving I was blocking traffic. While I understand that blocking traffic is not a good idea, there was a small child who tripped in front of me. I most certainly was not going to just stomp over this kid, I stopped to give him the space to stand up and brush himself off.

The second incident was as the gaming room was closing on Monday. I was sitting in a back corner, packing up my stuff (the announcement had been made about a minute before) when a rover comes up yelling that we needed to get out NOW. Now, I know you're tired, overworked, and just want to be done with it, I understand. But did you really need to be so mean about it? I was actively packing when you came up, how about worrying about the people putting coins in the games even though the announcement was made instead of the 2 girls who are obviously packing their things? The rovers in both of these cases were indeed doing their job, and I don't hold a grudge against them for the actions themselves, but it was in the way things were said. Attitude can be the difference between "This con was the best one yet!" and "THIS CON SUCKS, I'M NEVER GOING AGAIN." However, all in all, staff are awesome and kind folk who are super helpful. Tons of my friends staff/rove/etc and I hold tons of respect for those who do it.

Scheduling This has been touched on enough by everyone else, but those mini books should definitely reappear next year.

Pre-Reg lines/Times I was going to show up on Thursday to pick up my badge, only to get stuck in traffic. It passed the 8 o'clock time limit, so I went back home. I was later told that the line wasn't cut off until 9:30. It would have been nice to know that before I wasted a lot of gas. I expect times to be more or less honored. The line on Friday was crazy too, I've never dealt with lines like that to pick up my PreReg badge, I had to wait for an hour or so maybe while a friend registered at-con and it took 5 minutes. This isn't some major gripe, it's better than the 3 hour wait I experienced my first con in '04. But still, it sucked.

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