When Comic-Con International announced earlier this week that they would be changing the way the EPIC Registration waiting room would function, basing your place in line to purchase tickets on a randomized algorithm rather than the nano-second you arrived at the website, chaos ensued. A lot of our readers have strong opinions about whether or not the changes are positive or not – or whether the changes will have any affect at all.
Many attendees seem to feel that the process is too much of a change from previous years, and that instead of leveling the playing field, it’s going to hinder their chances to get a badge. Attendee Rhodora Carpena said on Facebook that the change “stabs at the dedication” long-time attendees have.
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?
Others agree, like idlephase on Twitter, who feels that by planning ahead and being prepared in years past, they’re now losing an edge.
@SD_Comic_Con Don't like it. My group has gotten in with less than 2000 people in line consistently. Now our dedication and timing is moot.
— TL (@cromulentidea) January 27, 2014
Not all of our readers feel this way, though. Speed Force told us on Twitter that the new process feels like a lottery, which isn’t necessarily bad.
— Speed Force (@SpeedForceOrg) January 27, 2014
Some even feel that the new process improves their chances, like Christy De Luna Randolph, who said on Facebook:
I’m thinking this may even the playing field for us! I honestly think this may improve our chances!
According to Anjosie on Twitter the random process makes her feel “like the stress is gone now”, since the sale is out of her hands.
@SD_Comic_Con yes. I feel like stress is gone now. It seems like fairest possible solution to me.
— Angie L (@Anjosie) January 27, 2014
This is, of course, assuming that the sale ever was in anyone’s hands to begin with. As reader Kendall Whitehouse noted on Twitter, the changes may not seem as drastic as they appear, as the process was always pretty random to begin with.
— Kendall Whitehouse (@kwhitehouse) January 27, 2014
Anne Kirn, aka House of Darkly, elaborated on this idea in a blog post about badge sales and the ‘Vegas Effect’ – where CCI may have wanted us to think that we were in control before, but the odds are that we probably weren’t, much like playing a slot machine in Las Vegas. Because thousands of attendees were clicking the link to access the EPIC Registration waiting room, the system was effectively randomizing those results anyway – if 5,000 people all clicked at exactly the same nano-second, the system would have been ordering those people randomly anyway. In her post, she explains that many of the ‘tricks’ we thought we were employing to help score a badge may have been useless:
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.
No matter what your take on badge sales, Pink Bunny brings up a valid point on Twitter: For all of this hubub about SDCC, we still have no news on WonderCon badges, and that convention takes place two months earlier than Comic-Con.
— Pink Bunny (@pinkbunnyr) January 27, 2014
After some time to reflect, has your opinion on the badge sale changed? Do you still feel the same? Let us know in the comments.