By Christopher Erickson
Further Confusion (known by convention goers as FurCon) kicked off the convention and faire season for 2016. The convention was at its current home of the San Jose Convention Center and was held from January 14 through January 18.
This year’s convention theme was “Café FC: A Classic American Diner.” The con book, pocket guide and badges featured artwork of anthropomorphic animals eating at “Happy Days” style diners or scenes depicting the 1950s. Part of the convention packet was a paper placemat with activities like a maze and coloring book artwork. The con staff wore paper hats.
A number of the furries also dressed in the theme. Some wore outfits that were reminiscent of Fonzie and Richie from “Happy Days” or the characters from “Grease.” Others wore uniforms of diner workers. There were a few people who dressed up as characters from the role-playing game ‘Undertale” which features anthropomorphic animals who live underground in their own society after being banished by humans. One of the characters is a staff person working in a diner. Other costumers wore aprons and hats and even carried trays with “food” on them. One fursuiter wore a cosmonaut outfit that made him look like Laika piloting Sputnik 2.
Since I was not able to go to the full weekend due to needing to travel for work, I went during Thursday and Friday evening. Thursday night was the first time people could pick up their badges. There were already a large number of people who were hanging out in the lobby of the San Jose Marriott in costume. The Marriott staff got into the theme by leaving out jars of animal cookies at the registration desk. One person was operating a remote control BB-8 toy, interacting with the people and furries in the lobby. Other people were sitting around at the couches and chairs playing card games or chatting with each other.
You could find many people hang out together outside the building or venturing out into Downtown San Jose. It was not unusual to see the furries in full suit walking down the street in groups (or litters as the case may be) on their way to get food, pick up groceries or to an associated event.
Further Confusion has always been pet friendly. People are encouraged to bring their pets. There were a few people with their dogs on leashes either out on the sidewalk or in the lobby.
There were plenty of evening events for people to participate in. Plenty of people were playing games or LARPing. The photo shoot booth was available at night for people to have their picture taken. On Friday, there was a release party for the latest book in the “Out of Position” by Kyell Gold. There was also a dance featuring four different DJs playing, electro, electroswing, funk and old school music. There was also a goth night at the Lido Club that furries and others in costume could come to dance.
Friday night featured more programming with a charity fancy cocktail party, “Magic the Gathering” and “Furoticon” gaming tournament, a murder mystery game, an organized LARP, a writer’s meet and greet event, a panel discussion on BDSM and fetishism, an dragon artwork exhibition and another dance with different DJs from the previous night.
The masquerade was also one of the main events on Friday night. This year’s version was different in that it featured a sock hop style dance with 1950s music such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, novelty songs like “Purple People Eater” and other rockability music. There were several dancers who were showing off their movies including one who started dancing like John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction.” The judges walked around and selected the winners from the dancers.
The party rooms were also open on Friday night. There were several themes in the different hotel rooms. One was the ever-famous Klingon Black Hole. Another was the San Jose in 2018 bid for Worldcon. There was a room for the “My Little Pony” convention BABSCon. There was another party that had instruments for people to play in impromptu jam sessions.
The other impressive party was the one based on the video game series “Fallout.” The décor featured posters of nuclear fallout warnings, survival gear and a monitor playing instructional films on surviving a nuclear attack. The specialty drinks were different flavored drops (similar to a lemon drop) served in glasses with the radiation trefoil and the dropped shots in bomb shaped shot glasses.
Even though I was only able to attend for a few hours during the evening, there was still plenty to see in the way of nightlife at the convention. The camaraderie and costumes make it worthwhile. It was nice to strike up a conversation with people, be entertained and take photos with people.