The Crossroads of the Aether
Unfortunately I'm one of those people that doesn't have any friends interested in Steampunk, so going to cons, I tend to be left alone wandering around by myself. Being not the most socially skilled of people either, I was wondering, how do you do it? What are some ways you approach strangers and groups? How did you become members of the ones you're apart of? Any other shy steamers that have suggestions for someone else who has trouble?
Asking questions about people's costumes always works for me.
"I really like your gun/hat/corset/mechanical arm."
"Where did you get it?"
"Did you make it yourself?"
Since I'm usually carrying a camera at conventions, theres always the ever popular "Do you mind if I take your picture?"
How do you keep it going after they answer?
"I don't know much about <subject>, but I'd be very interested in hearing what you have to say"
(A steal from the Signals episode of The Middle)
Some cons seem a lot more social and friendly than others, and have activities that encourage more interaction than just shuttling from one thing to another.
It's not a bad idea to try to find someone, or a group of people, to hang out with, and arrange that beforehand.
I am the opposite, I can talk to anyone about anything forever. We just got back from New Orleans Comic Con, and I spent an hour there talking to a girl dressed as Velma from Scooby Doo about all kinds of stuff. It all started with me asking to take her picture. Also, The Steam Engine Intrepid was there (most of them) and we spent a ton of time talking about thier costumes, persona's, where they will be next, and everything in between.
I was very shy in Highschool and for some reason I "came out of my shell" in college. Just keep talking to them about pretty much whatever. I have yet to go to a con I don't wind u making 2 or 3 "con buddies". Most people at cons are very happy to talk to you. If it will help I will be at Dragon Con labor day weekend with my oldest son and daughter. We will be more than happy to hang out with you there for the whole con. (Be forwarned, I am an old school nerd and will drag you to all kinds of panels, RPG's, and I will talk your ear off).
I'll be at DragonCon too! :) I'll have a con buddy (or at least, I'm supposed to as long as nothing happens in between *knock on wood*) but I'd certainly be happy to hang out! :)
If you loose your con buddy, you can hang with us!
...simply start with "talk to me about steampunk".
Of all the subcultures I've belonged to...and it's been a bunch...steampunk is the most friendly and open. If you see a troupe of folks who seem to be having a good time listen to what they are doing and ask if you can join in the conversation. Sharing a bottle (assuming its age and location appropriate) is always an easy tool. Most steampunks LIKE being aproached!
...and if you are ever at a con or World's Fair and see us by all means walk up to us and say hello. We talk to everyone ...okay every pretty lady anyway!
Same here. At something like a dinner, or a meetup at a bar it's almost impossible for me to follow a conversation with a number of other conversations going on nearby. At my wife's hs reunion I actually tried wearing earplugs and that helped with filtering out the background.
Hear hear! (pun, hahah!)
i usually just lurk in the background at cons until someone notices the tall creepy guy with the mechanicle hand and asks me about it, or tells me to move out of the way, either or.
otherwise at cons, I end up somehow with a group of people, doing things like after hour bar hopping, or fundiung myself in a room with drunk, semi undressed
women until 3 am.....talking about comic books
Sounds like you know how to have a good time Phineas!