ChinaJoy: a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity
By “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” I mean now that I have had the opportunity to go, I will never again go in this lifetime. Once is definitely enough. Still, I’m surprised that very few foreigners have ever heard of ChinaJoy, because it’s so huge here in Shanghai. Not until I went myself did I realize how huge it really is.
I’m pretty sure the line to buy tickets to ChinaJoy was the longest line I’ve ever been in, spanning the length of the enormous new Shanghai International Conference Center in Pudong, near Longyang Road Subway Station. Fortunately, it was also the fastest moving. The line to buy tickets was so long you had to take quite a walk to even find the end of it, and the organizers felt the need to hire a guy that holds a sign marking the end of the line. No joke.
ChinaJoy filled four enormous conference halls, most of which were jam-packed with people. I can’t remember a time I’ve been at an event in Shanghai with so many people, but so few foreigners. Of the thousands of people I must have seen, I saw less than 10 foreigners in my two-hour visit. And let me tell you, it was an exhausting two hours, milling through dense crowds in a just-barely-air-conditioned building.
So what is the draw? It’s supposed to be a “digital entertainment expo,” video games being the main draw, but the practice of companies hiring models to represent their products has become a huge part of the appeal. So you can still see lots of video games (I saw live tournaments of DotA and Starcraft (1) displayed on huge screens), and play certain ones at some of the booths, but there’s also a ton of photographing of cosplay models going on everywhere. Oh, and let’s not forget the silly dances on stage.
ChinaJoy is still going on this weekend. If you’re interested in the gaming part, I definitely don’t recommend it. Even if you’re mainly interested in the models, I still don’t recommend it. (Shanghaiist has photos, as does Flickr.)
Finally, I leave you with a few more random photos:
A Japanese school decided to try the “model marketing” thing at ChinaJoy…
The clock finally ticked to 10 years – Congratulations!
(I was sort of waiting for that …)
Thanks! It’s actually rounding up; I’m not quite there yet… (The “official guestimate date” used by the counter is August 20, 2000.)
Actually stumbled upon this website while i googled on citron tea, which you wrote about 5 years ago. strange isn’t it, what a long tail these internet writing have.
10 years. In those 10 years do you have any I-wish-I-had-known-that-years-ago-experiences?
Congrats on the 10 years. Go celebrate… not at Chinajoy.
You can now tell little kids who stare at you , “don’t stare I’ve been here longer than you!”
Yeah, 10 years is occasion for a little bit of thought. I’ll post a few thoughts for sure when the actual Chinaversary rolls around (August 20th).