There have been a great deal questions and confusion among con-goers and con-newbies as far as the difference between the terms Family-friendly and Family-oriented. AtomaCon is a Family-friendly convention. What does that mean? Well, it means we have tried to price our memberships so it is affordable for the whole family to attend. Programming, Dealer’s room , and Costuming guidelines reflect a PG nature with some of the more adult subject matter being held later in the evening.
In short, what you see during the day should be suitable for most families. However, it is up to each family to decide what that is. There will be Costumed folks dressed from all genres. If your kid is scared of Storm Troopers or R2D2 or Zombies, you might have a problem. (My daughter was afraid of anything with white faces for a while). Everyone has their own opinion especially in the costuming area. Is someone dressed as Tarzan or one of the Greeks from 300 or Slave Leia from Star Wars or Wonder Woman inappropriate for children? Sure they are skimpy outfits but in the context where they are from, most would say no. Rule of thumb, if you can’t wear it on the beach legally, then it doesn’t belong at this type of convention. That means tops and bottoms for the ladies and bottoms for the men—no thongs. Body paint is not clothes—even though I’ve seen this tastefully done! Most Cosplayers know what is appropriate when small children are present.
Family-friendly does not mean it is safe to just drop off your minor children and let them go. This is a public event and there will NO adult supervision provided. Kids 15 and younger must have an adult who can take responsibility for their actions attend with them. This is for a couple of reasons. If no one is watching your kid and they damage hotel property or fall and hurt themselves, who is going to be responsible for it? What if your kid leaves the hotel and they get assaulted in the parking lot? We as a convention can’t possibly provide enough people to babysit your children nor do we want to take on the liability to do so either! We want young people at our convention, but we want them to be safe. We will have kid-oriented events especially in the gaming room and a few special discussion panels but most of our programming will be suitable for everyone to attend.
Family-oriented is basically an event that is geared toward kids. Most of the events are suitable for kids and the parents pretty much have to tag along. Sometimes it is called kid-friendly. Most of the times these events have folks who can help supervise and watch your kids. AtomaCon is not that kind of event.
I hope this helps explain a little bit about the convention and please comment if you have questions.