Linda “Brasse” Carlson
Director, Global Community Relations and part-time Dwarf
Everyone remembers their first Fan Faire. If you don’t, it either means you had WAY too much fun, or that it’s high time you planned to attend. You’ll not regret it!
At SOE, one of our core beliefs is that our players are our extended family. I love that about our company; it’s one of the reasons I wanted to work here. Today, I am very excited to invite you to our annual “family reunion,” SOE Live!
Waaaaait a minute! What happened to Fan Faire? Not a thing, I promise you – it’s just getting better.
SOE itself has grown and evolved a lot over the years. We now carry a lot of very diverse titles, in many genres. In order to grow our annual event as well, we spent a great deal of time thinking about what it means, and how we can make it even more relevant and fun for players of all of our games, From EQ to DCUO to Free Realms to PlanetSide.
We needed a new name to reflect the bigger picture, to make it inclusive of the many worlds SOE offers. Thus, “SOE Live” was born, to reflect our evolution and chart a course for the future.
It will not change the fundamental core of the event or how we run it. I personally guarantee it. It’s still OUR event; players and developers, costumers and beer drinkers, partiers and number crunchers. We’ll have wall to wall panels, costume contest, Live Events, tournaments, the famous (or infamous) Pool Party, everything that you have come to expect… and a bit more.
We are adding some new activities, and over the coming years, will continue to expand the scope of the event to make our whole family happy. We’ll be rolling out lots of information over the coming months, so stay tuned! Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@Brasse) and I promise I’ll tweet SOE Live info and updates the minute I can.
We’ll all be in it together once more, this October 18th through 21st, at our established stomping grounds at Bally’s. I can hardly wait to see you all again, saying hello to old friends and meeting new ones.
Way back in the deep back of beyond in memory – ok, it so was only a little over a decade ago – the first fan gathering was organized for EverQuest, rumored to be in the San Diego area. Fans loved it. According to Tharkis, keeper of all knowledge and one of our most venerable players, the first official Fan Faire was held in the fall of 2000, the year after EQ launched, in Las Vegas.
Here we are some twelve years later and the event has grown a history as venerable as the title that inspired it, EverQuest. We’d love to put together a proper timeline, with images and your memories. If you have any great pictures or stories from Fan Faire past (especially the early years!), please add your comments to this thread, so that we can share them at SOE Live this year. I’ll keep active in that thread and contact anyone who has some photos to share.
As for me, my first Fan Faire was in Orlando, in October of 2001. I was a member of the SOE Volunteer Guide Program at that time, and offered to help in the EQ Live Quest. To be honest, I was a little shy of meeting all of the “crazy internet people,” so the costume I made for the event was actually designed as a good way for me to hide and be anonymous. Some people may not realize this, but was, and still am, a very shy person. Fan Faire, and all of you amazing folks, changed all that. And how!
I was always impressed at how available the Devs were to talk with players, how open and honest the panels were, and how nice it was to hang out at the events with people who speak the same gaming language as I did. It felt like a homecoming. I attended every Fan Faire that I could after that.
Here we are in 2012, and I can hardly WAIT to hang out with you all again at SOE Live. Every year I make it a point to seek out some folks who look just a little shy or unsure of themselves, because I know what it’s like to be a first-timer. So even if YOU are shy, please do interrupt me, please do come up to chat and please do let me make your acquaintance if I have not done so in the past. Going with the family reunion theme of this article, I’m the crazy old great aunt who likes to dress up as a garrulous female Dwarf. You can’t miss me.
So whether you are a veteran of our gatherings or have never been, plan to attend SOE Live. This is YOUR year. This is OUR year. Let’s rock the place!
ps. Now, I share the dilemma of all those who create costumes… what colors, what style, and how am I going to explain the insane cost of materials to my spouse? All in good time, but I hereby promise my colleagues that I will NOT be hammering in the hotel at 5:15am again this year. Dwarf’s honor!