A Dream Come True

Dream Con is the debut of RDCWorld1's dream come to life. After being rejected from several conventions for being perceived as the type to not "know" anime or comics, they took matters into their own hands and created a place where all are welcome, no matter what your background is.

A Dream Come True

Mondays. Back to reality from the temporary escape of bliss that the weekend provides. Back to the natural cycle of work and school in what many define as “living life.” Many loathe this day just as much as Garfield did. But this Monday did not give me the reoccurring disdain it usually does. The days before could remedy that and provide everlasting memories that would have me and others in awe over the weekend's transpiration.

My love for all that is anime and gaming brought me to a place called Waco, Texas. It’s a city in central Texas, halfway between Dallas and Austin. People primarily know this place as the hub of Baylor University. But what many don’t know is that this exact city also stemmed from a group of creators by the name of RDCWorld1. A group that would bring a vision to life for those who shared the same interests as I do and much more.

RDCWorld1 stands for “Real Dreamers Change the World.” And that is exactly what they have done repeatedly since 2012. Marcus, Leland, Affion, Desmond, Dylan, Ben, and Johnathan have all collaborated over the years to create content related to anime, gaming, comics, sports, etc. They shared their content on various social media platforms, with YouTube taking the lead, then Instagram and Twitter. Currently, they have about 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 500+ followers on Facebook and Instagram, including Marcus’s solitary account, "@Supremedreams_1.”

Planning a convention was not the original blueprint for RDCWorld1. The intention was to connect with their fans at conventions in an environment patrons would deem enjoyable. However, rejection is what they experienced from several anime and comic conventions. Several anime and comic conventions rejected them, deeming them unsuitable because they didn't appear to be interested in anime or comics, according to their biased perception. But the perpetual denial of RDCWorld1 brought the observance of barely any guests of color at conventions. They started their convention, Dream Con, where people of all races and species, including black or white, human or homunculi, even Saiyan or Namekian, would be welcome to join and celebrate together.

Dream Con came to fruition on August 10th–12th, 2018. The weather had a steady stream of sun rays during the first half of the day, and it would rain in the later evening to the remnants of the night throughout the event. But the weather didn’t dampen the festivities within the Waco Convention Center. Many attendees weren’t just from Texas. People from Connecticut, Oregon, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, and California traveled to Texas to attend this convention. Even more came from outside the country, from places such as Ukraine, Germany, and Canada. One couple drove for sixteen hours, and a single individual rode a bus for forty-three hours! All are from different parts of the world, but all have the same destination in mind.

The main hall had various vendors and artists from all over the United States. Creativity was the driving force, and it did not go unnoticed. Being able to choose and collect your favorite anime character from each artist's visionary mindset produced a plethora of creations. In addition, attendees could meet their favorite content creators and gain autographs and pictures to cherish the moment. Some vendors sold body pillows, clothing, and even figurines for casual to the hardcore collector. At the back of the main hall were amateur wrestling and basketball for those to take to the court and provide schooling sessions to anyone who needed lessons. But what’s a convention without cosplayers?! Combining different fabrics and accessories, many cosplays reached different spectrums of cleverness and imagination. Individuals could become their favorite characters from video games, anime, comics, and classic comedy shows. All over the convention, you were bound to bump into someone recognizable. Whether you encountered a Hidden Leaf Ninja from Naruto, a beautiful pirate empress from One Piece, or a junky from Dave Chappelle's Show, people's creativity would surely amaze you.

The guests are content creators (influencers). They helped DreamCon accomplish the goal that RDCWorld1 had envisioned. I have attended many conventions, but none have come close to what DreamCon could accomplish. Attendees didn’t have to wait in long lines to spend a few minutes with their favorite guests, take a picture, and then no longer talk to them again until the next convention the following year. No, this was far different. Everyone could easily interact with any content creator openly. The best part about it is that there was no time limit applied. Everyone had full-fledged conversations without feeling the need to rush. Guests did not brush off attendees for the sake of being annoyed. They respected everyone’s time to learn about the people who follow them across the many platforms of social media. They could also exert their physical abilities against them in games of dodgeball and the Nerf War Zone. Attendees could even play video games against the guests and talk trash to their faces if they felt confident enough! That quirk, however, backfired on me when I challenged a fellow RDCWorld1 member to Super Smash Bros. after calling him out in front of everyone. It did not differ from when Vegeta fought Frieza’s final form on Planet Namek. Yet, I could still walk away with my pride intact.

The guests all have a high number of followers on social media, whether it's Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. The number of followers spans from tens of thousands to a million! However, followers do not define a person, rank, or status. It only shows how an individual influences how many people. And Dream Con allowed the guests to see the people who make up that variable number of followers. Being able to converse with a fan of your work and understand why your prestige is beneficial to their being. Instead of staring at a laptop or mobile phone, you are not reading the comments and likes of these people. You hear them quote the lines that you created. You see them perform the same dance moves as you and alongside you. Somewhere along the way, you become gratified and humbled because none of this had to be, but you are witnessing it without the barrier of a backlit AMOLED display. And you are now even more inclined to work diligently to produce more content because you felt and experienced the difference you’ve made through your creations.

My favorite manga of all time is called “One Piece,” which has been ongoing for 21 years and counting. It is a Japanese manga series that Eiichiro Oda both wrote and illustrated. To this day, it is the best-selling manga series in history, selling over 440 million copies worldwide. Monkey D. Luffy, a pirate, becomes the story's focus as he gains a rubber body from consuming a cursed Devil Fruit. He’s the captain of the Straw-Hat Pirates and has dreams of becoming the next King of the Pirates while searching for a treasure named One Piece. None other than Gol D. Roger, the previous King of the Pirates, sparked this search. In Gol D. Roger's famous last words, moments before his execution, he declared that One Piece was real. Those words ignited a vigorous eagerness, which began “The Great Age of Pirates," labeled by a few as the “Age of Dreams.” Those words influenced many pirates, old and new alike, and they would later develop the seas full of worthy adversaries in search of the legacy that the King of the Pirates left behind.

The outcome of Dream Con undeniably is a carbon copy of the story of Gol D. Roger. The vision that RDCWorld1 had for DreamCon set alight many attendees who could congregate with their favorite social influencer. They could absorb advice from those who have proved successful in their endeavors, which gives many the inspiration and determination to become something they had only imagined before they attended DreamCon. Many are now fixated on becoming the next wave of grand influencers with their content created from their insights. And with that direction to guide them, they will become what RDCWorld1 envisioned for this age. Dreamers. Because dreamers change the world.

See you next year, Dreamers.