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Megaplex

What does justice mean among furries? An unauthorized account of Megaplex, VancouFur, and Samuel Conway

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It can feel a kind of madness when the memory of the world has moved on without you and you are left unsmothered. It is not madness, however. The feeling is called injustice, and what I aim to show in this account of events, beginning in May of 2020 and ending with Megaplex of 2021, is that this injustice is a cultural issue in furry, produced from west coast to east by figures as disparate as Samuel Conway, the Megaplex convention board, and the British Columbia Anthropomorphic Events Association (BCAEA). I take these as case studies because they involve prolific figures, because they are current, or—with the BCAEA—because they are well-known to me even if they are not well known in general.

I could have chosen other case studies. There’s no scarcity of them—every few months there is a new bad story about a furry-run community group, a fursuit maker, a popular furry personality, or, most recently, a furry convention. This account, in its intention, is both to attempt a brief history of furry spaces since May of 2020 and to explain them as a part of a larger, overarching, and cultural issue. I do this in part because when there is a bad story every few months—one which often involves trauma of some kind—and numerous smaller pains arrive in the weeks in between, it can feel as though you have walked into a numbing fog.

The details become fuzzy and their dates more distant in memory, although they may have only happened months or weeks ago. For others, however, those bad stories aren’t just stories—they are real things that happened to a person and the numbing fog is not always so kind to them. It can feel a kind of madness, and historicizing them, putting them into context and connecting them with other, similar events, is my choice of remedy.

I grew up a nerdy theatre kid who wanted to be a punk. It taught me that I loathe the spotlight (I was compelled by an editor to add this section on myself). I get stage fright, with only the shakiest of legs, and, while I have an excellent memory—as this account may demonstrate—my perpetually flat affect made me unsuitable for serious acting. After that, I turned to writing, first stage plays, then later and with much more enjoyment, fanfiction. Furry as a subculture was a short leap away. While doing what amounts to queer/feminist studies at university, I joined a small poetry community on FurAffinity in 2016, and, unexpectedly, encountered a few poets who were upset whenever my poems mentioned punching Nazis.

My furry experience has continued in that general fashion ever since.

Digging up Positivity - Furry charity and good news - August 2021

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Welcome to the August edition of Digging Up Positivity! Slowly we are sliding into convention season and of course this comes with plenty of the traditional charitable goals. Speaking of which, this months featurette has a big role with that in South Africa. We have some animation news, and we see where badgers teach traffic safety! And also, if you want to win this T-shirt? Then stay until the end of the show!

Megaplex bans registered sex offenders from attending future conventions

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Megaplex has updated its rules to ban registered sex offenders from attending their convention. This followed a publicly posted Twitter thread from a Megaplex attendee describing how they'd been assaulted by a registered sex offender at the convention, and their subsequent experience of trying to inform the staff.

Although the convention's initial response said they would ban those in the registry, the passive tone used in the opening paragraph of their announcement was not well-received:

We are saddened and sorry to hear that people felt [emphasis added] harassed or worse during the weekend. This is unacceptable and no person attending the convention should be made to feel [emphasis added] this way.

The language then shifted responsibility to victims to be more proactive in informing the con - despite having received an advance conversation before this was announced publicly. Megaplex's poor choice of wording ended up overshadowing the announcement of the ban itself.

Megaplex holds large furry gathering - one fur tests positive for COVID

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For the first time since January 2020, one of the eight largest furry conventions opened its doors to an in-person gathering. Megaplex 2021 saw 2,889 attendees on the first weekend of August 2021, ~80% of 2019's pre-pandemic total. $50,000 was raised for the C.A.R.E. Foundation.

Staff set COVID-19 policies and required masks in most cases, doing their best to make guests comfortable while cautious of the viral crisis that plagues our world. Unfortunately, despite all their efforts, one vaccinated individual said they tested positive after the event.

As pressure continue to rise to get things back to normal, reported COVID cases over the past few weeks have started to amass concern. The rate of reported cases in the United States suggests a spike in infections and hospitalizations on an early exponential trajectory starting around mid-July. This is especially worrisome given that the growth for the first wave in the United States was linear in Summer 2020 before growing exponential that Fall.

This time, however, unlike 2020's wave that touched everywhere fairly evenly sooner or later, the second wave is so far biased toward certain states suffering the brunt of the impact. Looking at the 50 states, it appears to be based on a combination of tourism and the state's political actions. Florida, as a result, is one of the worst hit, with its seven day moving average already over the peak of its highest prior infection wave.

COVID-19 pandemic causes furry convention closures and delays worldwide

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As governments restrict gatherings of people, furry conventions are being postponed or canceled. Here's a quick run down of events and their status as of July 1st 2021 15:30 EDT (UTC-4) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - updates to come.

A new section has been added for past events impacted for historical purposes. More information will be added to deal with virtual versions of a physical gathering if applicable.

Links go to statements if available, or to their Twitter feed or site. See also: Furry Fandom and the Internet forced back to roots by viral outbreak

Major furry storage facility suffers downtime, data loss

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Update: The Funday PawPet Show, Megaplex, and for the Furry Costume Information Exchange have been restored.

A RAID storage facility holding data and code for several furry sites has failed, leading to downtime and uncertainty over their recovery.[1]

Sites known to be affected center around the Florida Furs, and include the Funday PawPet Show, Megaplex, the Furry Costume Information Exchange (hosting the FURSUIT mailing list and an archive of fursuit-related stories), JR's Poinkcasts (also available elsewhere),[2] and resources for furry ham radio enthusiasts.

IRC server lion.anthrochat.net is also affected. As it was the provider of IRC services for the Anthrochat network, channel and nickname registrations may be lost. The network itself remains online, and a temporary replacement is in place on another server.

COMING ATTRACTIONS! #4 - Megaplex 2006 - January 2006

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Experience...the THRILLS!...the FUN!...the FUR!

Megaplex 2006...the HORROR! It's coming...

Things are proceeding rapidly here at Megaplex Central, as we draw closer and closer to our fifth anniversary! Here's the latest on Florida's furry arts and performance convention.

Megaplex 2006 will be held 17-19 March 2006, as we return to the Sheraton World Resort in sunny Orlando, Florida. This year, we're saluting classic B-movies, especially the great horror flicks that came about during that time.

COMING ATTRACTIONS! #3 - Megaplex 2006 - December 2005

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Experience...the THRILLS!...the FUN!...the FUR!

Megaplex 2006...the HORROR! It's coming...

Happy Holidays! No matter how you celebrate the season, the Board and staff of Megaplex 2006 hope that your holidays were full of good cheer. We have some good cheer of our own to share, which we'll get to shortly. First things first, however...

COMING ATTRACTIONS! #2 - Megaplex 2006 - October 2005

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Experience...the THRILLS!...the FUN!...the FUR!

Megaplex 2006...the HORROR! It's coming...

BOO! It's that time of year for spooks and scares...and for a quick update on Megaplex 2006!

The fifth-anniversary edition of Florida's furry arts and performance convention will be held 17-19 March 2006, as we return to the Sheraton World Resort in sunny Orlando, Florida.

MEGPLEX ANNOUNCEMENT!

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Megaplex Room Block

Well, Megaplex is coming soon, and the room block is filling up! The deadline is the 10th of February to get your room now at the Megaplex rate.

The hotel will not extend this, as they expect to sell out the rooms for this time of year. After the 10th, the possibility of getting a room will be slim. Right now, the rooms are going for $99.00 a night + taxes under the Megaplex rate.

Are you interested in a bigger room? We do have 1 bedroom suites available to upgrade to in our room block as well. Contact The Sheraton hotel at (800) 327-0363, and remember to use reservation code MEGAPLEX.

Also the 10th is the deadline for pre-reg, so get your registration in now, and save $10.00 online! Go to our website at www.ppmp.info for more info, and see you in March!

Megaplex hotel pre-booking rate ends February 21st!

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Well, March 19th-21st is drawing near, and people are gearing up for Megaplex 2004, or MP3, since this is our third time out. I'm sure folks have made their plans and decided what they are bringing. Packed their toothbrush, and made their registrations....

Wait! Did you reserve your hotel room yet? No?

Well, better hop to it, because time is running out! As of February 21, the special Megaplex rate of $82 a night for one to four people will become unavailable. The rate will be good for reservation dates March 16-24th. And with MP3 coming in March, the month of Spring Break, hotel rooms are going to fill up fast! After all, we are in Orlando, home of some of the county's most popular theme parks and attractions. Such as the Annual Manatee rodeo and the Museum of Tube Socks from the stars. To make your room reservations, call THE SHERATON STUDIO CITY HOTEL at (800) 327-1366.

Remember to mention the reservation code "MEGAPLEX."

Megaplex Convention Update!

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Well, we've been asked what attendees to the Second Annual Megaplex will be in store for, and finally, here's a quick list of the events and such that we have planned! There is still time to reserve a room as the room block has been extended to March 17th!

Gaming to be offered at Megaplex!!

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Hey!

Megaplex is going to happen again March 21st to the 23rd in Orlando.

Last year in just two months we managed to put together 28 games in short
notice. We hope to have more to offer this year.

Megaplex is a multi venue con featuring performances, acting, a stage show,
gaming, costumes and much more.

If you are interested in joining in, in running or playing around check out
the website: http://ppmp.info/

Thanks for your time,

Garfield and Anthony
Con Gaming Organizers

Photos from Megaplex!

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For those who attended Pawpet Megaplex or those who did but would like to see what went on here is a link the pictures from the con website: http://www.pawpet.org/cp.php3?forcecon=mp2002 The items of interest are the Fursuit group pictures, new costumes,staged photography, folks working the con, people attending, events, gaming, the variety show and general documentation of the con which was held March 8-10th. Feel free to look through the pictures and caption those with your witty comments.

Pawpet Megaplex-List Of Planned Events

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As the date for Megaplex draws closer, we'd like to show you some of the events we have planned. Hopefully there is something to appeal to everyone.