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Anime Expo 2015. Image provided by SPJA. Photo by Ryann Soriano.

Exorcising the ghosts at Anime Expo

Throughout the years, Anime Expo has been adamant in their attempts to increase security and curb “ghosting.” Ghosting is an act in which one attends a convention without purchasing a badge or ticket. Being the biggest anime convention on the west coast, Anime Expo naturally gets hit by this act the hardest. Their attempts to curb this behavior include switching from paper to plastic badges, bar codes that can be scanned, and even limiting the amount of entrances available to the public.

This year, Anime Expo introduced the RFID badge, or radio frequency identification badge. Some might remember these from such cons as Wondercon. This badge comes with a chip that, as the name implies, utilizes radio frequencies to check the validity of the badge. Usually a beeping noise and/or flashing light will notify both security and the user whether or not their badges are functional. Attendees will be required to scan their badges upon entry and upon exit.

The primary objective, other than curbing ghosting, seems to also include eliminating fraudulent badge usage. If one loses their badge and procures a new one, the old one will be deactivated. Due to the nature of radio frequencies, the average person probably won’t be able to replicate badges unlike previous years. Whether or not this will be successful has yet to be seen. The official Anime Expo Facebook page seems to have only seen positive reception.

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Travis Lionel

Travis is a mostly self-taught freelance writer. He enjoys video games, comic books, and whiskey, in that order. When not enjoying his hobbies, he is active in the sociopolitical landscape and enjoys conversations about how they fit into pop culture. Travis lives inside of a blanket fort. Travis is not a rabbit.

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