The geek convention circuit is its own little subculture, sometimes an exceedingly strange and political one. And also one full of risk, as thousands of Minecraft fans have learned the hard way from Mine-o-rama.
Mine-o-rama was a fan-organized convention being held in July in New York City. Over 3,000 fans excitedly shelled out $150 a pop for the con, only for it to supposedly collapse the weekend before. At the time, organizer Lou Gasco said that a refund system would be put into place and people would get their money back.
The Twitter account was since deleted and none of the ticket buyers have received a refund.
The website for Mine-o-rama is now offline and the Twitter account has been hijacked. The Facebook page for the event hasn’t been updated since July 8.
Of note: The official site appears to have moved to the parent of the convention, The Greatest Science Fair Ever, which still claims refunds are in the works. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this happened. There are accusations at, where else, Reddit of a similar scam pulled in Orlando, which may have the same people involved. Here’s a lengthy and not precisely unbiased video about what happened there:
Is this a rip-off? It’s certainly possible, and it’s also not exactly unheard of. Unfortunately, it might also genuinely be incompetence: Ask any experienced con-goer, or a con-runner if you can get them away from the bar, and they’ll tell you there are a truly staggering litany of ways that conventions with even the best of intentions can crash and burn. Misspent money, bad scheduling, poor management, even pissy fandom arguments have wrecked a convention more than once, and the fact that the Orlando con went off in a half-assed and clumsy manner would seem to indicate that it’s a possibility. Still, one way or the other, if TGSFE or its members are involved in a convention, the lesson is clear: Let the buyer beware.