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article imageDragon Con sci-fi fans trigger 9/11 controversy

By Tim Sandle     Sep 5, 2016 in World
Atlanta - Two attendees at the sci-fi convention Dragon Con in Georgia this weekend caused controversy by arriving dressed up as the twin towers of the former World Trade Center in New York.
The Dragon Con fantasy and sci-fi convention is a regular fixture on the cult television and movie convention circuit and this year’s event took place in Atlanta, Georgia. Dragon Con hosts up to 70,000 visitors each year.
Some people who attend such events choose to dress up as a character from a book, movie or comic (an activity known as ‘cosplay’, which is a contraction of the words costume play). Rather than attend in Star Trek uniforms, two people attending the Peachtree Center convention went for costumes that were a little more grounded in reality.
The two people (a man and a woman) elected to attend in matching cardboard skyscraper costumes of the ‘Twin Towers.’ These came, as the Daily Telegraph reports, equipped with crepe paper ‘flames’ at the top of each, together with dolls hanging from the sides. The dolls were designed to represent people ‘falling’ from buildings.
In addition to the costumes, the couple wore Donald Trump-style campaign-style caps. The caps had the slogan ‘Make FishCenter Great Again,’ which was a reference to an Adult Swim comedy program.
The costumes produced a generally negative reaction at the convention and this spilled out onto social media. On Reddit, for example, Alex Matso used the word “disgusting”, adding “so wrong and inappropriate!” Billy Whelte added “no joke!”
Similar reactions took place on Twitter and on Facebook. Someone wrote on Facebook, for example: “Who are these people? Maybe it's all for attention, and it worked. This is awful. AWFUL.”
Not all of the comments have been negative. In defense of the two men, a Facebook user called Kurt Kessler wrote: “here is a Japanese anime that centers around two buildings that are being burned by demonic wraiths and during the climax, the victims in the buildings jump to their deaths.”
However, it seems odd that the two coplayers did not get the connection in advance of deciding which costumes to wear.
In 2013 a nightclub in the U.K. came under criticism for giving top prize in a Halloween fancy dress contest to two women dressed as the blazing Twin Towers. The women won a prize of $300.
More about cosplayers, Twin Towers, Dragon con
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