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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: Balloons...  (Read 10529 times)

Ralesk

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #15 on: 28.08.2011, 04:54:52 »

The only time I saw a balloon inside the main stage room was while we were waiting for the auction to start.  It was one single balloon, and the moment the waiting ended it was put away and it never appeared again.  Judging by the sounds of the crowd (“awwwwwww!”  “yaaaaaaay!”) most of the people there had a lot of fun.  From the viewpoint of someone not affected by this irrational fear a bunch of you seem to have (actually, way more people than I first thought), it was a much more pleasant and a much less obnoxious pastime than the “Oi! oi!” from previous years.  As for stage equipment, people seem to have been quite careful not to throw the balloon at things too expensive (and even if the balloon had touched something and it had come off – I would say said thing could have come off on its own; needless to say, no such thing happened).

I don't know a solution to this, but these are my two cents.
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nifelan

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #16 on: 28.08.2011, 06:01:30 »

The fear of loud noises isn't so irrational, as loud (sudden) noises are quite real  ;D

Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonophobia seems to describe at least my problems quite well. I am terribly afraid of balloons in general and am easily startled by sudden, loud noises (with the after-effects lasting for several minutes up to half an hour). That's why I carry earplugs with me all the time - to counter such loud noises.
New years eve (or Bonfires/"Funken" in particular) have always been a horrible experience for me until I discovered earplugs.
« Last Edit: 28.08.2011, 06:07:37 by nifelan »
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Druon

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #17 on: 28.08.2011, 11:15:49 »

I really don't want to see balloons getting banned. They have been a great source of fun to my friends and me and helped alleviate the time waiting in front of the Pawpet-show a lot. Pictures of the balloon incident showed up in forums, blogs and twitter, so I guess it really was that popular. So no, I don't want that fun taken away due to a phobia. But maybe there are other ways to help, maybe minimize the problems coming up for the affected furs.

While unfortunately loud noises will be a given at any convention of  that size one way or another, I agree that we should limit sudden non-voice loud sounds where we can.  Like asking the guests not to pop balloons on purpose! The balloons themselves where pretty sturdy, from my experience they only went pop due to people using needles, keys or sometimes sharpened fingernails. So if we add a line to the rules of conduct, asking especially for not destroying balloons in public spaces, I am pretty sure that would help your problems. Also we could clarify, that they are not allowed during most shows and SIG-panels (unless the event taking place works with balloons somehow), limiting them to public places and maybe dances (though I would like to hear the input of other dancers and the DJs on that one).
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Shay (Wolly)

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #18 on: 28.08.2011, 11:58:40 »

I can completely understand the fear of loud noices and can put myself into the shoes of people that have this fear. It is however already been noted that the people that have this fear are in the minority here. From what I read no one is asking for a ban on balloons just for some consideration as to when they are being "Deployed", I think that is a fair question.

I'd personally freak out if a clown would pop up in the waiting line to the PPS... seeing I have a fear of them. The only real reason I bring that up is that clowns and balloons go hand in hand most of the time, but also that having a fear that few people have is usually put aside as not important and ignored for the sake of the majority. (not saying that is the case here)

Its only normal to ask for concideration and it shows respect to then read, think and show some of it.

Btw, those huge balloons floating around, one of which exploded about 1 meter to my right after the premiere and I had the shock of my life, geez that thing made a huge bang. What the hell are those made of? :)
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Nightfox

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #19 on: 28.08.2011, 12:47:36 »

I think its no option to ban balloons completely but we have to find a way that is fine for everybody.
Bringing a balloon with you and looking after it is fine, flooding the lobby with balloons is not.
If something brakes or glasses fall over, the owner has to pay for it.
Making them explode near other people is a 100% nogo in my opinion.

If you want lots of balloons around you don't take your fetish to the public, do it in your room where everybody is fine with it.
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Frazzle

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #20 on: 28.08.2011, 14:54:37 »

Most people know that I find it hard to resist popping a balloon I stumble across (which is more living up to my reputation and "playing my role", than actually the fetish ;D ), and even though I was not on this EF, I broke some of the larger balloons on previous EF, one time even more or less on behalf of con security. So as a regular con goer, I do feel adressed of this topic as well.

Aside of people being terrified of balloons popping (which I can relate to, being afraid of that as a child myself), there are also people who love/care for balloons, and hate to see them destroyed, out of an emotional stance. And having a fear of popping balloons is not rediculous, and needs to be respected same as for example the widespread fear of spiders. You would never expect anyone setting a pet tarantula on some waiting peoples shoulders either, and consider this nice behaviour. Sneaking up on someone, popping a balloon, especially if it is theirs, is just plain rude.
Aside of that, even if you are invited to pop one, or the situation arises on abandoned balloons, it is always a question of politeness and courtesy to first ask, not standing in a middle of a waiting crowd, and warn people loud and clear about what is going to happen, to give those in fear some time to realise what is going on, and to react.

In other words, trying to not being an a**hole already goes a long way, and should mostly solve this problem. Even gave me some friendly thanks from "non-poppers" afterwards for warning people. I could live out that role as manic balloon-shredding rodent I am infamous for, they were not surprised by it, and in the end, everyone got along nicely. This is where this pic came from (there was even a ring of onlookers gathering before the bang): http://media.furcon.de/Eurofurence/ef16/Skeppo/tn/IMG_9404.JPG

If people remember that they are not alone on the con, you're already halfway there.

And NEVER be ashamed of your phobias - you should see me jump if a wasp comes close  :D

Cheers,
SewerRat/Frazzle

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Xar

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #21 on: 28.08.2011, 14:56:23 »

If you want lots of balloons around you don't take your fetish to the public, do it in your room where everybody is fine with it.

While I agree on some points, such as "no popping balloons on purpose" or the "pay if you break it", I personally think this is a bit too extreme to be a description of what was happening in the lobby during the PPS queue.
There were quite a lot of balloons, true, but I think most of the people there just had some genuine, good fun out of it, without the need to venture into fetish-y territory...
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Pinky

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #22 on: 28.08.2011, 15:13:41 »

Hmm this is a difficult one. On the way back from EF I talked to several people who had a lot to say about this and it made me think. It seems to me (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that the balloons are not the problem, POPPING them is. And the way they can destroy things and knoxk over e.g. glasses. So I suggest the following:

We intentionally let lose some beach balls (or whatever non-popping equivalent of a balloon that we can find) during the times/at the places where this is appropriate. And we make sure to tall people that they are not allowed in places where they can do too much damage such as the piano bar. This should hopefully solve most of the problems while still allow people to have a bit of childish fun.

Would this solve the problem for most people?  :)
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Rua Whitepaw

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #23 on: 28.08.2011, 15:18:11 »

Popping them may be the real problem, but a lot of people develop a fear of balloons altogether just because they do pop. Seeing a balloon brings on the fear that it will pop so they become scared of balloons themselves. Even if they don't pop, people may still feel uneasy being near them.
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Cheagle

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #24 on: 28.08.2011, 15:26:07 »

For me Pinkies idea seems nice and not to hard to carry out. So from my point of view I'd be happy with that.
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Druon

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #25 on: 28.08.2011, 16:35:27 »

I don't think beachballs would be helpfull here. They have a lot more impact than your ordinary balloon. And are much more likely to knock over things they come in contact with. While on EF17 sometimes balloons took me by surprise, colliding with my head and face when I wasn't expecting it. It never did any harm due to the balloons having just not much of a force behind them mass wise. With beachballs I would worry, had them knocking glasses from my nose before.

So I'd rather keep the balloons and urge people not to destroy them on purpose.
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James The Dog

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #26 on: 28.08.2011, 16:54:31 »

One of the biggest problems I had was at one point people were throwing them off the higher balconies- and this wasn't even before an event, this was during the day when people were sitting at those tables eating and drawing and doing other things, it wouldn't have taken much for one of those balloons to have landed in the middle of someone's meal.
« Last Edit: 28.08.2011, 16:57:21 by James The Dog »
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Pinky

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #27 on: 28.08.2011, 16:56:13 »

Inflatable balls come in many sizes. Perhaps a little smaller balls would be fun? And then confined to etc. the main stage room or something. Security could keep an eye on people leaving making sure they don't take the balls with them as they exit.
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nifelan

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #28 on: 28.08.2011, 17:10:55 »

Popping them may be the real problem, but a lot of people develop a fear of balloons altogether just because they do pop. Seeing a balloon brings on the fear that it will pop so they become scared of balloons themselves. Even if they don't pop, people may still feel uneasy being near them.
Yes. Telling people not to pop the balloons won't alleviate the anxiety and fear because the balloon could still pop any second.

So basically this is now boiling down to finding a safe method to entertain a bunch of furs for an undefined amount of time :)
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Druon

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Re: Balloons...
« Reply #29 on: 28.08.2011, 17:14:36 »

Quote
Inflatable balls come in many sizes. Perhaps a little smaller balls would be fun? And then confined to etc. the main stage room or something.

While that might work, it would be mostly beside the point: Once inside the main stage room we usually are entertained by either the stageshow itself or some animated fluff on the screens, while last preparations are done. It is the long waiting time in front of those rooms that caused people to be overjoyed by the ballons. They provided a welcome distraction.
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