Make-a-Wish® at Otakon

Otakon 2018 has teamed up with Make-a-Wish Mid-Atlantic to fulfill one wish for a fan in Washington DC this year, and we need your help!   This girl’s wish is to have a real life Pokemon Go experience, and we’re going to do what we can to give it to her!


Location and Timing

“Arena Event” Location:
  • Otakon Dance Hall (Hall E)
“Arena Event” Time: Friday, August 10th
  • 1:00 PM - Doors Open to General Cosplayers and Spectators
  • 1:15 PM - Instructions to Spectators to be given
  • 1:30 PM - The Trainer arrives
  • 2:30 PM - Expected Completion Time

The Plan

Our trainer will be attending Otakon on Friday with her family.   She’ll start the morning with a tour of the convention, meet some guests, and get some “gifts” that will help her along the way.   After the opening ceremonies, she’s going to be given a mission and sent to a local Pokestop.

Along the way, she’ll be encouraged to take as many photos of interesting cosplayers and Pokemon as she can find.

At the “Arena Event” - she will find that the Otakon Dance Hall has been transformed into a series of “Arenas” comprised of circles of spectators and participants.  (Think of your typical dance circle.)   Each Arena will open up to reveal a Pokemon in the center that our trainer will attempt to catch, by throwing plush Pokeballs at the Pokemon while they attempt to do their best to dodge and weave.   

Each Pokemon caught will follow her as she goes to other circles.   Pokemon and Spectators will assist by encouraging her,  by returning Pokeballs that miss, and pointing out Pokemon as they appear in other circles.  When she is done, she will receive the coveted and rare “Otakon Gym Badge!”

Please be aware this will be a standing "playground" style event with varying levels of movement involved.  There is no capacity cap for badge holders.   The trainer will be the only person throwing Pokeballs and capturing Pokémon.

Remember, the girl we are doing this for is 6 years old - we will want to keep this fun and lighthearted, without making it too complicated.  

Ways You Can Help

We are no longer actively signing in individuals to interact, however all attending members of Otakon are invited to come to the Otakon Dance Hall at 1:15PM on Friday to cheer on the trainer.


Some commonly asked questions

Q.  Do I need to be a member of Otakorp, Inc. / Attending Otakon 2018 to participate?

A.  Otakon 3-Day badge holders have full access to the halls and events, including this one.  Individuals who filled out the form and signed up for Friday only tickets have been given instructions.

(However, would you please consider attending?   We would love to have you here at the main show!)

Q.  I am only coming for the Make-a-Wish event, I have a ticket and will only be there Friday morning.  How what?

A.  Great!  The Make-a-Wish Friday access both at Member Registration will open at 10:30 AM.  Once you’ve checked in, you’ll want to make your way to the event space.   Please be aware that without a badge, you will only have access to the hallways of the convention center.   We are asking that event spectators and participants make their way to the Dance Hall by 1 PM for doors open.

Q.   What's involved in being in the background as a trainer or passerby?

A.   If you're coming to watch and expect to be in costume, great!  Simply being present at the convention is the start, but being in the area of the event and assembling where we ask you will simply add to the atmosphere.   We will be asking you to be within visible view, but beyond that simply be present.  

Q.   And in the background as Pokemon?   

A.   Again, if you say you want to be mainly in the background, you'll be present to add atmosphere but you won't need to be part of planned interaction.   Carry on like you would at the con, but doing it there at the event would be great.

Q.  I want to cosplay and actually interact!

A.  Wonderful!   We'll be reaching out to you separately to discuss what will be happening.   At minimum, we may ask you to gather in groups in the space and "spawn" at appropriate times so that the girl may have the chance to see you and attempt to catch you.   Trainers and characters, you may be returning used pokeballs to the Trainer and point out when when a pokemon "spawns".

Q. I want to give the girl a gift!   May I?

A. We will accept gifts during our preparations at 1PM.   While it is appreciated by the staff and the family, we will not be able to give you time to personally give your gift to the trainer.  

Q.  Will there be special Pokemon or events going on in the actual Pokemon Go game??!

A.  Otakon has partnered with Make-a-Wish Mid-Atlantic for the sole purpose of creating a Real Life, In person cosplay event for the girl.   We are not aware of any events that will be happening in the Pokemon Go game, and are not managing any of those discussions. 

More to come over the week!



About Make-A-Wish®

Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic serves children who reside in the District of Columbia, Maryland and northern Virginia. Founded in 1983, the Mid-Atlantic chapter has granted more than 9,700 wishes in the Mid-Atlantic region since its inception. Wish kids face any number of critical illnesses such as cancer, pediatric AIDS, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Duchene’s muscular dystrophy, kidney and heart disease. This year alone, 840 local children are expected to be diagnosed with a critical illness. However, for every wish granted, at least one more local child is waiting. The community has the opportunity to make an impact today by helping Make-A-Wish to reach hundreds of kids whose wishes would go otherwise unanswered this year. For more information, please visit:





Last Updated: 08/10/18