Peep some footage from the happy, friendly world of BroNYCon

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You're probably already familiar with the phenomenon of Bronies, those teen and twenty-something males who are hardcore, fourth-generation fans of that heartwarming, day-glo show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. But were you aware that there are fan conventions as well? (You can laugh, but do you have a CableFAX award for Best Animated Series? I didn't think so.)

The first BroNYCon kicked off last June in midtown Manhattan, followed by one in Chinatown, and then last Saturday's 2012 Winter BroNYCon at the Hotel Pennsylvania, the best-attended BroNYCon thus far, with several hundred Bronies and Pegasisters (female Bronies) in the house. Attendees were treated to academic panels, fan art, the browsing of MLP merchandise, and a scheduled performance from "Ponyville's Hottest Metal Band!," NeighSlayer. (The puns are out of control.) I guess this is the logical extension of the ironic co-optation of a kids' show, but I can hear that Shatner voice saying, "Get a life," in the back of my head.

But in the final analysis, the devotees of Equestria Daily aren't hurting anyone, and have suffered enough, after Hasbro's muscling in on the PonyArchive's sweet HD content. Explaining BroNYCon's spike in popularity, the dude in the video dressed in the Big MacIntosh costume helps us understand why the show is so appealing to its counter-intuitive fan base:

"I think it's mostly because the show just breeds friendship and happiness. It's something that hasn't been on television for very long. It teaches good life lessons and it's something a lot of people like to get behind."