Welcome to a brand new weekly feature that I like to call Stir. The rules for this series are simple. I pick a topic and send it to all the writers, editors and staff at Platform Nation. They have roughly a week to send me their opinion on the topic. It can be a single sentence or several paragraphs. even though all of us here at the Nation are avid gamers, we tend to have a wide variance in our opinions on any given topic. If you agree, disagree, or have a completely different viewpoint – I hope you will share it will all of us in the comments below. Time to Stir!
“Cosplay” is short for “costume play,” a hobby largely practiced among anime and sci-fi enthusiasts. It combines aspects of costume parties, role-playing and fashion design into a unique type of performance art. Like many other hobbies, its practitioners are extremely dedicated, often producing impressive and elaborate outfits in the process. It has also grown rather nebulous as a term, embracing a considerable number of different subcultures depending upon the speaker and the context.
There are many websites dedicated to Cosplay and the selling of materials for Cosplay. One that I found particularly useful was Cosplay.com. I learned that many Cosplayers will conduct special photo shoots, reproducing scenes from movies or games, trying to capture the essence of their character for all to see. All of the example pictures in this article are from the Cosplay.com members gallery and I encourage you to visit them to see many more amazing artworks in not only costuming, but also in makeup and photography. Just click on any picture to jump to it’s source at Cosplay.com.
WHAT OUR WRITERS HAD TO SAY
Steven Artlip | Steve519 | Profile | Twitter |
It’s fun and entertaining. It’s a great way for the fans to really show their support for their favorite games or characters. Is it over the top? Not at all, I love it! No question, it helps gaming and I hope it continues to go strong.
Cooper Bibaud | Thirsty Robot | Profile | Twitter |
As most gamers know, we’re a faithful and dedicated bunch. Skim over any forum on just about any entertainment website and you will find that the meanest, crudest, most judgmental, and passionate posts will always be from the gaming community. There’s no real explanation for it, but it’s all coming from places of pure emotions that stem from years and years of experience.
We love our games. A lot of us have been around to see the art form from its genesis, and have been able to see it develop and grow to what it is today. It’s crazy to think that there are some people out there though who are absolutely in love with the gaming culture whose first Mario game involved two screens, touch controls, and was 3D. But differences aside, young and old – we love our games.
The point of all this was to showcase the fact that as gamers, we all have a connection to something that for a lot of us started when we were kids and has never gone away. It’s a true passion and a true love, which is why I don’t think it’s unreasonable to see people spend hours on make-up or even weeks on finding and creating that special costume to represent their favourite game or character.
I definitely do not think it should be removed or banned from any event. It’s all part of the charm and the celebration of what video games are. Sure, some guys look stupid, and a lot of the girls are not good looking enough to be dressing up (or down) as their favourite heroines, but to each their own. Me? I’d never be caught dead doing it, but everyone showcases there passion in their own way. I like blasting video game soundtracks from my iTunes. I’m sure there’s a few Cosplayers who’d think that’s incredibly lame and roll there eyes at me as they walk away in their Cloud Strife attire.
I can definitely see why some people out there may think it hurts the community. I mean, come on – elf ears? Do we really need people thinking we’re just a bunch of losers in our parents basements playing D&D? But to that I would point out the fact at how far we’ve come. Gaming is officially mainstream, and has really caught on with a casual mass market. It’s no longer weird to know girls that own a PS3, or X Box, or for anyone to know what an Orc is. It’s all open for everyone to enjoy and however it is you show that enjoyment I believe is up to you and shouldn’t be looked down upon.
Steven Buccini | PickaNumber123 | Profile | Twitter |
I personally despise cosplay. I am all for extremely inventive costumes, but for every extremely realistic and detailed Elite, there are ten costumes that are just cardboard boxes with Sharpie on them. I am all for having fun, but for me events like E3 and PAX are held to focus on the new games and new innovations that are set to come out in the next year, not to ogle at barely-clothed chicks. I am all for people getting in the spirit of something, and cosplay has its place. I can see cosplay at Comic-Con, which is a “for nerds, by nerds” convention, but not at places like E3, where the focus is on the industry.
Nathan Hardisty | Bananahs | Profile | Twitter |
Cosplay has been around ever since gamers everywhere discovered textiles. I think that, for the most part, it doesn’t really carry any benefits. When I go to a convention, I’m there to check out the wares laid in front of me. If dedicated fans want to show their support of certain character; fine by me. I hate people who tell them “It’s not Halloween everyday”, they’re just there to have fun and chill out. As far as I know, cosplay is just a nice little thing that us gamers have secured. We have a personal identity, something which we can identify with the common thread of gaming. Also, when women do it, it’s so much better. I mean… empowering… gamer empowering. Yeah that’s what I mean….
Brian Heitzenrater | FrehleyzComet | Profile | Twitter |
I don’t think there is anything wrong with COSPLAY. I enjoy looking at pictures of people dressed up as their favorite video game characters. Some are a good laugh, while others are rather impressive with the attention they pay to detail. I say bring it on. COSPLAY helps keep gaming events like E3 fun and is the perfect time other than Halloween to dress up.
Andrew Hunt | Boss Kamikaze | Profile | Twitter |
I don’t think it should be banned, it’s something that should be looked upon as a form of love or dedication to a certain video game or comic character. I do admire these people for how much time and effort they put into making these outfits, for them to only be worn a few times during the whole year. That said, you wouldn’t catch me dressing up as my favourite video game/comic character!
William Johnson | StylelessKnave | Profile | Twitter |
Cosplay is a fun topic. In no way, shape or form should it be banned, nor looked down on. It’s so amazing to see the creativity of the fans extend to these great lengths creating these unbelievably accurate costumes, weapons, wings, tails. From the bulky, full body costumes, to the custom clothes and simplified outfits – cosplay is not, and will never be for ‘gamers.’ Cosplay is for fans, ranging from mangas, cartoons, video games, comic books, movies the list of fandom and entrainment goes on and on. Now while there are definitely some cosplayers that go way over my head, with some obscure creations, but I doubt anyone could find something wrong with digging deep and showing skill in their craft. I doubt see anyway that could hurt gaming in any form when most of gamers enjoy the costumes in games. I don’t think cosplay is an ‘integral part of gaming culture’ but I do believe that they are a giant part of pop culture in general.
Stewart Loosemore | Stigweird85 | Profile | Twitter |
I have no issues with Cosplay in general, no one laughs at the thousands of people that wear the shirts of their favourite team or player and Cosplay is just an extension of this. However Cosplayers need to remember that skintight spandex may not look as good on them as it does on their favourite character. I’m also against store bought outfits. What is the point of paying tribute to your favourite game or character if any number of people can have the exact same costume down to the smallest detail. While costumes may look very similiar, homemade costumes allow for a persons personality and passion to show. Afterall anyone can buy a costume but only the dedicated make their own.
Mike Murphy | Chibi_Mike | Profile |
Cosplay is a pastime I love to hate, and a part of the DNA of every convention- video game, comic book, or otherwise. It’s a phenomena that leaves me feeling bipolar whenever I give it too much thought. I both completely understand it, and am horribly confused by it at the exact same time. To remove or ban it from the scene would only leave us all lacking in the end. What is a football game without the line of painted guys standing and cheering the whole time? Those are who cosplayers are to the nerd set.
While some do it purely for the desperate need for attention, the majority of cosplayers are well-meaning enthusiasts who genuinely want to show their love and appreciation for whatever subset of nerd culture they’re into. They let you have your fun, let them have theirs.
But I still don’t get it.
Rane Pollock | Gemini Ace | Profile | Twitter |
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Cosplay. I always enjoy looking at the pictures from the big Cons to see the level of detail and dedication these fans have. It’s nothing that I would ever do, mainly because I couldn’t pull off wearing a Wonder Woman outfit in public, but I applaud those that can. Especially the women.
Unfortunately I think Cosplay gets a bad rap since people on the outside always assume these people have no lives and live in their parent’s basement. And while that may be true for a certain percentage, I think the majority do it as a hobby just like people that paint their faces for football games. You have to show your geek pride somehow. Some choose to wear Darth Vader t-shirts, some choose to actually dress as Darth Vader.
Jeff Schenning | JeffS49 | Profile |
While I can see the halloween / 80’s party sort of appeal to it, it’s not for me personally. As for whether it’s good or bad for gaming…well it can go both ways. I think it helps to create a fun sort of atmosphere at events when done well, but of course you’re always going to have more, shall we say unfortunate specimens, and people who are just looking for an excuse to wear skimpy clothing. And of course it’s going to look weird as hell to people outside the gaming circle.
Ross Wigg | LostPoetB24 | Profile | Twitter |
If I had the time and money it would be something I would take up more often. Unfortunately due to many circumstances cos-play would be just another Halloween costume. When it comes to cos-play the people that have the time and money can enjoy the culture they share with others. Though cos-play is a group of select individuals most times that continue to a different convention each time they allow people on the outside to become a part of the magic.
What is not over the top to an outsider? Any thing has a potential to be over the top it all depends on how you look at it. Yes the money spent may be over the top but it all depends on how you perceive it. Over the top to some could be makeup that only cost 15 dollars at Walmart. Though to someone that takes the time to pour hours, money and sweat into a cos-play outfit over the top has no meaning.
Cosplay has a great way to help further the gaming community people come to realize what the costumes come from or have a inquisitive nature of the time spent to work on the actual costume. When a cos-player continues to do a great job people are brought into a world they may have not had a chance to experience before this point.
Placing a ban on something that in no way has hurt the non-cos-players would be worthless. To ban something like cos-play would make the events more boring or would take away a part of the culture that continues to be important to these conventions. I Wouldn’t say that it is an integral part to the gaming culture. Cos-play works to continue bringing to light how creative a person can be. People outside of the culture may not realize that gamers have creativity but this helps bring talents to light.
Overall cosplay is one of those things that you either continue to be interested in or find that you will never have an interest in. Taking time to create and craft these elaborate costumes is a labor of love that takes a special person to work on. It is like a make up artist for movies they need to be skilled at the craft or the final product wont come across.
My Final Stir
Chris Forbis | MensaDad| Profile | Twitter |
I enjoy looking through the pictures from E3 and Comic-con and seeing the wide variety of costumes people are sporting. The one thing I have noticed is this: in every photo the person looks like they are having fun. that’s what it boils down to for me. It’s just having fun. And what of the girls in the 80’s dressing like Madonna, or the flannel shirt grunge worshipers of the 90’s, Punk Rock to SteamPunk – Isn’t that all Cosplay too?
Thanks to all the Platform Nation writers who contributed to Stir this week. They are all part of the best writing team in the industry and I couldn’t do this without them.
Now, drop down into the comment box below and let us know what YOU think about COSPLAY. See you all next Saturday.
Stay Stirred Every Saturday & Follow Us On Twitter!