What Is Cosplay?

Almost every time we make a cosplay post here on Kotaku, the questions come out. Why are these grown men and women playing dress-ups? Why are these women (and sometimes men) walking around showing so much skin?

Those people are missing the point of why people get into cosplay. A point this video explains quite nicely.

It is, in a lot of ways, just like people wearing the jerseys of their favourite sporting team, or a black t-shirt with the logo of their favourite band across the front. It just takes a lot more work.

What is Cosplay? [YouTube]


    I've always wanted to give cosplay a shot... it looks like fun.

    Bee would disown me, though... lol

      Also, 'Cosplay and Lovestains' would be an awesome band name..

      Just throwing that out there...

        Bee shows common sense far too much (you should keep her)

    It's not exactly like wearing a jersey or a printed shirt. These are accepted affiliations in Australian society. Wear a Link costume and walk in the city and you'll be considered weird, whereas in some parts of Japan you'll see countless people doing just that.

      I get your point, but that's not ENTIRELY correct.
      Tee-shirts can still be very much un-accepted in some cases, depending on the content

        i should probably elaborate slightly by saying that t-shirts can create the same sort of stigma

        That is the sole reason I don't wear my starcraft shirt the fIrst time I wore it my mum gave me a weird look.

          What about the dudes that wear gindcore teeshirts?

          Like Analc***, or the likes lol

          Can't tell me that peopel look at them the same as somone wearing a tee from roger david or something :P

            What about those "almost video game" shirts
            I think most of us would be able to get away with it, but then of course we would take an arrow in the knee.

          I got random kudos for wearing a starcraft shirt with a zealot and "My life for Aiur" on it.

        "Wear a Link costume and walk in the city.."

        Did that through Perth, had random come up to me OMG YOU'RE FROM ZELDA etc. This was at night time too...

    The gathering of weird. Most definitely.

    It's the creative side of it that interests me. Now I'm old and crusty and am not about to get out and parade around in a costume, but I can see a lot of appeal in building a suit of armour or a monster mask or some such out of bits and pieces.

    For a short reel on cosplay the camera seemed to focus mostly on the scenery and not the actual subject of the piece.

    I've been a cosplay photographer in Melbourne since 2007. Here are some of my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianiceboy/sets/72157625093059344

    There are a lot of things I like about cosplay. As with a t-shirt, it's a way to start a conversation with a stranger about something that you both love. I might have little in common with the cosplayer in the video, but she was cosplaying Eureka from the Eureka Seven anime, so we could start there. And I love seeing members of the public react to cosplay. In my experience, it is almost always positive or neutral.

    As a photographer, I love the colour and variety of most cosplays. Also, the fact that one can share the photos with the internet (and the internet will care) is a big plus. Neither my family nor the internet wants me to put my family photos up there.

    Perhaps this is four and a half years talking, but it doesn't seem weird to me at all.

    Compare to ladies that wear thigns like "Pornstar" and "Bitch" on their tops, this is much more sensible.

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