Why Do You Cosplay?

We tend to cover cosplay a lot here at Kotaku — some people like that, others tend to complain. But I would argue that most coverage of cosplay does tend to focus on photography, just endless galleries of well-made costumes. That's fine, but I'm also a big fan of the above video from Cosplaynaut, which asks cosplayers at OZ Comic Con in Adelaide a simple question: why do you cosplay?

Spoiler: most who were asked simply said 'it's fun'. But a few have better, more in-depth answers. Some just like the process of creating their costume, others enjoy pretending to be their favourite characters — there's also a few who enjoy the shared connection when people recognise the characters and get excited.

All super valid reasons of course, but I suppose I just enjoyed hearing a bit about the people behind the costume. This was a cool idea.


    I have to admit, im not a massive fan of dressing up, my missus is, i love looking at the skill it takes to make a costume though.
    but last supanova in brissy i spent a few months making my costume and getting it perfect, growing and shaping my beard for 2 months in advance to get the perfect wolverine chops, creating and shapping my claws to be perfect.
    The sheer number of people who stopped me to ask for photos or tell me how great the costume looked (and to ask if the facial hair was real lol) was incredible, i had a ball and am currently trying to work out my next costume for this year.

      I think the passion that goes into recreating these characters in real life is what I find so endearing about cosplay, even though I don't partake in it myself.

      DNR, do you happen to have any pictures of your Wolverine getup? After your talking about it, I'm pretty keen to see how it turned out.

        Took a few days, had to upload a pic, there was one on the kingscomics facebook page, but couldn't find it.

        Last edited 30/03/13 9:50 pm

          Wow, that turned out really well! Thanks for taking the time to upload a picture. :-)

    When it comes to cons why not? It's like going to a Halloween party, you're only missing out by pretending your too cool to wear a costume.

    My wife looks just like Zoey from L4D... only a little more gooby (she's a clutz), in an awesomely endearing way! She likes to kick arse and take names, and she loves it, so why not? Plus it gives me an excuse to don my Hunter costume. We don't do cons, but we always look awesome at friends' Halloween parties.

      My wife looks just like Zoey from L4D

      You Sir, are a winner.

    It's funny that a lot of people look at Cosplay as just "dressing up", but thats not really what Cosplay is about. For me and for a lot of others, Cosplay is about the process of designing and making the costume from scratch. Its incredibly fun and challenging to build a costume if you want it to be decent quality, so I'd say that it's that challenge that motivates most people to Cosplay. Sure, they love going to conventions and having lots of photos taken of their outfit, but I'd say thats less about just getting attention and more about receiving some appreciation for what all their hard work and effort has come to.

    So yeah, its fun to run around in costume, but its more fun to figure out how the hell you're actually going to make that costume in the first place, and if you get to show it off when it's done to an audience that will appreciate it for what it is then why the hell not.

      The creative side is always whats interested me about the whole phenomenon. I don't think I'd ever get out and prance about in a costume, but there's definitely appeal in sculpting and moulding a latex mask or building some armour or whatever else.

    That's actually a good question.
    for me it is a few reasons i think.
    i enjoy sewing, but not as much as I enjoy adding all the details. I love checking the images and then trying to get the costume as close as possible.
    The other reason is don't get dressed up much, but I do love going all out for cosplay. This is probably the fun bit.
    The last one is probably because it's nice for people to not only recognise but to compliment the cosplay. especially when I have only been making my own costumes for a few years. I never dreamed I could sew. even more so because my family tend to put down people rather then compliment them. So to have so many people thinking you've done a good job makes all the effort worth it.

    Absolutely agree! There's something fantastic about looking at your reference pics, realising the character's outfit defies physics - and then making it work anyway.

    I'm currently reworking my Chell boots. That process of trying to work out how to make boots that look heelless, have a decent-looking spring in the back, and are still actually wearable is great.

    The compliments and attention on the day totally help, but the feeling of having gotten it right can't be beaten.

      Just a question, have you thought of just chopping the heel off the boots?
      i don't know if you've seen them, but a while back heelless shoes were a trend

        I do believe they still are in vogue, so to speak. *Fashion Chat*

    Women cosplay to look hawt/cute. Men cosplay to get hawt/cute cosplaying women. Biology in motion people.

    My hope is to run around PAX AU in a Pyro costume yelling "HUDDA HUDDA HHHHUUUUUUHHHHHH!".
    Because Pyro.

    On a side note, why on earth would you shoot this in black and white?

    I don't know that I necessarily cosplay. I just make costumes, then wear them :P

    Like DanMazkin said, it's all about figuring out how to take that thing you're imagining and figuring out how to make it exist in the real world, and solving all the problems that brings with it. And the appreciation for your work is nice too.

    Though I tend to opt for characters that are more on the obscure side of things, so I don't get as many people coming up as much. But those that do recognise them get a kick out of it, and I find that kind of almost secret shared connection really enjoyable.

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