Cosplay, a synonym for costume play, is a hobby and exciting activity wherein people called cosplayers dress up in costumes and other fashion accessories, usually inspired by a particular fictional character, and engage in acts and sports related to that character. There are many types of cosplay, with the most common being those who is dressing up as characters from anime, manga, fantasy movies, and comics. Others who are not as keen on comic books may choose to go as characters from science fiction or horror movies. While most cosplayers generally think of themselves as a hero in their hearts, some others may choose to portray villains.
What does Cosplay mean? Cosplay means more than just a fancy dress. It actually refers to an art form that began in Japan but has now spread to almost all parts of the world. The most popular cosplay sub-group is calledroid cosplayers, who usually dress up as robots, aliens, and even celebrities. One of the places where you will see this most popular sub-culture is at international conventions where members of the groups will dress up like robots or aliens and take photos with fellow cosplayers and other attendees alike.
Why do Cosplay enthusiasts love to participate in such fanciful dressing? Cosplayers believe that the games and events they participate in are very real, and the materials they use are usually authentic since most of them are made by hobbyist creators or Japanese artists. One con participant said, “I really want to thank the internet for the Cosplay scene. It’s given me a chance to meet all sorts of people from all over the world. I get to be with new people, exchange ideas with them, and I even get to earn some money.”
What does Cosplay mean, then, when people say that it is an imaginary sport that lets you immerse yourself in another world? The term originally referred only to costume play, but today it encompasses a lot of activities. Some participate in writing about their favorite characters, creating fictions about them, or playing dress-up games using their favorite characters. Others choose to just act out their own fan fiction, sharing the characters and find they create with others on internet forums and chat rooms. Others still enjoy going to conventions and joining cosplay gatherings, either for the cost of supplies or as a means of immersing themselves in a community. Still others get into this through word of mouth, watching videos of Cosplay and being exposed to the different types of cosplay portrayed.
In short, Cosplay has become a whole host of activities for people who love anime, manga, fantasy movies, or video games. In the past, the only people who could participate in Cosplay activities were those who lived in Japan, where this type of entertainment is very common. Today however, cosplayers can be found anywhere in the world who are willing to make costumes of their favorite characters, complete with accessories. There are even dedicated websites devoted to this activity, where photographs of cosplayers can be found and shared by people who participate in this online hobby.
One of the most popular reasons why cosplayers dress up like their favorite characters is so they can feel confident in their appearance. Most cosplayers are male, and they use a variety of body art and make-up to enhance the characteristics of their favorite heroes or villains. To them, looking at themselves in the mirror wearing the outfit they have created, complete with accessories and weapons gives them a sense of power and success. In fact, some cosplayers go so far as to pay to have a custom costume made. Not only do they get to own a one-of-a-kind character they have worn for years, they also get to keep it as a collectible, something to be proud of.
For female cosplayers, the desire to portray a powerful, capable woman is as strong as the desire to wear a skimpy maid costume or to put on a knight’s armor. They use makeup and hair styling tools to recreate their favorite fictional characters, often spending hours in the make-up chair to achieve their look. Male cosplayers also often dress as such, but they usually do so as a sub-personality of the main character they are playing. They may have a hacker personality who creates computer programs to steal information or they could just appear like any other guy in a video game. Whatever they choose, the aim behind it is to have fun with a fictional character they really identify with.
Today, cosplay has spread beyond the realms of Japan and is becoming increasingly popular among people of all ages in the West. Some people believe that the popularity of cosplay is related to the rise of video games that allow people to role play, which in turn allows people to express themselves more than they would otherwise be able to. Others believe that cosplay has been growing in popularity for many years now because people have finally come to realize that what they wear can actually affect the way they see the world.