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COSPLAY
 

Cosplay Explained

Video: What is Cosplay?

Cosplay Terminology

Mental Floss: Cool Cosplay Terms

Cosplay 101: Everything You Need to Know

Famous Cosplayers

Video: Overview of Cosplay Culture

Cosplay Dictionary

Video Talk: What Does it Mean to be a Cosplayer?

Info: Kinky Culture

Comic Con: Costumes That Turned Heads


Costume Play

 

Think Halloween costume but all year-round and then dial it up to 11.  Cosplay, or "costume play," is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers (or cosers) wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture. A broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. Any entity that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject and it is not unusual to see genders switched. Favorite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, live-action films, television series, and video games.

The rapid growth in the number of people cosplaying as a hobby since 1990s has made the phenomenon a significant aspect of popular culture in Japan and some other parts of Asia and in the Western world. Cosplay events are common features of fan conventions and there are also dedicated conventions and local and international competitions, as well as social networks, websites and other forms of media centered on cosplay activities.

 


 

Cosplay costumes vary greatly and can range from simple themed clothing to highly detailed costumes. It is generally considered different from Halloween and Mardi Gras costume wear, as the intention is to replicate a specific character, rather than to reflect the culture and symbolism of a holiday event. As such, when in costume, some cosplayers often seek to adopt the affect, mannerisms, and body language of the characters they portray (with "out of character" breaks). The characters chosen to be cosplayed may be sourced from any movie, TV series, book, comic book, video game, music band, anime, or manga. The costumes may represent fantasy or fictional characters, video game characters, cartoon characters, or superheroes. Sometimes cosplayers take a creative twist and incorporate genderbending, crossplay, mashup, or drag.

 

And sometimes a cosplayer will make up a unique persona and invent a character. This is called "OC" or "Original Character."

 

Cosplay Explained

Video: What is Cosplay?

Cosplay Terminology

Mental Floss: Cool Cosplay Terms

Cosplay 101: Everything You Need to Know

Famous Cosplayers

Video: Overview of Cosplay Culture

Cosplay Dictionary

Video Talk: What Does it Mean to be a Cosplayer?

Cosplay Etiquette Rules

Info: Kinky Culture

Comic Con: Costumes That Turned Heads

 

 

Cosplay Terminology

 

Con Goer - Convention attendees. Con-goers are usually from the area the convention is being held in, but in cases with large conventions such as Comic-Con, can be from anywhere around the world. Con-goers, while sometimes normal in everyday life, are often possessed with a bout of insanity at conventions. These bursts can last the length of the convention and may include fangirlism or fanboyism, sudden and inexplicable extraverted behaviors, offers for free hugs, and/or glomping.

Glomp - A hug mixed with a tackle. Glomping is incredibly popular at conventions, but sometimes quite dangerous. It is a sign of intense excitement to see someone, but can sometimes cause mass mayhem. Tumbling to the ground after a strong glomp has been known to cause accidents. Because of this, glomping is banned at many conventions. Most of the time, glomping is reciprocated, but is occasionally performed without the other party’s desire or consent.

 



LARP - Short for “Live Action Role Play.” It is a performance where cosplayers physically act out their character’s actions. These can be simple, like a group friends playing around together at home for a few hours. In other cases, they can be very advanced, where a team of event organizers plan out various circumstances for a large group (sometimes thousands of people) that can last for days.

Furry - Someone who is interested in anthropomorphic creatures. The precise definition has not been agreed upon, even by furries themselves, so a furry can be anyone who is mildly interested in human-like animals to someone who sincerely wishes to be one. As it pertains to cosplay, furry is a specific type of Kigurumi. The term furry is only applied when someone is cosplaying an animal or animal-like creature, such as a Pokemon. Furries wear full body suits and facial coverings that canvass their entire head.

Con Funk - The stench of unwashed con-goers. Because many con-goers cosplay every day in thick outfits (sometimes the same outfit every day) heat, sweat, and body odor easily builds at conventions. Some con-goers also sleep in their cars to avoid hotel room fees or are too busy partying to sleep at all; this leaves them with no access to or no time to use a shower. Con funk is present at every convention and can only be evaded by avoiding large crowds and carrying body spray at all times.


PBS Video: Queer Black Cosplayer

Cosplay Explained

Video: What is Cosplay?

Cosplay Terminology

Mental Floss: Cool Cosplay Terms

Cosplay 101: Everything You Need to Know

Famous Cosplayers

Video: Overview of Cosplay Culture

Cosplay Dictionary

Video Talk: What Does it Mean to be a Cosplayer?

Cosplay Etiquette Rules

Info: Kinky Culture

Comic Con: Costumes That Turned Heads

 

Beginner's Guide to Cosplay

 

What is Cosplay? No, it’s not Halloween, even if it feels like a national holiday.

Yes, the crowds in colorful and intricate costumes in the streets of downtown San Diego are the most charming and visible aspects of the largest comic-book conference in America, Comic-Con. So what exactly is cosplay? Here’s a quick look inside the cultural world that symbolizes the spirit of Comic-Con.

 



Cosplay is the art of costume role-playing. The etymology of the term combines words like costume and play to describe the art form in which people adopt the attire and personality of a fictional character in comic book or popular culture. In an essay published online, Chris Kincaid describes four characteristics that constitute cosplaying: narrative, clothing, play and player. People who participate in cosplaying are called cosplayers.

How is cosplay different than a Halloween costume? Unlike Halloween costumes, cosplay costumes tend to be works of art. Cosplayers can sometimes spend a ton of time and money designing and assembling costumes from concept art, like in comic books or video games or television series. Cosplay costumes can involve a wide range of average materials like foam and fabric to create armor or capes. But cosplaying is also a community, and it draws like-minded people to brainstorm ideas, exchange materials and gather at events like Comic-Con. Oh, and also, there’s no trick or treating.

 

Where did cosplay begin? For centuries, people have worn costumes to celebrate cultural events. Modern cosplay, however, appears to have originated in the 1970s with the emergence of Japanese comic books known as manga and anime, according to the book “Cosplay World.” Nobuyuki Takahashi coined the term in the June 1983 issue of a Japanese publication featuring young people wearing super hero costumes. Takahashi said it took a few years for the term to go mainstream in Japan.

 



What makes good cosplay? The list of qualities that make good cosplay will always be open to interpretation, but three main factors make the best cosplay stand out from the pack.

Creativity: Good cosplaying demands a lot of creativity to render a physical costume from concept art, especially when there are no instructions and no other models to replicate.
 

Accuracy: Attention to detail will make cosplayers stand out, everything from texture of someone’s fabric to the body paint that covers every inch of their skin.
 

Staying in character: Wearing the skin of a fictional character is just half of cosplaying, the other half is about adopting the personality, quirks or sounds that complete the character.
 



Does it pay to be a cosplayer? Definitely, sometimes. Costume contests, like the Comic-Con Masquerade, offer cosplayers the opportunity to compete for prizes and bragging rights. Such competitions can also be good for exposure, especially for those who make money from their cosplay efforts. Fox News once reported that cosplayers at Comic-Con in San Diego could earn several thousand dollars and that “top talents are pulling in close to $200,000 a year.” We picked the wrong careers, guys.

How much does it cost to create or buy a cosplay costume? Cosplayers invest time, effort and often money into creating the best costumes. Though the cost of materials can vary from design to design, some outfits can be pulled together for as little as $50.

[Source: Luis Gomez, San Diego Union-Tribune]

 

Beginner's Guide: What is Cosplay?

Cosplay 101: Everything You Need to Know

Comic Con: Costumes That Turned Heads

Cosplayers in the Age of COVID 19

Video: Overview of Cosplay Culture

 

Furries

The Furries Community or Furry Fandom are enthusiasts for animal characters with human characteristics, in particular a person who dresses up in costume as such a character or uses one as an avatar online. The Furry Fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of people who gather on the Internet and at Furry Conventions.

 



Anthropomorphic animal characters created by Furry Fans, known as Fursonas, are used for role-playing in MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) and on internet forums. 


Role-playing also takes place offline, with petting, hugging, and "scritching" (light scratching and grooming) common between friends at social gatherings. Fursuits or furry accessories are sometimes used to enhance the experience.  The term "yiff" is sometimes used to indicate sexual activity or sexual material within the fandon. This applies to sexual activity and interaction within the subculture whether in the form of cybersex or offline.


When compared with the general population, homosexuality and bisexuality are over-represented in the furry fandom by about a factor of 10. Of the US population, about 1.8% of persons self-identify as bisexual and 1.7% as homosexual according to a 2011 study from scholars at UCLA. In contrast, according to four different surveys 14–25% of the fandom members report homosexuality, 37–52% bisexuality, 28–51% heterosexuality, and 3–8% other forms of alternative sexual relationships. Approximately half of the respondents reported being in a relationship, of which 76% were in a relationship with another member of furry fandom. Examples of sexual aspects within furry fandom include erotic art and furry-themed cybersex.

 

Vox: Questions About Furries You are Embarrassed to Ask

Psychology Today: What's the Deal with Furries?

Vanity Fair: Pleasures of the Fur

Inside the Life of a Furry
 

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