We’re here to shed a little light on the Cosplay and Gaming Crossover Community.
Do Cosplay and Gaming Mix?
Last week was Part One of my continuing series on Cosplay Creation, focusing on Tyene Sand from Game of Thrones. (PLEASE check it out if you haven’t had a chance to). In my enthusiasm to start this project, I didn’t take the time to properly address a key factor: why does Cosplay matter for a Gaming oriented Site like BoLS? Today I hope to answer that question for the community, and to provide a little bit of illumination for future pieces.
To break it down, Cosplay is an AMAZING field of artists and hobbyists, of nerds and actors and models, so many people with a passion for expression which allows for a beautiful element of transcendence between genres. In recent years, Cosplay has become a main aspect of my professional modeling projects, and has opened a variety of doors that I had no idea existed. My gaming experience as a youth was watching and playing various Nintendo games like Final Fantasy, reading all of the books about Dragonlance and D&D, and occasionally talking about or playing different systems with my friends.
As an adult and model, the world of Conventions has opened my eyes to an amazingly diverse world that breathes a new life into fandoms I have cherished since childhood. I have had conversations on Twitter with Margaret Weis about my desire to create a Raistlin Majere cosplay, which she applauded. I walked the halls of RTX, the Rooster Teeth Convention, as Sorceress Edea, striking fear into the hearts of Final Fantasy gamers everywhere. The opportunities for expression in gaming are LIMITLESS.
The year I created my Sorceress Edea cosplay changed the way I look at modeling, and at Cosplay in general. One of our favorite local gaming stores, Dragon’s Lair, held a Cosplay Symposium which challenged Cosplayers to design and execute completed projects in a specific time and budget to be judged in store. Not only was there a category for Anime, there was one for Video Game characters. I competed, winning 2nd place overall. My entry won the attention of a Cosplay Coordinator for a gaming convention in Colorado, and I was asked to come as Cosplay Guest and Judge for their very first Cosplay Contest.
This was an amazing idea for me, as I had been a guest at Anime and Cosplay conventions, but this was the very first Con SPECIFICALLY about gaming. I was THRILLED!!! I have always felt more comfortable with gamers than a cosplayers, so being at an event that featured so many of the tabletop events I am so passionate about got my blood pumping. I competed in the Catan tournament wearing my full cosplay garb, and played D&D at a table with both a Regional Coordinator for the Adventurer’s League, and a WoTC coordinator who was influential in designing the 5th Edition of D&D.
At the end of the convention, I was approached by some members of the Colorado gaming community who wanted to thank me for being there. They had no idea that the Cosplay world had so much to do with their passions, and were excited to see what we Cosplayers would bring to the table at future conventions. DREAMS WERE MADE! I finally had my finger on the pulse of both gaming AND cosplay!
Redefining Passion for Gaming
Cosplay is a field that has an incredible amount of momentum and power. Instead of going to a convention and only playing games, there is an opportunity to see our favorite characters brought to life in front of us. We can become immersed in game culture in a new, visceral, highly personal way. We are no longer on the outside of our favorite game systems, we can step inside them and truly get into the heads of those characters. Cosplay is the paintbrush that allows us to create pictures of how those games make us feel. It allows us to step out of our daily lives and into the mindset of our favorite heroes and villains. It allows us to have a connection to OTHER fans of these worlds. I can walk into a gaming convention anywhere in the world and find someone dressed as Cloud Strife, or Terra Branford, and INSTANTLY know this person shares my love of Final Fantasy.
A future project under consideration…
I can design a Yvraine cosplay and know that the Warhammer 40k fans will flock to me to share their stories and memories of their favorite epic battles. And most of all, I can, for the first time, feel connected to the hearts of all the other gamers I meet. Cosplay is bridging the gap between gaming and social networking. So yes, dear friends, Cosplay IS important to the BoLS Community. Cosplay is powerful, and poignant… And it is here to stay.
~Cosplay and Gaming, the perfect blend of our favorite Genres, is here to stay.