By Tricia Deed

Cosplay is popular for many different types of people worldwide. It is both a hobby and a professional career which brings fun, enjoyment, and challenges for those individuals who are creative, imaginative, and dare themselves to conquer skillful challenges earning personal accomplishments and rewards.

What is cosplay?

Cosplay is a coined word created by Japanese reporter Nobuyuki Takahushi in 1984 for the words Costume Play. There are many reasons for its current popularity but the first and foremost is personal fun and enjoyment followed by the notions of:

  • Being somebody else for a day
  • Self-expression
  • A love of acting and the theater
  • Satisfying artistic creativity
  • Pride and accomplishment in creating a costume and its accessories
  • Igniting the imagination
  • Making friends and holding social gatherings
  • Becoming part of a large community

Being somebody else for a day – Copy and design a costume of a favorite character wearing all accessories from head to toe and walk in their shoes for self and crowd reaction. It may be a portrayed sex goddess like Marilyn Monroe or an historical president such as Abraham Lincoln.

Self-Expression – Wear an original costume displaying our skills and talents to design and construct. The desire to create a personal imaginative character.

A love of acting and the theater – Amateur and professional actors and actresses may use cosplay as an outlet to prepare themselves for employment in the entertainment industry.

Satisfying artistic creativity – Some people love to create unusual fashions around the type of characters who would wear these creations.

Pride and Accomplishment in creating a costume and its accessories – Some costumes are very simple or may be purchased. Yet others are inspired by characters in video games, cartoons, anime, comics and books. Creating armor worn by warriors, people becoming Transformers, and mythical accessories put your mental and physical skills to the test.

Igniting the imagination – Thinking about something that does not exist and then bringing it into physical existence through creativity truly ignites the imagination. Creative elements include appearance, clothing style, speech pattern, and whatever else is needed to make your character believable.

Making friends and holding social gatherings – There are thousands of cosplayers in countries all over the world participating in conventions, community projects, advertising events, and any function which welcomes enthusiasts both on- and offline. These occasions offer opportunities to make new friends and become a part of the cosplay community. To whit…

Becoming part of a large community – There is a stereotype that introverts or geeks make up the largest number of cosplay participants. Yet creating costumes and attending events adds excitement to offset aspects of your job or personal lifestyle which may be boring, mundane, or stressful. It’s a hobby far removed from the banality of the work day which offers fun, enjoyment, and self-accomplishments.