In recent years, the cosplay community has grown exponentially. The best part about this growth is cosplay has reached a point that anyone from any background, age group or gender can do it and it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to do. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be technically gifted, all you have to have is an imagination and a desire to have fun to join the party.
There are many people out there who want to do so but still wonder why they should do it. Two years ago, IGN wrote a great article on why which included, celebrity treatment which is always awesome, competing in contests as well as being a part of a community.
What was given is great but there are a few other reasons as well and we would like to share.
Cosplaying for a cause
For many of us, cosplaying doesn’t stop at dressing up for a con over the course of a weekend. You would be surprised at how many groups out there are available for people who want to volunteer in their community. Some of you may wonder how does cosplaying and community service go hand in hand? There are some groups like the 501st Legion who do such things as fundraisers, hospital visits for sick kids as well as many other activities for charity. There is nothing like doing an event and seeing a child’s face light up as they are surrounded by their favorite characters come to life. There is also nothing more fulfilling that knowing that you made a difference for a community by taking time out to gather donations for families in need. If you ever decide that you want to do more with your cosplay you can look into groups such as: The East Coast Avengers, Cosplay For Charity, Cosplay for a Cause and many more. Think of it this way: if you want to dress as a hero you can BE a hero for so many as well.
While you may be joining a community through cosplay, you may also begin to realize how many doors you may open when meeting your fellow cosplayers. Everyone you meet of course, has a life beyond cosplay and it’s up to all of us to get to know our new friends because we never know how we can help each other. Over the years, I have met so many people who were photographers, writers, handymen and women, IT specialists, lawyers, doctors and so on. With meeting all of these people, at one time or another, beyond cosplay, many of us have been able to help each other in our daily lives just by getting to know the person beyond the costume. Building networks and making friends with fellow cosplayers is like anything else in life when it comes to building friendships. You never realize what kinds of bonds you build until you really get to know that person. That person you did a group photo with today may be helping you with your resume tomorrow. The people you were on a panel with last week may need your resources to move. Cosplay sometimes is the one thing that brings so many together.
Speaking of panels…
In the past few years, I have become more involved with doing panels at conventions. It’s helped me quite a bit with public speaking but more importantly, it’s helped with sharing knowledge with many others. For cosplayers, this opportunity that we get to impart some of our knowledge works a lot better in person by going to cons, but there are many other avenues as well. Many cosplayers, once they have that “eureka!” moment, may take to youtube, google hangouts and other social media venues to share what they have learned. There aren’t many books out there on cosplaying but once we find something that works, sharing it with others pushes us forward as a community. It’s simply because the cosplay community is not a static community. Changes and enhancements to what we do are constant and it’s up to us to keep up and stay cutting edge. Within the past few years, many have shared their passion so if you as a cosplayer need to understand something you may be just a google search or a con away from learning it.
Finding the love of your life
Dating another geek through cosplay? Does that happen? Yes, it’s possible as I have seen at least 3 proposals within the last 2 years. Yes, cosplaying brings people together. There is nothing cooler however, than seeing a couple who cosplay that decides to take that next step and tie the knot. Now, not saying that every cosplayer needs to get married but think about it. If you are in a geek community as vast as this, it’s possible that if you have been single for a while, you can eventually meet and date a fellow cosplayer geek who really gets you. Cosplaying is one venue to possibly find someone who really gets your obsession with comics, gaming, anime or whatever else you are into without too much judgement. Most cosplayers already know and it’s even better to find someone who is just as much into geek culture as you are. On another tangent, it’s a wonderful thing as well when you see cosplayers who are not only involved with their significant others and spouses but their children (and in some cases grandchildren) as well. You can look at it like this as well, if whomever you are dating has a problem with cosplaying, you can tell them that there a whole lot of worse things you can be involved with.
Being a cosplayer is a great hobby to enjoy. One never knows how many doors in life that they may open just by choosing to do this. It does have its ups and downs but it’s been an experience that many of us wouldn’t trade for anything. If you have never tried it just do it and see how much fun it can be. It’s an outlet for people to make friends, exchange knowledge and a great way to serve in the community if one chooses to do so. This community has something for everyone and it won’t break your bank if you don’t let it, and if you choose to do it, have fun with it!