It can’t be ignored that geek culture is definitely on the rise. Super hero movies rake in so much cash at the box office, video games are also the highest grossing form of entertainment. It is hardly uncommon to know someone who hasn’t watched a bit of Star Wars or have a certain interest into a fantastical story. Despite some sneering and confusion from people who just don’t get the devoted love people have for fiction being a geek is practically the norm.
Interestingly enough, the extras that played Stormtroopers in the original Star Wars films are a little perplexed by the cosplaying scene. Paul Kirby who attended his first autograph signing at Collectormania Milton Keynes. described his role as just another job. To him seeing fans dressed up at the convention made the people he worked with on set look normal. From his perspective the job was an absolute grind. Having to stay in a boiling hot costume for hours on end was not fun or desirable. At the time Paul had no idea how iconic the Stormtrooper character would’ve become.
The growing trend of cosplaying is testament to this. For those unfamiliar Cosplay is short for ‘costumed play’ which involves a fan of a particular film, T.V show, anime or video game to dress up and embody that character. Describing what cosplay is about is the easy part, describing why people do it is a challenge. It is more than likely a sense of conveying the ultimate passion for a certain fandom. This makes it fun and exhilarating even though to some not versed into the inner workings of what you’re replicating you look like a bit of a plonker. What can’t really be denied though is the extreme effort put into certain cosplays. It takes weeks, days and maybe even months in producing a creative replication of your favourite character.
Emancipation is another reason cosplay is so appealing. Once stepping into the guise of something or someone else you immediately feel different. It’s a form of self-expression that boosts confidence along with breaking the mundane aspects of everyday life for not just yourself but for others around you. It’s similar to living out an online avatar by becoming someone else. Seeing a guy dressed up, as Spiderman on the London Underground is a personal highlight. It makes that trip to work a whole lot more memorable.
Some cosplayers may have low self esteem before donning there get up. They dress up as a character to become someone else for a while. It may sound childish but what’s the point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes.