What The Kids Are Up To - Cosplay

Cosplay is a term you may have heard, and you may even be vaguely aware that it has something to do with dressing up; it is quite popular these days, mostly with younger people - and of course the connectedness of social media helps the Cosplayers get together. The idea of Cosplay (Costume Play) is simply to dress and act as a favorite popular culture character, usually from Science Fiction, video games, or from Japaneses Anime or Manga comics or cartoons. It's different than dressing up at Halloween, as the Cosplayers will usually play a specific character (and typically stay "in character" most of the time), rather than just dressing "like" the character. 

Princess Zelda brought to life (courtesy of Reddit)

The Cosplay outfits are worn in public or at parties or conventions, and it's done simply because they may admire a particular character, or because it's fun to dress up every now and then and be "on show", and also because they may get a kick out of designing the outfits - as many will make their own costumes. Even though costumes are also available to buy, Cosplayers may still spend a lot of time and creativity perfecting their look, even if they didn't make the outfit completely from scratch.

Although Cosplayers tend to identify with more exotic characters, in some ways it's a continuation of the sort of things Civil War re-enactors do, or those who perform at Medieval Fairs (but with less carnage). Cosplay is usually not about putting on a show, in the sense of an open-air play, it's less structured and more of a performance art sort of thing.

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