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Marvel and the Avengers Dragon-Con 2012

Marvel and the Avengers
Dragon-Con 2012

What IS Cos-Play?

If you’re wondering just what the word Cos-Play means, it’s a blending of the two words “costume” and “play.” And what it provides is a way for adults to play. When you were a kid didn’t you just love dressing up and pretending to be someone else? Gosh I was sometimes Roy Rogers (I’m female,) sometimes Dale Evans, and as I got older I pretended to be King of some foreign country. You don’t have to stay in your sex as a Cos-Player, but can become whatever strikes your imagination. If you find an affinity for a character, male or female, you may assume that identity for Cos-Play. The women above are all dressed as the male Loki.

“We Grow Old Because We Stop Playing”

But as Playwright George Bernard Shaw so famously said:  “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” The harsh realities of life push in on us and we begin to become seriously involved with daily life; a spouse, child care, making a living, struggling through city traffic, and cringing at the nightly news. We forget the delight of “playing.”

What If You Could Be Someone Else For A While?

What if, for just a little while, you could put on a costume and BE someone else? That’s what Cos-Play is all about. You don’t have to wait for Halloween and be embarrassed because a friend catches you dressed as a pirate in a bar you usually don’t frequent. Heck no, these days, Cos-Play is adult playtime. It’s innocent, it’s fun and it challenges your imagination.

Not A Holiday Celebration

How does it differ from Halloween or Mardi Gras? Simple, there’s no specific culture or holiday celebration. Rather, each person emulates a character from history, or a movie, or a TV show, or a play. It’s as though “all the world’s a stage,” and you are actors on that stage. One of the more interesting parts is that you do not have to dress as your own sex. A female can become a male character and vice versa. It depends on whose personality  you “relate” to, but there is no stigma attached.

It’s More Fun As A Group

A player from Cos-Play Japan Expo 2012

A player from Cos-Play Japan Expo 2012

There are usually several people interacting with each other, as if they were the people they represent. For instance if you like Star Wars, and you have a group of people willing to play, all of you could dress as characters from Star Wars. Costumes can be as simple as homemade, or as lavish as your money can buy. Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, or Padme Amidala, and if you want to get really involved, build a C3PO suit, or one of the other characters from the series of the same name. Make up is a big part and if you or someone you know is good at that, it’s a perfect opportunity to use that skill.

Perhaps you’d rather take a different path and dress as your favorite TV series characters. Think Big Bang Theory, or NCIS, or anything of that nature. Let your imagination run with it, you’ll come up with something you feel fits you perfectly. Ask your friends to work with you in dressing as characters from the same show and stay in character when you go out together. It’s a fun time out and you can’t beat it for giving you a refreshing change of pace. So What Character Would You Like To Be Today?

Then there are Renaissance Costumes for those who enjoy the period.