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20 Apr 2014 - 17:57112907
Spaces of cosplay
Hello, my name is Richard Mullane, I'm a Geography student at Manchester Metropolitan University. I'm currently writing a essay on spaces of cosplay. I was hoping a few of you could spare a couple of minutes to answer a handful of questions.

1) Do you think without conventions the cosplay community would be as strong?
2) Do you avoid some conventions because they are in a location you don't like e.g. not going to MCMComicCon solely because you don't want to go to Manchester?
3) Are there any places e.g. work or spaces (in the street etc), that you think you couldn't wear your outfits?
4) Do you think cosplayers should have a permanent space where you could gather any time of the day or does the less frequent conventions make cosplaying feel more like a special occasion?

It would be great if you could give a little bit of detail behind your answers but even if you just answer yes or no it will be very helpful. Thank you in advance .


20 Apr 2014 - 21:59112916
1) Do you think without conventions the cosplay community would be as strong?
No. While people organise smaller cosplay events throught the year (and across the country), conventions tend to be the best way to meet otehr cosplayers and make new friends in the community. The increased numbers also mean it more likely you can meet people with similar interests (or simialr favourite shows/games/etc)

2) Do you avoid some conventions because they are in a location you don't like e.g. not going to MCMComicCon solely because you don't want to go to Manchester?
For me it's not about the location, it's about hard it is to travel there. Even getting somewhere well-served by travel like London can be a major endeavour. I've ignored Manchester ComicCon for example, because I cant get there easily from where I live. I also shun events organised by people I don't like (cough AL cough), but that's another issue

3) Are there any places e.g. work or spaces (in the street etc), that you think you couldn't wear your outfits?
I live in a cultural backwater. With the exceptions of nightclubs, Pride, and a few nerd events at The Forum, there's nowhere that won't get you looked at funny by the general public around here.

4) Do you think cosplayers should have a permanent space where you could gather any time of the day or does the less frequent conventions make cosplaying feel more like a special occasion?
Its a nice idea (like that park in Tokyo) but given how spread out we are, there's not really anywhere with a high enough concentration of cosplayers to make it worth organising (let alone recouping the running costs!)

Besides, if we could cosplay every week, when woul we have time to make the costumes (or wait for them to arrive from comissioners/Malaysian sweatshops!)


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20 Apr 2014 - 22:20112919
Here are my answers, I hope that they help! Good luck with your research!

1) Do you think without conventions the cosplay community would be as strong?

Travelling to a convention to meet people who have the same interests and hobbies is a huge part of cosplay for me. I tend to cosplay for social reasons so the community and my cosplay friends and my main priority when it comes to a convention!

2) Do you avoid some conventions because they are in a location you don't like e.g. not going to MCMComicCon solely because you don't want to go to Manchester?

I enjoy travelling and experiencing different events, but sometimes it's not always affordable to travel to all of them. I don't think I've ever been put off by a location of a convention. There's a few venues that I'm not particularly keen on, but it wouldn't put me off the event itself.

3) Are there any places e.g. work or spaces (in the street etc), that you think you couldn't wear your outfits?

I've worn a lot of my costumes out and about in public and have never had a negative reaction, so it's never put me off wearing one when I want to!

4) Do you think cosplayers should have a permanent space where you could gather any time of the day or does the less frequent conventions make cosplaying feel more like a special occasion?

It could be interesting to see something like a UK equivalent of a cosplay cafe being set up, but I've always found places and events outside of conventions for cosplay as well. A lot of people tend to organise meet ups and photoshoots at different locations, which I actually prefer to conventions sometimes, because it can be more intimate and give you more time to focus on getting photographs of your costume, getting it on correctly and not having to worry about rushing to queue for anything.


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21 Apr 2014 - 13:45112931
Thank you, you've helped me understand a lot more about cosplaying and the importance of space.


21 Apr 2014 - 17:06112935
Also consider who your potential "customers" are.

Homestuck, Sherlock, Supernatural, Twilight, Harry Potter, etc costumes can pass for normal (if eccentric) clothes, and aren't difficult to travel in. The fanbases are also quite young and "arty". As long as it's near a transport hub (train/tube/bus station) they'd be able to travel further and easier than a mecha or fursuit costumer (who can't really get on a bus or train in costume, and might not be able to even sit!).

I tend to prefer costuming at large events because I normally stay in a nearby hotel. That means I have somewhere to change (and my costumes often require significant preparation) and I have somewhere to retreat to when I need a break, a repair job, to drop off/pick up a prop, or even to use the loo if my costume is too complex/layered to use public facilities


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