What once was the purview of geeks and nerds has become mainstream fantasy play for young adults worldwide. I am talking, of course, about cosplay, the act of dressing up in a costume of a well-loved (or love-to-hate) character from literature, movies, or television. Many of these characters are in the fantasy genre, including classic books like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, which have been made into movies or television shows in the last several years. Other characters are taken from comic books, including Japanese manga and anime.
Cosplay is a serious, highly-involved hobby for those who participate. Conventions are regional, state-wide, national, and international and can have as many as 50,000 or more attendees. Walking around even a regional convention is eye-opening. Participants go all out when creating their costumes. Most costumes are handmade for cosplay. Hours of preparation and quite a few dollars are spent creating the best costume for a chosen character — and costumes are not just clothing. They include intricate makeup, special shoes, or shoe covers and highly-stylized wigs in every color of the rainbow. Some participants work together in groups to create the cadre of characters from a specific show or film.
The passionate cosplay community has spurned an amazing amount of online content to support it. Because visuals are best way to display cosplay, much of the content is in image or video form. However, there are also plenty of how-to articles on making character costumes or pieces of the costumes. For instance, if a participant wanted to create a Loki (from the Thor and The Avengers movies) costume, then they would not only need his clothing, but also his jewelry, weapons, armor, and helmet, depending on which version of Loki’s costume they were creating.
While there are many cosplay-related websites such as New York Comic Con, you can also investigate cosplay on image sites such as Pinterest and Flickr. Searching YouTube will provide you with an idea of how involved the costuming can become. Images provide the richly-colored detail that coplayers love and their work is incredibly complex.
Writing Cosplay Content
Writing content for the cosplay crowd is a challenge. Writers need to be familiar with popular genre movies and television shows, at least well enough to know who the characters are. While some characters from popular movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy become fodder for cosplayers, many use lesser-known anime characters. A knowledge of handmade and DIY projects and a creative twist of mind also lend themselves to this industry. Since most of the costumes are made from scratch, detailed instructions accompany the images and videos.
Just like any other industry, the cosplay industry needs well-optimized and easy-to-navigate content on their websites and well-written content to fulfill their audience’s needs. Writing web content for cosplay needs to have all of the features of high-quality original online content. After all, if the instructions on how to make a Groot costume aren’t clear, readers will become extremely frustrated.
Paula A has a mind that is often taken off in flights of fantasy, imagining traveling in mystical worlds and meeting creatures of brilliant imagination.