How Video Games Opened a Door for New Cosplay Influencers

2022.03.04

Serge Sinyutin

    Cosplay generally stands for costume play and is a performance art where the participants who are called ‘cosplayers’ generally wear fashion accessories and costumes in order to represent a specific character. There has been a rapid growth in the number of people who practice this today since the 1990s and it is a phenomenon which has a significant impact especially in Japan. However, cosplaying has risen from anime into Western mainstream gaming culture. Cosplay events are common when it comes to game and fan conventions and there are also dedicated conventions and international competitions which are centered around cosplay activities. Today, there are many platforms and resources to help you become a cosplay influencer. But first, we need to find the beginnings of cosplaying.

Cosplaying Roots

    Although Japan is generally credited as the origin of Cosplay, it is not an entirely Japanese Invention. Costume parties and Masquerade balls have been popular since the 15th century. But cosplaying specifically can be traced back to 1939. At the first World Science Fiction Convention, Myrtle Rebecca Douglas was the first and only woman to be dressed in a green cape and breeches, based on a 1936 film “Things to Come’. Even though nobody wore cosplays that year, it all changed the second year and the rest is history. As time went on, sci-fi conventions were known worldwide as having costume dances. Up to the 1980s, cosplays were mostly based on sci-fi fantasy stories and movies. However, that would quickly change with the surge in popularity of manga and anime. 

Anime/Manga Inspirations

    The rise of Anime and Manga is one of the largest factors in truly launching cosplay in the modern spotlight. The term itself was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi of manga Studio “Hard”, after he attended the 1984 Wordlcon in LA. He went on to use the word in some Japanese magazine, which gave it more exposure. Anime characters are known for their unique assets, which provided a challenge to cosplayers and made dressing up very popular. When in costumes, the cosplayers often seek to adopt the mannerism and body language of the characters they portray, bringing a fictional character to life. Cosplaying’s rapid growth is yet to slow down in Japan and worldwide, as there are whole conventions, events, and competitions based around this phenomenon. Japan is also known for their iconic games and game developers, which is why classic and modern video games emerged as the frontrunners for cosplay inspirations today. 

Video Game Adaptation

    Video game characters are often created from the wildest fantasies. As the rise of gaming culture rose, it affected the cosplaying sector as people started to dress up as their favorite in-game characters. Video games were a natural addition to cosplaying, as people wanted to embody their favorite characters and what they stand for. It all started with classic games like Mario, Sonic and the Legend of Zelda, but has grown into a much diverse universe of games like World of Warcraft, Mass Effect and League of Legends to name a few. Today, there are thousands of video games that inspire new costume ideas and concepts, as cosplays become more complicated, detailed and expensive. On top of that, video game developers love cosplayers as they provide and keep an ctive and engaging community.  

Modern Cosplaying and the Future

Today, cosplay continues to grow and develop with the help of increased awareness through social media, innovative crafting techniques and products, and the adoption of cosplay as entertainment at other types of events, such as movie premiers and game launches. 3D Printing made complicated costumes much simpler and cost efficient. Meanwhile, social media platforms like TikTok made getting discovered much easier as there are many fans waiting eagerly for new cosplaying content.

Also, from an influencer marketing standpoint, developers and creators will always look to cosplayers to bring their characters to life and bring awareness to their projects. Here at GGContent, we love to work with talented cosplay influencers and will continue to push the boundaries of influencer marketing. Check out our previous cosplay inspirations and make sure to sign up to receive offers for upcoming campaigns. 

 

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