Conventions are rapidly growing social trends, as places where fans of all sorts of movies, shows, animes, mangas, and video games can gather. Over the past ten years Cosplay has grown in popularity all across the world and made themselves a part of the conventions. Cosplay has grown over the years that the price of a costume can range from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Attending conventions with cosplay can be entertaining for everyone but there has become some rules to follow when interacting with cosplayers. Here are some rules to remember if you’re going to attend one.
1. Ask before taking pictures
It’s early in the day. The doors have just opened and you’ve got your pass. As you’re walking through the main hall, you see an amazing cosplayer who is dressed as your favourite Avenger and there aren’t too many people around them. Awesome time to take a quick picture before the crowd gets in the way, right? Wrong! Always ask before taking a picture of a cosplayer, because sometimes cosplayers do not want their picture taken or will ask you to tag them in it after you do. While most cosplayers usually say yes, respect their wishes and always ask. Usually the cosplayer will pose for the picture that will end up being a better picture. Furthermore, if you see someone in a cowl, gloves, and other such things take parts of their cosplay off to eat, be respectful and come back later. The Space Marine needs food and water just like the rest of us, no matter how awesome they look.
2. Don’t stand in front of artists and vendors when taking pictures
When taking pictures, always try and avoid standing in front of vendors unless the picture intentionally includes their merchandise. This is an extremely abused courtesy because people don’t usually think of their surroundings past the sea of people when taking pictures. If you’re standing right in front of someone’s table, you’re potentially blocking their exposure or even their sales. Vendors are there to make money, and often have to pay for their tables. Be considerate, and try not to get in their way.
3. Do not touch props or cosplays
You should never touch anything that anyone is wearing or carrying without explicitly asking permission. As a cosplayer and a participant at conventions, I have seen the mayhem that can occur when someone accidentally breaks a cosplayer’s props or even their cosplay. It is heartbreaking to see someone’s hard work destroyed due to a prank or even just an accident, and such sadness is best avoided entirely. If you really want to touch something, ask first! Many cosplayers do not mind letting you touch their props. Also, taking props from cosplayers can get you in trouble with security, and thus a harmless prank or joke can get you removed from the convention floor with no refund.
4. Watch your step
It happens. You’re walking along, checking a text when you put your foot down and hear an awful ripping noise. There went someone’s cloak, or skirt, or other article of clothing or prop. Some cosplays have parts which drag on the ground and those pieces are easy to step on and potentially ruin. When walking around a con floor, watch your step to avoid accidentally damaging someone’s hard work. Also, remember that parents often bring children with them to these events and kicking a child, even on accident, skyrockets you to the position of the con supervillain, and not in a good way.
5. Cosplay is NOT consent
Cosplayers sometimes dress like characters which show a lot of skin, however, this is not an invitation to touch, catcall, or otherwise harass them. Cosplayers dress up to express their love of their particular fandom, and while their clothing may be suggestive and provocative this is not an invitation to do any of the previously mentioned offenses. It has become a problem in cosplay that cosplayers are not comfortable dressing up as the more scantily clad characters for fear of being harassed, and it is not always intentionally to show off. Lots of female, and some male, characters show skin due to sexualization being a marketing tactic. So be respectful, and remember that even though cosplayers may be dressed in a suggestive way, even “harmless” dirty jokes are not okay.