Convention tips for first-time Cosplayers (Part II)

As promised, this week we're continuing with Part II of Magdalena Auditore's advice for first time cosplayers! This reminds me, did you know that we're starting an official SGG photography series? For one thing, all of us working on this project are artists, so we want to work in as many media as possible. For another thing, we want to get started on the calendar for all of our Kickstarter backers. We'll be working with the amazing Saajid Motala from Mix Tape Photos to do a series featuring gamers, developers and cosplayers. More on that coming up soon!

Anyway, to get back to the post, remember last week's points?

1. Make sure you go with the right people.
2. The cosplay community is very diverse.
3. Do not expect your first costume to be perfect. It might be rough at first, but if you stick with it, you will improve over time.
4. There are no rules for cosplaying.

Up next...

5. Don't be overbearing with your "geek credentials."
    There will be a lot of people who will make snide comments about how "that person shouldn't even be here, they're not a real fan of [insert game/anime/comic/etc here]." It's a sad fact, and if you've been on any number of geek communities online, you know what I'm talking about. When you attend a convention, there are going to be people dressed up as characters you don't know or at least know very little about.

    When I attended Youmacon 2012, I didn't know anything about Assassin's Creed except from what my friend would tell me about it. When I saw Assassin's Creed cosplayers and the detail and work that went into every aspect of their robes and weapons, I became interested in checking out the game. Again, everybody starts from somewhere and a good way to be introduced to a series can be to really appreciate someone else's love and hard work they put into bringing a character to life. It's also a great place to get back in touch with some old favorites, especially if you run into cosplayers who decided to dress up anything from Disney Princesses and obscure Final Fantasy characters to Static Shock and Angemon. Nostalgia runs strong in this community!

    That being said, do not come to a convention or approach someone if you're just going to pick a fight. It's unnecessary and just rude and there's really no need for it at all. I personally don't feel the need to approach people in costume and ask them if they're actually a fan of the game or the character. I just take a picture, say a few nice things about their costume, then go someplace else. People cosplay for different reasons: if they don't know the character, maybe they're doing it because they feel comfortable portraying that character because that character actually looks like them. Maybe someone asked them to cosplay that character so they could follow a theme for a group. Or maybe they're expressing themselves as fans of the character by dressing up as them. Whatever the reason is, there's no reason to be rude about it.


6. Keep the drama away from the convention.
    As you keep attending conventions, you are going to see people you do not like. As a biracial feminist, I already know that by the end of the year, I'm going to unfriend at least half of the people I've met at conventions for posting racist and misogynistic things on Facebook. Some people have a higher tolerance for such things, but I'm not one of them. It's a sad fact that people who seem really awesome in person show how ugly they can be online and I tend to just cut those people off for my own benefit.

    That being said, conventions are generally huge. If you see someone you do not get along with, you can easily make it so you do not run into them. It's very easy to get lost in the crowd and you have several distractions at your disposal: a gaming room, panels, a dealer's room, or just running around taking pictures. There is no reason why your time here should be ruined because of personal grudges, and there's no reason why you should ruin someone's time at the convention because of personal grudges.


7. Remember that this is a vacation.
    Do not forget that you put in the time and money for this convention. You took time off from school or work, you invested money into a costume, a room, gas money or airline tickets (if you're coming from out of state) and a badge. You have every right in the world to be here and to enjoy yourself while you're here. The worst thing you could do at a convention is to attend one and have a bad time. I have heard many cosplayers lament about dressing up as certain characters because they felt obligated to take pictures and attend photoshoots with people they didn't like, and that is absolutely silly to me. Do not associate with people who are going to bring you down and make you feel bad about yourself. You deserve to enjoy your time off as much as the next person.
  

On a personal note, I've discovered that I usually have more fun at conventions when alcohol is not present. This is my own personal preference, because when I get to conventions I already feel relaxed, pumped up, and am so excited to have as much fun as possible that consuming alcohol just seems unnecessary for me. Obviously a few social drinks can be nice, but for me, it is not a necessity. But if you feel that a few drinks on your vacation might make things more fun, just be sure to do it responsibly!

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The final installment will be coming up in 2 weeks :)