Cosplay, which originated in Japan, is simply a combination of the words costume and play. People who are taking part in cosplay often dress up as their favourite characters from all manners of media such as comic books, films, TV shows, anime and games. It’s the latter in the list that we’re focusing on, because cosplay is having more of an effect on the gaming industry as a whole right now; and you could say that it is becoming important to its success too.
Video games are one of the most popular form of entertainment on the planet right now and they’re played across a variety of different platforms too. Things have evolved in the industry and now the characters who appear in games are a lot more engaging, with a deeper process going into developing them. As a result, players want to find out more about them, and yes, they want to dress up as them too.
Cosplay events have been around for a long time but it’s a great way for a gaming company to really make people aware of their games and the characters within them. If they put the effort into developing a character, making it one that players will instantly love for whatever reason, audiences are most likely to stand up and take notice. With the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram reigning supreme when it comes to pictures and video clips, you could say it’s also a great way to advertise for free too.
What gaming does better than any other form of entertainment is that it allows the player to actually enjoy a really authentic experience, getting as close to the character as possible. Players want to know what it would be like to be someone like Spider-Man and one of the best ways of doing this is through gaming. It’s a way for the fan to become the superhero or character in a sense, and cosplay is one step up from that; a sort of natural progression.
Cosplay has also managed to create a great community too, but in the gaming world this has stemmed from the actual players themselves, who have then gone on to cosplay with others. In a way you could say that this helps to keep the game and its characters alive, especially if there is set to be another release further down the line.
Furthermore, streaming has become huge too on platforms such as Twitch. If players aren’t playing games, they’re often watching somebody else broadcast themselves playing live on the internet. The streaming world is also fast becoming a place for cosplay too, with many broadcasters playing a game and then dressing up in the costume of one of the characters.
An increasing amount of cosplay attire is becoming readily available for fans to buy online and this will only help to generate further income for the games companies who originally developed the characters. While cosplay maybe was a bit niche a few years ago, it’s now becoming extremely popular in the mainstream and it’s going to be important for the gaming industry going forward. In fact, the growing popularity of cosplay can even be seen in games offered by the increasing number of online casino brands, an example being Unibet, as more and more companies see how it adds an extra dimension to the entire gaming experience.
Get cosplay tips and more from our very own Cosplay Hero Kit “Puddygeek” Horsley on our YouTube channel.