Or, the next cosplayer who ticks me off will get a bat to the back of the knee.
Sure, cosplayers are one of the main draws at local cons — it’s easy to see: they’re visually stunning in person, they look great in photos, and they are the subject of conversations and blog posts for weeks to come.
Unfortunately, all this catering to local cosplayers’ whims has created an environment where they feel entitled to everything. Many of them have conveniently forgotten that cons welcome other people too — figure collectors, J-pop fans, manga enthusiasts — and the cosplayers simply run roughshod over them to get what they think they deserve.
Here are ten particularly annoying traits displayed by some local cosplayers, which are ten really good reasons to get all Paranoia Agent on their asses.
Not reading event announcements thoroughly.
Five seconds after an event organizer posts an announcement on local cosplay forums or on Facebook, and you will get at least one person asking about things already outlined in the main post. “Is admission free?”, “Will there be a cosplay contest?”, and “Will this celebrity cosplayer be there?” are classic examples.
Please read the announcement throughly. Read it twice if you think you need it. Taking your time absorbing all the information from an event post is infinitely preferable to annoying fellow attendees playing “Twenty Questions” with the event organizers.
Demanding free entrance passes and goodie bags from event organizers.
Many newer cosplayers — unfamiliar with the phrase “doing it for the love”, seem to view cosplay as a way to get fame, attention, monetary compensation, and perks. Thus, they think it is within their rights to demand free entrance passes, goodie bags – even meals!
Three words: no, no, and no. If you don’t like what the organizer has to offer for their cosplayers, feel free to give the event a skip. Even veteran cosplayers have no right to demand perks from organizers – and neither do you.
Whining that competition rules and event schedules are too strict.
Competition rules are designed to even out the playing field for all participants, while event schedules are there to make sure things go off without a hitch. Cosplayers have no right to ask for rules to be bent in their favor – it’s not fair to all the other competitors who have played by the rules, nor do they have the right to demand that the schedule be reshuffled to suit their needs.
If you can’t be bothered to show up in time for the contest registration cut-off, and then have the gall to demand that the marshalls let you compete anyway, you don’t need to be at a cosplay competition – you need to be at a psychiatric facility working on your attitude problems.
Not following instructions given out by event organizers and competition marshalls.
Many cosplayers suffer from “selective hearing disabillity”: they only hear what they like to hear. Unfortunately, instructions from marshalls do not seem to be part of that, leading to many instances of cosplayers disappearing from holding areas, showing up too late for their pre-judging slots, or missing their turns on onstage ramps.
I’ve judged far too many competitions where a registered contestant failed to show up for their turn at the catwalk — which led to a lot of confusion and reshuffling with the hosts and the judges. It is not fun. I look forward to the day that tardiness becomes a factor in automatic disqualification.
Sourgraping that they lost the competition because of “cheating”.
Do you know the number one reason many cosplayers lose a competition? It’s not because their costume was shoddy and fell apart halfway through the judging process, nor was it because their costume was made up of streets clothes half-heartedly assembled into a “costume”. It was not even because their onstage ramp was a total bore or a complete mess. It was because “they were cheated”.
To which I say, grow the eff up. If you’re a sore loser, then don’t compete. Cosplay for the love, not for the prizes. I promise you, you will end up winning more awards than you expect if you get your head out of the game.
Putting random items of clothing together and calling it “cosplay”.
Your old high school uniform, a pair of torn tights, and a “mini top hat” made out of thin cardboard and Elmer’s Glue-All does not equal Osaki Nana or Amane Misa. It would be an insult not just to the characters themselves, but also to the dozens of other cosplayers who poured their hearts and souls into putting together the perfect costume.
Cosplay is a portmanteau of two words: “costume” and “roleplay” — the least you could do is get the costume part right
Making messes in ladies rooms.
Okay — so not all cosplay conventions offer dressing rooms to cosplayers, I get that. However, getting ready to cosplay is not an excuse to make a complete mess out of the cubicles, the countertops, the floors — heck the entire place; imagine make-up smears all other the marble countertops, discarded tissues covered with hair gel all over the floor, and the suffocating, humid stench of too many people crammed into too small a space.
If you don’t want to commute from home in costume, instead of dressing up in a washroom stall consider doing what some cosplayers do when attending a con: rent a room at a nearby hotel for the night. If you and a bunch of friends chip in, not only will you have the convenience of having a nice place to dress up in close to the convention center, you can also relax and have fun together in your hotel room after the convention.
Gathering in large groups in entry, exit, and access points.
Trying to be visible so your friends can find you is one thing, but completely blocking access points, in, out, and around a convention center is just bad manners. If you must, try to find a spot that’s a bit out of the way — like an unoccupied corner of the convention center or a deserted hallway.
If you don’t make too much of a mess and aren’t rowdy, the event staff is likely to let you use that area for yourselves since it gets you out of their hair, leaving them free to attend to more important stuff — like making sure the convention center doesn’t implode with the number of people crammed inside.
Leaving bags, props, and litter lying around.
If you do find a good spot to hang around, make sure you keep the mess to a minimum. Nobody likes tripping over bags, oversized props, and potato chip bags at a convention. If you leave your bags in a pile, make sure that the pile doesn’t spread out too much.
Take extra care that none of your props are underfoot or in the way — that’s an argument, not to mention a lawsuit, waiting to happen. Don’t be a litterbug — you can’t find any garbage bins in the vicinity put all your trash in a plastic bag and dispose of it later.
Disregarding basic social graces and etiquette.
Many cosplayers seem to forget their Ps and Qs while in costume — they shove people out of the way when walking instead of saying “Excuse me.”, they forget to thank marshalls when they lend assistance, and they do not say please when asking questions from exhibitors and convention staff.
Just because the character you are playing is a rude and uncouth, it does not mean that you have to be rude and uncouth on the convention floor too. Save the “in character” BS for the catwalk; if you forget to be nice to people, people will forget to be nice to you too.