Tis the season when Armageddon is upon us, no I’m not talking about the end of the world but New Zealand’s largest (so far) convention. People flock from far and wide to ASB show grounds for the 4 day event held over labour weekend. Among the throng of people are a very dedicated group of people known as cosplayers.
If you have ever been to an event like this you will have seen these people floating around, dressed up in their favourite characters. What you might not know is that cosplay is short for costume play and was originated in Japan. Japanese young and old began dressing up as their favourite characters from various anime. When the rest of the world caught onto this, the spectrum varied and there was soon people from all walks of life dressing up as their favourite comic book, video game, movie, anime and even original characters.
Cosplaying has grown as an art the past few years and even more recently with TV shows such as Syfy’s “Heroes of Cosplay” figureheads such as Yaya Han and Kamui Cosplay, have really brought it into the modern society.
Many cosplayers are also families and are busily preparing their costumes for them and their kids for this year’s Armageddon.
One cosplayer who is no different to this is Joel, known colloquially as Sin Cosplay, Joel has been cosplaying and making costumes since 2013 with one of his most known, Dead Space cosplay, gathering a lot of attention at last year’s Armageddon. This year will be Joel’s son, Tyler’s first cosplay, I asked Joel a couple of questions about his hobby and his sons involvement.
Even though Joel has never cosplayed with his son before his family are right into it, Joel’s hobby has brought them into the cosplay world and they love costumes and his son particularly loves games.
Tyler absolutely adores games such as Portal, Half-Life and Minecraft. And at 4 years of age Tyler has been making props as long as his dad has, starting off with toilet paper gauntlets. When Joel suggested Tyler dress up as a Portal turret, Tyler agreed and thus Joel began production on his cosplay.
Unlike myself when I was little, Tyler is always patient when being measured and also unlike me stays around and helps out where he can, even going as far as to make little customised bits himself, gluing them together, creativity definitely runs in the family. Joel is unsure whether Tyler will last the whole day in the costume but I personally can’t wait to see little Tyler in it.
If you are interested in making a costume for your son or daughter go ahead, be inspired, be creative and go crazy. Costumes don’t have to be elaborate or be a lot of work.
If you need more inspiration there is a lot of images of kids cosplaying all over the web as us cosplayers love our art being passed onto the younger generations.
If you’re not keen to dress up but still want to get along to Armageddon I highly recommend it. If you haven’t been before it definitely is worth it and very kid friendly.
On the other hand, if your kid/ tween is already interested in cosplay and conventions without you here’s some things you should know.
Cosplay doesn’t represent something dangerous, cultish or strange like some critics would lead you to believe, it’s fun, imaginative and a huge outlet for creativity, kid makes friends that can last for life as I have done and the cosplay community is always friendly and accommodating.
Cosplay costumes are not always done in a “sexy” light, featuring corsets, cleavage and short shorts, a lot of cosplayers stay true to character if that calls for it however most focus on accuracy, craftsmanship and imagination rather than sex appeal.
Back when I was at school, I had never heard of cosplay and my nerdy side was practically kept a secret from some friends for fear of being an outcast or being bullied but I can safely say it is now ‘cool’ to be a nerd, videogames are now being known as eports and hugely popular. So pull out that old Star Trek Tee you haven’t worn since high school and wear your nerdiness proud, it’s cool now.
And good news, NZDad’s has 2 double passes to Armageddon to be won, check that out here