Gamers, geeks, and families invaded the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Hall this past weekend for the annual LVL UP Expo. The expo is a convention celebrating gaming, anime, and other fandoms. Associated with all of that is cosplay, which is more-or-less playing dress up. Except that it's not.
So, what is cosplay?
"Cosplay is all about becoming a character or a person who normally every day you wouldn't become," explains Susie Knudsen, owner/designer of SiQ Clothing. "Cosplay just kind of brings your inner child out. It brings groups together.
SiQ Clothing and makes cosplay costumes and props. One of her clients, a cosplayer who goes by the name DC Doll, attended LVL UP Expo dressed up as Maya from the video game "Borderlands." She says cosplaying helps her get out of her comfort zone and finds she's much less timid around others when in costume.
"Outside of cosplay I'm a very quiet and shy person," says DC Doll. "But when I put on a costume and take on a different persona, I'm able to find and meet new friends and be more open to others who are passionate about the same things as me."
Cosplaying is an activity that can be as expensive or inexpensive as one would like. Some folks choose to purchase their costumes -- some of which can cost $1,000 or more -- while others find enjoyment in making their own based upon their favorite characters both fictional and real.
How do you know if cosplay is for you? DC Doll has a simple answer.