I confess, much like the author of this article, I don’t understand the cosplay thing.
Perhaps it’s a sign of the geek ascendancy in our culture that people with such…predilections can prance freely about in their outlandish costumes without fear of social ostracization or physical retribution. Though, I’m pretty sure everyone still hates LARPers.
My old roommate, a medieval studies PhD, was getting increasingly frustrated by the people showing up in Lord of the Rings costumes at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He felt it cheapened his chosen area of study, and I’m not sure that I disagree with him. He also hated the Society for Creative Anachronism. He once openly mused about applying for a SSHRC grant to hunt them.
Even in the five years I’ve been attending the Ad Astra con here in Toronto, the number of people in costume (particularly scantily clad 15 year old girls tarted up as this or that anime steampunk girl–ah, where were they when I was a 15-year-old nerd?) has grown by leaps and bounds.
The 501st Legion (Vader’s Fist) costuming guild–people whose primary hobby is to make and dress up in their own STAR WARS armor/costumes, usually of the villains–is a regular attendee, and there is now even a whole programming track for costumers/cosplayer.
Where it used to be the SF literature that drew people to the field and to the cons, its more and more about the media side, and for a great many young people it seems to be about the cosplay. I wonder what this means for the genre as a whole.
Just old I guess.