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2 minutes reading time
11-17 years
Photo by Peter Gonzalez on Unsplash

Fancy costumes, bright hair colors and an interest in Japanese comics, cartoons and video games are typical of the cosplay scene. More and more teenagers also find it great to dress up as a certain character and act it out. Among other things, cosplayers meet every year at the Gamescom game fair in Cologne.

What is Cosplay?

Cosplay is the abbreviation for “costume play” and describes what the followers of this scene love to do: Cosplayers dress up like their heroes from Japanese manga (comics), anime (animated films) or video games and imitate them. Outlandish costumes, absurd hair colors and larger-than-life toy weapons are part of the disguises of this youth scene. But dance and song interludes are also part of the performance. Cosplay is mainly done at big events and less often in everyday life or private settings.

Cosplayers like to take pictures of themselves as soon as they are out and about in their costumes and meet each other. Of course, these pictures end up on Instagram and Co. Cosplay became more and more popular due to the spread of social media. With time, the idea of competition also increased, so that more and more costume and imitation contests are held. Large parts of the community organize themselves with the help of social media.

What fascinates young people about it?

It is particularly exciting for young people to be able to slip into a completely different role that they cannot otherwise be in everyday life. They can try things or act out things that they would otherwise not dare to do. At the same time, cosplay is a creative and elaborate hobby that requires a lot of passion. Because the costumes are usually made by themselves. Within the scene, people compare notes and get admiration for a particularly successful costume. Many cosplayers describe the community as very open and find great cohesion here.

What should you look out for as a parent?

The passion and attention to detail many cosplayers put into creating their costumes, while admirable, can also be problematic. If your child has discovered this passion for himself, talk to him about his enthusiasm. Make sure your son or daughter doesn’t get completely lost in this world or he or she puts pressure on themselves to create the best costume. This can also get expensive as more details and accessories are added.

Some costumes are very keen on emphasizing female charms. Make sure your child doesn’t present themselves too revealingly – either online or at live events.

Also, point out to your child not to trust everyone in the scene without a second thought. Since cosplayers network through social media, you should be careful who you write with and what personal information you reveal about yourself.



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