As long as video games exist so too will video game culture, but what is video game culture?
In modern times video game culture can range from a bunch of guys or gals who get together and play a bunch of games, in the same way some watch movies, to more closeted individuals who can’t wait to express who they really are in the form of costumes, fan art, and bizarre tributes. The latter individual can be summed up by the act of cosplay. Cosplay isn’t all bad and can be awesome, sexy, lame, or very disturbing. This article will explore the cosplay in a way which will dazzle, disturb, and remind you just how bad some cosplay can be. Expect nightmares!
Samus Aran – Metroid fusion
In November of 2002 Game Boy Advance owners got their hands on a brand new instalment of the Metroid series. 2002’s “Metroid Fusion” was a continuation of the 2D side scrolling game play of the three previous games and featured bounty hunter Samus Aran in a fresh new look. A new look which provides our first case of cosplay misadventures.
Before you go grabbing for your pitchforks you should first stop to respect what this individual is doing. This proud cosplayer cannot be accused of hating the Metroid series or Samus Aran, and is a proud example of exhibitionist game culture. That being said, perhaps this individual could have tried a little harder. Last time you were killing metroids in space do you remember wearing sneakers or having a cardboard arm cannon? Sure the games in the “Metroid” series are notorious for initial game play in which your protagonist devolves from a gadget clad god to an under armoured soldier with a peashooter, but if you had been stuck with cardboard ballistics that would have been too brutal. At least this person got the basic colour of the costume right.
The Legend of Zelda
Love it or hate it, if anyone over the age of twelve is going to call themselves a gamer than they have probably had some experience with Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda” series. It is nearly impossible to be a part of the video game community and not know about characters like Link and Zelda. Characters like Zelda and Link are huge icons in the game community and as a result you can be certain that cosplaying gamers everywhere have taken their fair shot at transforming into one of the two.
As you can see cosplay is something even the ladies can take a shot at. Finally, empirical evidence that attractive girls are interested in video games! Cosplaying isn’t all bad, and is just another way for players to become the character they love. Isn’t becoming a character and getting lost in a strange new world the reason why we play games in the first place? These lady Links are certainly attractive individuals, and have the right to dress up as their favourite Hyrulean hero. Like many things, cosplay is a world where some gems can be found amongst the garbage.
Here is a prime example of the cosplay we all know and love to hate! These cosplayers appear to succeed where Mr. cardboard arm cannon failed. This cosplaying duo of Zelda and Link actually manage to have authentic costumes with some impressive details, but maybe the costumes are too good. It would make sense if someone isn’t trying very hard that someone could try too hard. Something about these cosplayers just comes across as awkward. Perhaps the fact that our cosplay Link sports a bright shiny tunic while he appears to have the life force sucked out of him.
Siam – Silent hill 5
The Siam is one of the many new creatures featured in the sixth installment of the “Silent Hill” series. “Silent Hill” presents a world of crazy hellish creature which are sure to send chills down your spine, and the Siam is no exception to this formula. It is hard to describe every detail of this demented creature. One notices both female and male proportions, but neither are particularly human, and seem to awkwardly blend into one another. The Siam is certainly a creature with cosplay potential!
This is actually an amazing cosplay which exemplifies the level of detail which some cosplayers possess. This cosplay is equally as creepy as the original character and would certainly freak anyone out if they saw it in person. Why is Siam cosplay an example of cosplay that shouldn’t exist? This dude must be very proud of his cosplay, but how do you think the girl strapped to his back feels? I am sure the experience is very fun and makes for some interesting conversation, but would you want to be the girl strapped into that costume for the next two or three hours of the convention? The whole experience just seems to take the Siam’s creepiness to a whole new level.
Felicia – Dark stalkers
Felicia is one of two original female characters in Capcom’s “Darkstalkers” series. “Darkstalkers” is another one of Capcom’s many 2D fighting games. The character of Felicia is obviously an over sexed kitty with inhuman beauty standards which can lead to a few problems. Let’s just say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it isn’t always flattering.
It is never easy trying to live up to the virtual beauty of any video game femme, and when cat girls are involved things get a little awkward for everyone. The character model for Felicia always had tons of exposed skin and yet this cosplayer found a way to bump up the skin to fur ratio. The end result is quite frightening and would certainly count as indecent exposure in most of the global community. This outfit leaves nothing to the imagination, and that is a little creepy when young kids often frequent cosplay events.
Birdo -Super Mario Bros. II
Arguably, Birdo is probably the gaming community’s favorite transvestite. Is it a girl, is it a boy, why does it shoot eggs out of its mouth? Transvestites tend not to fly well in children’s video games, which is why Nintendo has tried to shy away from the issue through various reprints and re-releases of the “Super Mario Bros. II” instruction manual. Originally Birdo was a man, but Nintendo’s trickery seems to have convinced some people into thinking it is an issue worth debating. Birdo’s gender is an issue poked fun at in the 2008 Nintendo Wii game “Captain Rainbow”. The Japanese exclusive title has an entire section devoted to uncovering this bizarre case of gender mix-up.
This example of cosplay demonstrates Birdo’s gender confusion and is just plain confusing in general.
Male or female, Birdo never appeared as a latex French maid. Perhaps the female part is expectable given its recent transformation into Yoshi’s love interest, but Birdo has apparently gotten involved in some creepy fetishes. Can you even call this thing Birdo? This is definitely one of the weirder cosplay versions of a character out there, and one which will now be seared into your mind forever! Latex-French maid Birdo is all kinds of wrong and will understandably result in some people hating cosplay forever.
All tributes, game related or otherwise, can range from creepy to awesome and video game cosplay is no exception. Every day video game fans everywhere continue to outfit themselves with the garbs of their favourite heroes and heroines. Maybe you yourself are a gamer who loves cosplay? There is nothing wrong with dressing up as the person you just saved the day with. Hopefully this article makes you think before you go rushing into your next attempt at video game cosplay. For all you non-cosplayers though next time you go to a gaming convention don’t be surprised if you bump into a cosplayer or two, save that surprise for when you find that guy in the birdo suit up there.