Cosplay in the USA

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Flatt, Shelby
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Cosplay, short for “costume play,” is the art of making and wearing costumes based on fictional characters, especially those from comics, television shows, and video games. Believed to have its roots in the American science fiction conventions of the 1930s, cosplay has now become a worldwide phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to trace cosplay’s history from its beginning to where it might go in the future, and also to investigate the reasons why people engage in cosplay. The current study surveyed an anonymous group of participants and found that cosplay is performed for a number of reasons, both going with as well as against the current popular theories of layered personalities and escapism, as postulated by prior research. This study will help in the understanding of cosplay’s position in history and society and its path into the future.
cosplay, costuming, pop culture, escapism, history, convention