Cosplay Gaming Conventions – Top Events on the Globe

The cosplay gaming conventions attract every year a whole crowd of devoted fans going to meetings organized in major towns’ centers all over the globe. The passerby can find this little uncommon – seeing persons with red hair or carrying large froth items. That is until they see grown men playing soccer and wearing full-fledged creature suits (like mascots). So, the questions in everyone’s mind is “what is cosplay?”

Let us take a take some steps back and analyze the term “cosplay”. Cosplay is a mix created by the Japanese that is composed of the words “costume” and “play”. The lifestyle behind cosplay includes people putting on often self-made outfits from various parts to show off to a small group of fans who are also enthusiastic about being a cosplay character – or viewing others do it. These models can go from simple suits, including foam and a variety textures, to intricate works of art. Some participants at cosplay conventions “act the part” being dressed that way – making sure not to be out of their character. In bigger locations, there will be a meeting during the “con” (convention) during which members will be assessed on their outfits – the best one getting an award.

A common false impression is that individuals who cosplay are playing only modern characters from games or popular media. Many cosplayers take their models from a wide range of sources: films, art, traditional culture, popular online media and events from around the world – not just modern trendy characters. Eventually, cosplaying conventions are beginning to seem more and more like a Halloween party than anything else does – displaying original and imaginative costumes that gather the attention of the others.

Here are 5 of the best cosplay conventions held all over the world, with different types of crowds and atmosphere around it. Maybe next time you will participate to one of them to find people open-minded as yourself and ready to have fun. Remember to bring your most creative outfit to make an impression!

5. MineCon

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MineCon is a gaming conference for the series of Minecraft, organized by Mojang. The initial gathering was called MinecraftCon. MineCon 2011 meeting was hosted in Las Vegas and marked the global release of Minecraft, with related conversation sections and game playing areas. Over 5,000 game aficionados joined the 2012 conference at the DisneyLand Park in Paris and over 10,000 at the 2013 convention in Florida, USA.

On 2 Feb 2015, the company declared that its 2015 MineCon meeting would take place London, at ExCeL London Exhibition on 4 and 5 July. The statement was made over the social media website Twitter, when the games’ director, Markus Persson, released a short movie trailer exposing the new conference place.

The clip shows Mojang associates dressed in Disney outfits, while Persson said to lead designer Jens Bergensten, “They are trying to tell us something”. JC Fletcher from Joystiq’s declared that the location was a “step up” from its first MineCon’s place in Las Vegas, USA.

The second yearly convention was the initial one organized outside of US, making them available to Western game lovers who may not have been capable to be there at first. It was hosted at the beginning of Minecraft’s increasing popularity as Xbox 360 edition of the games was sold in more than 3 million copies.

4. Eurogamer

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Eurogamer is a convention targeted on video gaming news, opinions and other features. It is managed by Gamer Network Ltd. with its head office in Brighton, England, which was established in 1999 by Rupert and Nicholas Loman. The Gamer Network states that their website has the biggest audience of any separate video games web site in Western countries (over 5.5 million unique visitors in Nov 2011) and it was the first specialized website to let its traffic to be confirmed by the ABC Electronic analyzing program.

Most of the opinions (which until Feb 2015 were ranked on a 10-point system) are of European and PAL version of the games, but due to the time difference between Japanese and Northern American/NTSC products, some reviewing is done using the second. In Feb 2006, the company released its online channel, Eurogamer TV, even if it was eventually mixed into the main web site. In Feb 2015, the owners eliminated their 10-point scale system ratings in favor of new suggestions system.

3. Arcanacon

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It is a role-playing meeting organized in Melbourne, Australia yearly. It is one of the few Role-playing conventions in Victoria which run through the season. Arcanacon is one of the longest role-playing conferences still running in Australia.

In 1983, the meeting was hosted at Melbourne University. Like the Dungeons and Dragons event, it also involved the second ever-freeform running there, but also DragonQuest, Traveler, RuneQuest or Call of Cthulhu competitions.

1984 brought the conference at University High School and the surprise appearance of Syd the Arcanasaur, main convention’s mascot. Then, the event moved to the College of Advanced Education, in 1990 Education Centre and it remained there until 2013. But, in 2014 it moved again to Melbourne High School, becoming a member of Conquest and Unicon at that location.

Initially, the conference was hosted in September, but it then shifted to Aug and then to July, when it was held during the Victorian School vacation interval. In 2001, the conference took place on Australia Day Weekend (the weekend nearest to 26 January). The shift was due to a recognized modification in the public concentration at CanCon (an event organized in Canberra in the same period) from combined role-playing and war gaming to just war gaming.

2. BlizzCon

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This is a semi-annual video gaming convention organized by Blizzard Entertainment to advertise their significant businesses. The first BlizzCon took place in Oct 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center in USA, this being its main location since then. The conference has game-related reports, previews of future Blizzard Entertainment activities and material, Q&A classes and sections and usable editions of various Blizzard programs. The ending evening has main events with concerts performed by Foo Fighters, Offspring, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne or Blink-182.

Attendees are greeted with a “swag bag”, having several Blizzard-related products, such as redeemable numbers for in-game material and vintage figures. For example, at 2005 BlizzCon, it was a rule that could be interchanged for the in-game pets in World of Warcarft, a baby Murloc known as ‘Murky’. Also, there have been ways to get into a closed beta testing of future Blizzard games: World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade in 2005, Wrath of the Lion King in 2007, StarCraft II in 2008 or Diablo III in 2010.

An identical occasion is the Blizzard Globally Invitational, that has been organized in various nations, other than the USA. However, they have not held a such a convention since 2008.

1. Comicon

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Comicon is the multigenre entertainments/comics convention organized every year in Phoenix, USA. It was initially named the Phoenix Cactus Comicon in June 2002, and at first, it contained a one-day several hours meeting hosted in Ahwatukee, Phoenix. Comicon performs hosting services to comic panels, program developing events, art competitions and autograph signings for any age. It is a four-day occasion (from Thursday to Sunday) taking place during summer time at the Phoenix Convention Center located in the center of Phoenix. On the evening of the first day, prior to the formal opening of the convention, there is an event for professionals, participants and selected attendees pre-registered for all days.

Initially presenting comics, science fiction/fantasy or film/television segments and relevant popular art, the meeting has extended over the years to host a wider range of mainstream cultural elements, like horror, cartoons, manga, toys, vintage cards, gaming activities, webcomics and fantasy books. In 2014, the conference set a presence record of 78,000 and allegedly produces approximately $5 million in sales for Phoenix. Comicon has begun to flourish its programming development into the surrounding resorts, in Marriott, Hyatt Regency and Sheraton Downtown Hotels.

The event has also extended to hosting a meeting during winter, named Phoenix Comicon Festival, the first of which was organized at the University of Phoenix in Glendale, AZ.

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