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Cosplay Glossary

Anime: the medium of animated Japanese TV and movies. Many animes are based on Manga (see Manga).

Clone Club(ber): fans of the TV program Orphan Black.

Con: abbreviation of “convention;” a gathering of people to celebrate all things Genre (see Genre). Cons often include celebrity Q&A’s, Masquerades, gaming expos, vendor sections, workshops and other panels. Some cons are specific to one sub-genre (e.g. only science fiction) or specific for only one program (e.g. a Star Trek con). Other cons are inclusive of all forms of Genre.

Contouring: a make-up technique that uses eye shadow or cream colour underneath one’s make-up to provide more definition to one’s face.

Cosplay: abbreviation of “costume play;” the act of wearing a costume and taking on the role of a character from genre. Many cosplayers make part or all of their own costumes. Some compete in Masquerades (see Masquerade), others enjoy taking pictures in the Hall (see The Hall).

Cosplayer: one who engages in cosplay.

Crossplay: dressing as a male character when one is female, or a female character when one is male

Genderbend Cosplay: dressing as the opposite sex version of a character (e.g. dressing as female Iron Man, or male BLack Widow)

Genre: broadly refers to all things nerdy; sub-genres include science fiction (sci fi), fantasy, horror, gaming, comic books and anime.

The Hall: all of the hallways at a con; a good place for photo ops for cosplayers.

Hall Cosplay: a cosplay meant to be worn in the Hall, often for long periods of time. Accordingly, Hall Cosplayers often aim to wear more durable and long lasting costumes and make-up.

Highlighting: the application of a light coloured cream or powder applied to the “high” areas of the face like cheakbones, nose, forehead, etc. to add definition. Frequently used with contouring.

LARP: acronym of “Live Action Role Play;” the act of wearing a costume, taking on the role of a character and acting as that character in a simulation of the characters’ medium. Some LARPs pertain to only one medium, for example, a Star Wars LARP in which each LARPer takes on the role of a character from the Star Wars franchise. Other LARPs are open to characters from any show, movie, game or book e.g. a LARP Melee. Most LARPs are governed by a set of rules that regulate characters behaviours.

LARPer: one who engages in LARPing.

Manga: the medium of Japanese comic books. Many are developed into animated TV programs and movies (see Anime).

Masquerade: a cosplay tournament or competition. There are various levels in a Masquerade such as Amateur, Artisan, Journeyman and Master. One competes at a certain level based on how much of their cosplay they have made themselves and their previous competition history. Many Masquerade cosplays are elaborate and detailed recreations of characters and are designed to be worn only at a Masquerade (cf. Hall Cosplay).

Masquerade Cosplay: a cosplay meant to be worn to compete in a Masquerade. These tend to be elaborate and detailed and thus many are worn only at Masquerades and not in the Hall.

Master Cosplayer: a cosplayer who has competed in and won at least one international Masquerade.

Melee: a form of LARP (see LARP) in which LARPers from any type of genre may take part; often a “free-for-all.”

Minion: a person who is assisting a cosplayer. Not considered to be a derogatory term; minions are valued members of a cosplayer’s team. Minions will often help by carrying bags, assist with donning and removing a cosplay or taking pictures.

Swag: free merchandise given out at cons.

Tight-lining: a make-up technique which involves putting eye-liner between the base of one’s lashes to provide a subtle illusion of thicker lashes without appearing to be wearing eye-liner.

Trekker/Trekkie: a fan of Star Trek

Warsie: a fan of Star Wars

Whovian: a fan of Dr. Who

Any other terms you can think of that we missed?

We’d love to hear your definitions!

It Takes A Village To Cosplay

Literature Soong & Earla Alara

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