The Secret History of Cosplay Explored in Fantastic Video Presentation
Did you know cosplaying did not start off in Japan? Well, I didn’t. The word "cosplay" was invented by a Japanese reporter sent to the '84 WorldCon held in Los Angeles. He made the word cosplay to describe what he saw at the Con, people dressing up in costumes taking the words costume and play. Mashing them together he made the word ‘cosplay.’
The very first cosplays were actually sci-fi related, and the very first documented cosplayer was actually Forry Ackerman in 1939 at WorldCon (Science Fiction Convention) held in New York City. His sci-fi costume was a sensation at the con.
When Ackerman returned to the con 17 years later, everybody was dressed up like he was 17 years ago. Cosplaying went from sci-fi to comic books in the 1970s. Then cosplaying went global with the rise of anime and video games in the 1980s. Japan then became the center of the cosplaying universe, making cosplay today a multibillion dollar industry.
Sure, not everyone is a fan of it, though. Columnist James Pethokoukis thinks cosplay is bad for the US economy because it encourages young people to escape from reality instead of finding work (Even though there are actually cosplayers making money from it).
“When you’re disillusioned with the reality of your early adult life, dressing up like Doctor Who starts looking better and better.” ~ James Pethokoukis.
There are a lot of reasons people cosplay, though. It helps boost self confidence, many find it a form of art, others do it to pay bills, but for many, it’s the community that comes with cosplay and it does help people escape from the real world. But I mean, is that really a bad thing?