Gaming culture is a serious business. This worldwide phenomenon brings gamers of all backgrounds and ages together in their shared love for playing computer and board games. The gamer label can mean anything from someone who simply enjoys playing to people who are deeply immersed in a lifestyle focused on games.
Live-action role-playing, or LARP, is a popular activity in the community and involves wearing costumes while playing. Whether participating in LARP or cosplaying, wearing a costume based on a favorite character takes your hobby to a new level.
If you’re ready to level up into the next stage, here are some tips on how you can transform into your favorite game character:
Research the Character
Many board games and video games feature complex worlds and richly drawn characters. These characters usually have detailed origin stories that are worth reading, especially if you plan to emulate them. Thus, learning about the character’s history and personality is essential to transform into or role-play them.
There are plenty of fantasy-themed outfits out there, and things could get confusing if you do not know the character well enough. Knowing your favorite character’s back story, traits, and quirks will help narrow down your options and help you better imagine what they might wear.
To learn more about a character, do the following:
- Replay the game where they are featured
- Watch game replays online
- Take time to read the game manual
- Read other books and media adaptations that feature the character
- Check blogs and fan websites that feature the character
- Join online forums that have active discussions about the game and character
Once a clear picture of the character is in mind, it’s time to find sources of inspiration for their outfit. Cosplay blogs and videos can give amazing ideas on how fans have previously recreated the character at cosplay conventions, LARPs, and costume parties.
Find and use the inspiration to brainstorm ways on how you, too, can recreate the character with your personal touches. To get started, here is a video of 256 video game–costume ideas that push cosplay to a whole new level:
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Conceptualize the Outfit
Once research on the character has been done, you will have a pretty good visualization of what they usually wear. Make their costume more specific and achievable by breaking it down into specific clothes, shoes, and accessories. This list will save you time, effort, and money when it’s time to start shopping for pieces to wear.
Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to copy the exact outfit that your favorite character is wearing. Game characters live in a fantasy world where it’s not impossible to walk, run, and fight while wearing uncomfortable clothes like corsets or six-inch heels. Make necessary adjustments to your costume so you’ll be comfortable and confident to wear it in the real world.
Here are some questions to consider when conceptualizing your character’s outfit:
- Will I be confident wearing the character’s clothes and shoes for a couple of hours in public?
- Can I move freely while wearing the character’s clothes and shoes?
- Is the character’s outfit appropriate for the type of event and venue that I am going to?
- Will I need assistance or special transportation services for my costume?
- Which aspects of the character’s costume do I need to modify to improve the fit, mobility, and comfort?
Know Where to Shop
Gaming culture is thriving worldwide, so it will be easy for you to shop for costumes and accessories. Refer to your list to keep yourself from going over the budget or from buying things unnecessary for the outfit. Whether you want to buy medieval armor or cyberpunk accessories, there are plenty of brick-and-mortar stores and online shops that sell these items.
When shopping online, make sure to read the product information carefully so you know what you’re getting. Refer to the size chart so you can be sure that the clothes and shoes fit well. Here is a useful video on how to choose the right size of clothes when shopping on the internet:
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Thrift stores and bargain shops are an alternative and cheaper place to go shopping. Not knowing what you’ll discover in the racks and boxes of clothes and shoes is all part of the fun of thrift-shopping. The excursion will feel a lot like treasure hunting, but it can also be exhausting, especially if you don’t have the patience or time.
At the end of the day, emulating a favorite game character should be fun and inspiring for you. Use this project to exercise your creativity and connect with people who share your love for games.