Cosplay Boom is a video series that focuses on the fans who dress up like their favorite video game characters at conventions and events. They pose, they get their picture taken and they travel around to the shows to enjoy the sense of community and acceptance of their love for these characters, but it can be rare to hear them talk about the games, or why they care so deeply about particular characters.
The latest episode focuses on Dragon Age and Mass Effect, two game series that have proven wildly popular with cosplayers. But why have these games found such passionate fans in cosplay?
"What linked all the cosplayers I talked to was that sense that they had been included, some of them for the very first time in a video game, these games have unprecedented diversity," Todd Kenreck, the series' director, told Polygon. "That has an impact. BioWare reaches out to their cosplay community in some great ways as well with events and providing detailed renderings of characters to replicate. The community itself helps each other learn to build their own costumes. Everyone had a sense of belonging."
It can almost seem as if the series themselves are almost designed with cosplay in mind, in multiple ways.
"Dragon Age and Mass Effect are deeply personal. You are your own character if you want to be. Being able to make your own choices and alter the world with those decisions gives you a sense of ownership, even responsibility to these stories and characters," Kenreck said.
"When you identify with characters that much it becomes very alluring to bring them to life with the art of cosplay. It doesn't hurt that the art design of the characters of Mass Effect and Dragon Age is also stunning and diverse. There something for everyone there."