Cosplay, for those who don’t know, is when a person dresses up and pretends to be a fictional character usually from an anime or a sci-fi T.V. show. This might be the standard definition, but cosplay is much more than dressing up.

Many people think cosplay is “weird” and don’t understand the premise behind it. As many cosplayers point out, sports fanatics who dress up for games are the same as cosplayers. The difference between the two is that one is for “nerds.”

“For me, cosplay is an extremely fun and creative way to be social,” Meaghan Mark, college student, said. “I remember dressing as Flame Princess from Cartoon Network’s hit Adventure Time during a comic convention in New York City last year and being flocked with kids wanting to talk to me everywhere I turned! To feel as though I’ve paid proper respect to a character I love while also brightening someone else’s day is something that has really touched me about making and wearing costumes.”

Actually, some people make a job out of cosplaying. Anna “Ormeli” Moleva cosplayed a very early version of Elizabeth, from Bioshock Infinite, that was in promotions for the game. The studio who made the game, Irrational Games, saw her cosplay and paid her to be the face of Elizabeth. Her face was used in the final version of the game as well as television ads.

Jessica Nigri was used for Suda51’s Lollipop Chainsaw as the protagonist Julia Sterling. After that she has been hired by well-known video game companies, including Ubisoft, to portray main characters of the game and promote the game itself

People have mixed messages about what Nigri is doing, saying that she isn’t a true cosplayer since she gets paid to do it and sometimes the company makes her costumes.

Mark disagrees, “She seems excited about what she does and works hard even if that time isn’t spent making the costumes she wears.I admire that aspect of her and other ‘cosplay professionals’ like her.”

“If you’re having a good time wearing a costume, you’re definitely a cosplayer. That’s the bottom line of it all; at the end of the day we’re all just silly people pretending to be fictional characters.”