Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cosplay and the Generation Strife

This blog is about the Philippine cosplay community. Those outside the community are free to read and comment about the topic. The usual rules about flaming and trolling applies.

2009 may be called the year where cosplay generations have laid down the line and started expanding the gap between themselves with constant bickering and labeling. Its amusing how these things happen through the years as I sit back and read/hear people generalize each other as "old farts" and "noobs" in cosplay. Hell, we even have that Cosplay Mafia thing going on, giving a humorous illusion that a bunch of Illuminati-like cosplay-in-black vets are moving in the shadows and taking over the cosplay world as we know it.

There has always been strife between cosplay "veterans" and "newbies" since the start of cosplay's popularity in our community back in 2000. Both parties though aren't free of any guilt, so any whitewashing between the two parties only leads to hypocrisy. Its just funny how these things, through the years, turn out like automated laundry: "Rinse and Repeat."

Why rinse and repeat? The newbies of the today become the vets of tomorrow which will clash with newbies of that tomorrow, in which history shall repeat itself.

Why the never-ending cycle? Easy. Pride, Ego and Insecurity.

Just to make things clear, not all vets or newbies suffer the above mentioned elements that contribute to the continued strife between the old and the new. It takes just an awful few to bring the whole house down. Throw in Internet Access and a whole lot of angry generalization and we have the next cosplay cold war in our hands.

I've been labeled as a veteran cosplayer for obvious reasons. Its not something i like to wear around like a large ID in a convention, frankly i'd leave the young ones to their own devices unless they start asking me for help or advice. I've got my own world view, and i share it with like-minded cosplayers who happen to be within my cosplay generation (and surprisingly, crossing over by years to the other generations, which is a good thing). I've been in Generation scuffles back then, and i give a knowing smirk whenever i find out that some former newbies who saw themselves as young cosplay rebels back in the day, end up being the very veterans sparring words with the newer generation. And some even embrace the veteran label like a badge to shine in front of the present range of cosplayers today. Yes, being in the community for so long deserves a little recognition for your part, but try not to use it they way politicians do when they want to intimidate people or get their own way- especially if you are not in your home turf.

But newbies too dish out their own plate of misery. Being new meant there are chances of immaturity, as the hobby continue to embrace very young people (think 6 year old children). Excited, ready to jump into things without looking, and very ready to get their defensive shields up whenever they encounter a mishap of their own doing, these newbies spread havoc on their older generation's orderly world. And if the cranky old geezers start yapping, the young ones start yelling. That is where i start to sit back and enjoy my popcorn.

In the end, if both parties do not find a certain tolerance level with one another, or some form of mutual understanding in the hobby, then the "Rinse and Repeat" scenario will most likely succeed in the coming years of cosplaying.

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