A lot of the comments here represent the viewpoints of people who feel personally attacked by your reporting style. But like Jay Allen Sanford has expressed, based on your history with this site I can hazard a guess that you're not out to post extensively researched features on subcultures. This article has done its job of piquing many an interest and encouraging San Diego Reader account creation. And from a career perspective, I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that.
But as a framing device, the 'stranger in my own city' approach only serves to make the subjects being observed feel cheapened if you deliberately choose to pepper your recount with more throw-aways than substance. While I take no issue with the conversational nature of this article, most of these exchanges feel like no conversation I would have with someone if I were genuinely interested in their hobby. They stop after the first point of confusion rather than attempt to dig any deeper. It's almost as though the youtube video was included to make up for the article rather than enhance what's actually written.
Next, I have concerns about the ethical ramifications of "on-the-street" style reporting like this. I wasn't aware that it was okay to use the full names of underaged sources, but I am admittedly only familiar with the ethics and codes of anthropology and I know they differ from those of journalism. I am genuinely curious about what is and what is not acceptable as far as publishing personal details goes.
Lastly, I came to this article via a link from another cosplayer. While anecdotes about how oh-so-awkward it is when things are lost in translation are hardly fresh or insightful, yours have served as a starting point for lively discussion, and I imagine that's a pretty satisfying result for a reporter to achieve.
Dorian Hargrove 5:30 p.m., March 26
Brandon Hernández 5 p.m., March 26
Liz Swain 4:30 p.m., March 26
Ken Harrison 3:30 p.m., March 26
Walter Mencken 2:09 p.m., March 26
Dorian Hargrove 12:30 p.m., March 26
Ian Anderson noon, March 26
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