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I agree that the writer could have researched and asked the cosplayers intelligent, indepth questions. However, it is a reminder that this is how certain fandoms / geek interests look like to people who don't understand them; in other words, this it what it looks like from the outside. Definitely it is unprofessional, and the idea of communicating quotes out of context is reprehensible.

I did find the whole Nabokov exchange pretty telling. Educated Americans would naturally assume that Lolita refers to Nabokov's Lolita, and it wouldn't have taken much to have an exchange on how the character has led to usage of the name as a noun or an adjective ... or any exchange of ideas at all to inquire or explain either sides' confusion or understanding.

I feel that this article didn't explain anything, that readers who were previously confused by cosplayers will be even more confused by the end. We have to ask ourselves, what was the point of writing the article to begin with? Compare it to this Reader article about adult fans of anime, in which only the last half page concerns sitting in with anime fans, and the rest is background and research. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Jan. 14, 2013

My daughter recently showed me this very poorly done article on cosplayers. While I have no doubt that the author was correct about her experience, she did not portray these kids in a positive light. She started from a negative slant and stayed there. She didn't do her homework as a journalist should. I actually find it humorous that she was snubbed by teens. So here is my list of why I am a proud parent of a cosplayer:

  • Cosplay encourages teamwork and socialization.
  • It encourages acceptance.
  • It keeps her focused on her hobby and not on sex, drugs or alcohol.
  • Cosplay encourages creative thinking that most innovators in our society say is necessary for professional achievement.
  • Cosplaying teaches the value of money and planning.
  • Through Cosplay, my daughter is learning a valuable trade. She is learning how to sew her own costumes. Once she becomes proficient, she can actually make a living as a seamstress while going to school.
  • Cosplay encourages good grades. In order to work on her hobby, her grades must be good.
  • Most of her friends are artists in one form or another. They are using a combination of hand drawn and computer made graphics to write their own anime, or post their work on fan sites. She has become proficient with the internet, and graphic design programs at twelve.
  • Anime, computer gaming, and cosplay has helped my daughter look forward to what she wants to do as a career, combining her artistic skills and computer skills. She already has colleges picked out.
  • Cosplay and role playing in general encourages kids to have confidence.

The bottom line is, these are good kids. But they are that, kids. Even though the age range is from 10-22. The reporter would have been better off showing up in jeans and a t-shirt and being herself, asking questions then trying to immerse herself in a culture she didn't understand. Kids can spot a poser right away. Because they are in groups and tend to protect each other, you will be snubbed if you lie about who you are or try to manipulate them. They will accept you for who you are, if you act as who you are. They will love it if you act as your favorite character. It is like going to another country without understanding anything about the culture. If you are rude, they will be rude. If you truly try to speak the language, or appreciate their ways, they will help you. Cosplayers tend to be very helpful. It is after all about fitting in, being your self, letting go of societal rules and basically embracing life and yourself through FUN! It is an act of letting go.

I am so proud of being a MoCK that other parents and I have just started MOCKblog.net so other parents can understand more about what our kids are doing and have resources to help them.

Jan. 15, 2013

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