Week 9: Cosplay, by Rachel Banks

Q2. In what ways can cosphotography be understood as a form of “fan capital”?

 “‘Cosphotography and Fan Capital’ investigates photographic practices at cosplaying sites….For cosers, photographs and video can serve as tokens of exchange within an economy of desire that values subcultural capital or hipness rather than raw dollar value.” Mountfort et al. (2018)

The art of creating a costume, hair makeup and putting it all together to become a cosplay character can become a very dedicated and time consuming hobby. Therefore some Cosplayers want to retain the rights of any photographs of their image and creative outlet.  Within convention spaces there are props and interesting image backgrounds in which cos players can take photographs of them and their friends. However, there is also the monetization of cosphotography where by people will pay a fee to have a selfie with a delegate/actor who is onsite representing their Franchise. There are also fashion shows for cosplayers to show their costumes to each other. Often there are prizes attached. People within the cosplay community may use their cosphotography as a way to contribute, participate in and show off their talents to the community. In this way cosphotography can be more valuable to dedicated players than the monetary value spent on the creation of their costumes. Some cosplayers will give permission to be photographed by other attendees at a cosplay event.

“The resulting images may go nowhere, but equally they offer potential exposure to a global audience of millions, within and beyond the cosphere.”
Mountfort et al.(2018)


Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2018). Planet Cosplay. Intellect Books. Intro and Chapter 1

Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2018). Planet Cosplay. Intellect Books. Intro and Chapter 2

Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2019), Cosplay at Armageddon Expo*, Journal of Geek Studies Cosplay at Armageddon Expo* | Journal of Geek Studies. Retrieved November 20, 2020, from https://jgeekstudies.org/2019/08/11/cosplay-at-armageddon-expo/

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