Thursday, August 13, 2015

Friendship is video games and cosplay

In 2010 I did something I had never done before: I went to a convention all by myself.

An acquintance of mine was going to the con but managed to break her leg before the event. She had a spare ticket she offered for me to have. After a moment of hesitation I decided to break away from my social anxieties and just ignore the fact that I hate the masses for a while. It was a rough spot in life and I was in desperate need of new pace. So I put up a pink dress, bought a red bolero and a basket of flowers and headed up north to the con-land!

There I met Zack and Cloud, two cosplayers by nature and sworn gamers by heart. Cloud immediately took me under her wing after hearing that I still didn't have a place to stay at for the duration of the con, and the three of us went to swimming and watched Treasure Planet at her place. They were the kind of people who felt at ease with each other and who make others feel at ease around them.

From there things escalated at a moderate pace. I participated to a cosplay skit performance with Cloud and both of us ended up catching a horrible flu, drinking enormous amounts of alcohol to offset the bacteria, and snuggling next to each other. I would compare game experiences with Zack and stay at his place when I had my first ever job interview at his home town.

Fast forward five years, to the date of 8.8.2015, and I had the honor of watching these two exchange rings and marriage vows.

It's been a wacky bumpy five years. I never thought I would end up finding two such great friends at a convention I went to on a moment's whim, but there we were, sitting at her kitchen table and drinking tea - Earl Grey with two cubes of sugar and a tint of creamy milk, her favorite. It had been years since I last felt that much at home anywhere.

That feeling of belonging has been a defining factor of why I consider these two to be so important to me. Life had brought us close to each other and as the years rolled by, we were no longer just acquintances - we had become friends.

Ultimately, we started to play League of Legends together. It was that game which ended up forming our core group: me, Marquise, Cloud, Zack and Sinister, Zack's friend who is a kickass gamer and taught us all there is to know about the League.

I remember those days as some of my happiest days in the world of gaming. I would come home and greet Marquise warmly, and instead of just his voice I'd be greeted with a myriad of voices from his computer as they heard I had arrived home. Together we'd rampage through the worst of worst and the best of best, sharing our life as months and years went by.

Those five years were full of happiness and rainy days. When I got my first burn-out at the job, they were there for me. When Marquise was struggling with his depression, we were there for him. When Cloud and Zack ended up dating, then getting engaged and finally starting to plan their wedding, it was a given that they would invite all of us to the wedding. We were among the first ones to hear the announcement, and I had the privilege to be their maiden of honor.

Their wedding had a theme, as these things often do: a masquerade. They met for the first time when they were cosplaying so they wished for the guests to participate to the theme somehow. Everyone showed up wearing costumes, from the elderly grandparents to the little children.

This was me for the first part of the night.
Not only was it awesome to see a wedding theme go so well, but I also had one of my first times during that weekend. Zack asked me to do a cosplay debut at their wedding as their DJ. How could I have turned them down?

Some words of cosplay-related wisdom for anyone who may attempt one of the following:

1. Dancing in a full-PVC suit

It gets hot and sweaty really fast. I drank two liters of water in as many hours and sweated all of it out. I am yet to discover how to cleanse a PVC suit; I don't think I can just toss it on a washing machine and hope for the best. It is sticky and sweaty all over.

2. Dying a wig

As the wedding was closing in I discovered to my horror that I was missing two vital components of my cosplay: Sona's helmet and her wig. I did not deem the helmet as an imperative part of her suit as wearing one might have caused me to die due to a heat stroke, but my thin red hair was not going to be of the right length or tone for DJ Sona.

So, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to, I guess. I tried to dye the wig with blue watercolors and ink.

Before you judge me, those were the only tools I had at hand, and internet said it would be all right to use them.

What I achieved in the end was a badly tangled wig which kept leaking blue to my fingers whenever I tried to brush it, with next to no change in color. So, no matter what anyone tells you about dying wigs and how easy it is, don't believe them. If you don't know what you are doing with the certainty of one-hundred percent, just buy a wig of the correct color.

3. Check the seams before and after

Everyone who claims to have had a cosplay they did not need to fix after the initial test run is either a cosplay pro or a filthy liar. All the cosplayers in my immediate vicinity consider broken parts of cosplay as part of the hobby, and the debut is usually followed by an after-cos; fixing the torn seams, glueing the broken parts back together and so on.

For me, fixing the cosplay has been mostly about getting the ink off my green wig and sewing some seams back together, but also checking the measurements. The bodysuit was tight in unexpected places and did not give as much way for dancing as I had hoped it might. Torn seams, torn seams everywhere!

On the bright news, look forward to seeing horror game videos and me wearing the fixed version of the suit.

The wig is of wrong color, but you might guess who this is.
I had really great time at the wedding. From the dance party among friends from the last night to the late evening where both the bride and the groom were shedding tears of joy and tired, I felt truly moved as I saw these two feeding cake to each other, smiling, dancing, hugging and just being in love.

Zack, Cloud, I wish you all the best in all the adventures awaiting for you in the future. Whether it will be babysitting your sequels or securing your bottom lane, I will always be your support. Sona, Soraka, Aerith, whatever we have. In game and in real life, I got your back.

Anywhere on the map.

1 comment:

  1. A handy link from Auntie Mims. *Curtsies*