I played video games throughout my childhood, but it wasn’t until high school when I was truly hooked.
I started a game and was greeted by a lady in a pink dress, treasuring a flower while tinkling music that still haunts my memory followed. The shot pulls back, and the hustle and bustle of the ghetto in an industrial city takes form. Pulling back further, the music comes to a crescendo as the vast city comes into view from overhead, and immediately I felt the pangs of loss. Where did that lady with the flowers go, lost in that vast, grungy metropolis? And then, the title fades into view: Final Fantasy VII.
Later, I ran into that lady in pink again. Her name was Aeris. However, the first time I played through the game, I used the game’s option to rename her after my IRL love interest (who would eventually become my wife). About 40 hours of gameplay later, I regretted that decision. But the story still hooked me, and I’ve loved roleplaying games ever since.
Fast forward a couple years, and I see a photo on the internet of a girl dressed like Aeris. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. A world in which I wasn’t the only person who liked video games. Or knew who Aeris was.
This was so cool! Someone was dressed as a video game character. I’d never seen something like that on Halloween. I didn’t even know they made such costumes. Then, I did some Googling, and I learned that “they” didn’t. Rather, the wearers typically made their own. And suddenly, this was even cooler.
Cosplay, I soon learned, spans far wider than video game characters. Sure, when my wife and I went to a Play! concert, we saw Mario, Link, and Sephiroth among the attendees, but at our most recent ComicCon, we saw — naturally —Spiderman, Poison Ivy, some Power Rangers, a handful of Jedi Knights, and dozens of more obscure characters. Plus, interestingly enough, we saw at least twenty Doctors, most of the Matt Smith variety complete with bowtie (“Bowties are cool.”) and fez (“Fezzes are cool.”), and most of them were actually female. Cosplay can be found at anime conventions, too, though I still haven’t had a chance to try one of those (it’ll happen eventually, though).
It’s like a geekier (somehow) version of what Trekkies and renfair enthusiasts have been doing for decades.
And best of all, my wife digs it. For example, she’s a big fan of Poison Ivy, and has apparently fantasized about her as this devious adversary seducing me as the Caped Crusader.
Charlie Sheen would call that winning, by the way.
Now, I just need to bulk up a bit to justify Batman’s muscular costume. Totally worth it. I’d do almost anything to see my wife dressed in a tiny outfit comprised mostly of leaves, legs, and spandex.
And while I’ve always thought of her as Aeris (at least Aeris prior to the aforementioned point of regret), she’d fill out Tifa’s simple white tank top much more suitably. That, I find, is our major impediment when it comes to dressing her up. Many female video game characters are skimpily outfitted, and I’d love to see my wife going for it.
Unfortunately, her busty shape doesn’t match many of the skimpy ones. I mean, can you imagine my wife acting like spunky little Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2, bouncing about in a tiny yellow bikini that’s straining to fold back G-cups amid all that movement?! It would never work. She’d just pop out in like two sec —
On second thought, Mr. Sheen, I stand corrected. That is winning.