Ropecon’s first ever cosplay contest will make its debut on Saturday 29th of July 2017. The contest is organized in collaboration with Cosvision ry. The winners will secure an invitation to the Finnish Cosplay Championships held in November.

Suvi Liukkonen, the president of Cosvision ry, and Iris Rönkkö, the consultant for the association, are excited about the collaboration. “It is amazing to get to collaborate with Ropecon and to connect our hobbies and communities in a new way”, they say.

The main organizers of Ropecon 2017 Kalle Kivimaa, Juha Sihvonen and Virpi Leppä are also excited to welcome people in the cosplay community to Ropecon: “We invite everyone enthusiastic about or interested in cosplay to join us in Ropecon. Welcome to the tribe!”

The call for the cosplay contest coordinator begins on 28th of February: more information and how to sign up on Ropecon’s website. The contest coordinator will plan and organize the cosplay contest in co-operation with Ropecon and Cosvision ry. The people chosen will be notified by the end of March. The call for contestants will begin on April. More information on the contests, their rules and how to sign up is coming during March. There will be separate divisions for individuals and pairs in the cosplay contest.

This collaborative cosplay contest will complement other cosplay themed program at Ropecon, which last year included a costume show, a costume contest, and a prop exhibition, among other things.

What is cosplay?

Cosplay (a contraction of costume play) is a form of performance art in which people dress up as fictional characters from games, movies, television series, comics and other media, or as well known public figures. Many cosplayers describe this jumping into a role and becoming someone else as a liberating experience. When choosing a character to cosplay as, it is important to make sure that not only the physical attributes of the character but also their style and personality suit your own – this makes it easier to become the character and perform the role.

In addition to the characters, one of the key aspects of cosplay are the costumes. Since many Finnish cosplayers make their own costumes, cosplaying is a hobby that requires many different crafting skills such as sewing and sculpting. Another vital skill for cosplayers is the ability to perform on stage and become the character. However, even the most skillfully made costume or amazing performance cannot guarantee a win on their own: all elements must be well-balanced in order to succeed as a cosplayer.

There are dozens of cosplay competitions held in Finland each year, and Finnish cosplayers have also found success around the world in competitions such as the Nordic Cosplay Championships, EuroCosplay Championships and the World Cosplay Summit. In 2014 Finnish cosplayers were ranked as the best in all Nordic countries, when Päivi Asikainen became the winner of the Nordic Cosplay Championship Finals in Närcön.

There are as many ways to cosplay as there are cosplayers. Although cosplay can be a time consuming and challenging hobby, it is also very rewarding and offers many opportunities to improve oneself and one’s skills. Like role-playing games, cosplay is also suitable for people of all ages, from children to senior citizens.