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Cosplayers Give Tips On How To Avoid Being A Convention Creeper [VIDEO]

As a cosplayer myself, I’ve experienced convention harassment. We’ve discussed this many times on the site before as well, be it from the perspective of the Black Cat cosplayer or comedian Black Nerd. As with many things in life, awareness is key, and a lot of times awkward situations can be chalked up to ignorance. Here now are a few cosplayers with some tips on how to be respectful to cosplayers you meet at conventions. A lot more could be added to their shortlist but it’s definitely a good place to start etiquette-wise. They say their next video will be titled “How to Identify an Actual Creeper and What to Do if You Do Meet One.”

(via Jezebel)

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  • Steamgirl

    It’s definitely good advice, but was it really necessary to include quips like “girls at conventions can be quick to judge” and “Con girls are fickle creatures”? It was kind of insulting :/

  • Anonymous

    I have to say there are a few lines in this video I find problematic – specifically ones like the one at the beginning that implies that “convention girls” call men creepy because they don’t find them attractive and the one at the end that describes them as “fickle creatures”. Women who wear cosplay are not wild unpredictable animals, and while the video explicitly says that “they are people too” it absolutely does not treat them like them.

    Also, asking for someone’s Facebook page or personal information when they are trying to get away from you? If they are leaving because they are creeped out that is only going to creep them out even more.

    For convention-creeping-by-you-prevention I personally prefer Jon Scalzi’s Incomplete Guide To Not Creeping – it’s general convention-going related rather than specifically for cosplayers but it does have the same sort of solid personal rules that this guide has that would be useful to someone who was genuinely socially inept and worried about accidentally giving a bad impression.

  • Elizabeth Amber

    It’s just like a Human Resources tutorial!!!

  • Anonymous

    I was kinda hoping this would come off more tongue-in-cheek, but yes, definitely agree with you.

  • Travis Fischer

    On one hand, I feel I should be insulted that this “advice” boils down to “don’t be a cartoonish geek stereotype.”

    On the other hand, I suppose I should know better than to think that there aren’t guys out there that could probably stand to watch this. Stereotypes happen for a reason.

  • Ben Lundy

    I’ve never had any of the problems in this video, but what I didn’t realize until after my last convention was that it isn’t considered okay to just ask someone to take their picture without you standing with them. I’d been doing that since my very first con back in 1999, simply because I was always blown away by how amazing some people’s costumes were. Truthfully, I hardly ever looked at the pictures again, but I learned after Philly Comic Con that the conventional wisdom about a guy who snaps photos of female cosplayers is that they are going to be used for… less than noble purposes. I felt really embarrassed when I learned that those were the signals I was sending. So now that I’ve spent the last ten years signaling that I’m a big perv, maybe someone should do a video about that too.

  • Ardella

    As the creator of the video, I feel it should be mentioned that this video was created largely as a joke. While some of the advice, I feel, would work in real life, the video was never intended to be taken completely seriously.
    As a cosplayer myself, I see a lot of these stereotypes being thrown around at conventions – ladies calling men creepers when really it seems to me they’re just a little awkward or shy. I created this video, really, as a poke at both sides of the equation. The women I know who CAN be quick to judge, and the men I know who CAN be a little clueless in social situations. For the most part, the people this video was directed at have seen it and had a good laugh at themselves. That’s what this was really about.

  • Delaurentum

    I can understand your intentions, but right now with the current backlash against female geeks in the community humor like this can be misinterpreted or worse: taken seriously.

  • Sophie

    Really? Because the last comic con I went to, taking pictures for the costumes seemed to be standard practice, though I’m a woman so I’m sure the social cues come off differently. I don’t know, most people I know would be fine with this, as long as you ask really politely, and make it clear that you think their costume’s really great. But I guess if it’s making people uncomfortable…

  • Ardella

    I’m a little confused as to why you would say the “current backlash” against females. For the entire 3 years or so I’ve been cosplaying, there’s always been those people who believe that women, particularly attractive women, cannot possibly be qualified to be geeks. They’ll always exist, but you and I both know they’re wrong.

    The sad fact is that women (and men!) CAN be quick to judge a person based on their appearance. That’s human nature, and there’s no point getting offended about it. It’s just the simple truth. The video never claims every woman will judge based on appearance, just that they can. The same goes for the “fickle” comment.
    Over all, the video has recieved an overwhelmingly positive response from men and women alike. There’s little point in pussyfooting around trying not to offend anyone, in geekdom, cosplay and life in general. Unless you never ever form an opinion, someone will always disagree with you, and someone will most likely always get offended. And that’s okay.

  • Ardella

    As a cosplayer, I’ve always considered it perfectly normal to have someone ask to take a photo both with or without them in it as well. I wouldn’t worry about it!

  • Delaurentum

    What I mean by the current backlash is the overwhelming hate campaign led by poor excuses for human beings against women in the community like Aneeta Sarkesian.

    I’m talking about the overt sexual harassment of competition female gamers and Gaming conventions and international tech panels shutting down instead of inviting women.

    Look it is great that your video is being viewed in the manner it was intended, but I’m not pussyfooting around: I thought it was cute, but some of the sarcasm fell flat and sometimes I couldn’t tell if you thought genuinely socially awkward men talk and act like that or if you were poking fun at the gross assholes who think its okay to grope sexy female cosplayers or demean booth babes at conventions.

    Here in the States we’re just all feeling a little sensitive right now as American women have taken a serious beating not just in geek culture, but politically as well.

  • Nikki Slade

    As long as you ask and they give permission, it is 100% fine to take a photo of a cosplayer that doesn’t have you in it! When I cosplay I get about 75% shots of just me, and 25% with other people. I think the difference it that there are people out there who take photos of the cosplayer without their consent, and sometimes those photos are focused on their arse or breasts – and that’s just skeezy.

    Always just ask, and be prepared to take no for an answer – but keep in mind that ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘I think you’re a skeezeball’, it might mean ‘I’ve been trying to walk to the bathrooms for the last twenty minutes and I keep getting stopped for photos and if I stop one more time I’m going to pee myself’. Cosplaying isn’t always all that glamorous. ;)

  • Anonymous

    If I might offer some critique? Watching the video again with your mentioned intent in mind I think the main reason that your intentions aren’t coming across is that you aren’t differentiating your satire from your advice. You are giving legitimately helpful advice in a non-satirical way mixed in with bad or problematic advice that is too close to what people actually say and believe to be obviously not serious advice.

    As such, your attempts as satire don’t come across as funny because they’re not presented in a way that sells the joke and your attempts at serious advice are useless due to being impossible to pick out from the non-serious parts. You need to decide if you really want to sell satire or if you really want to sell advice, because if you try to meet both half way it can fall flat.

  • Anonymous

    Asking a media guest for a hug is also harassment, and groan worthy, particularly during a panel. Almost as bad as asking for an autograph during a panel.

    If only comic cons would go back to being mostly about meeting creators and sifting through back bins, instead of all this emphasis on sideshow and look-at-me hoopla…sigh.

  • Travis Fischer

    That sounds pretty crazy. Beyond the fact that some people may not want their picture taken, with or without Princess Leia on their arm, conventions are busy places and you may not have the time or interest to…

    Clear space
    Find some passing person who looks like they know which end of the camera to use.
    Awkwardly go through the “how are we going to pose” ritual.
    Explain to the stranger with your camera what button to push.
    Smile and hope the photo is at least half-decent.

    Sometimes it’s just easier to say, “hey, can I get a picture?” wait for the pose, and take the shot.

  • Lemmy Rambo

    If it’s a joke, why do you sound very serious about it in the youtube comments? It sounds like you don’t appreciate a comment on your breasts for example, and you sound uncomfortable with male sexuality at all

  • Lemmy Rambo

    The world is a weird place where social interactions will often be awkward. But I do think sexuality gets a bad wrap, and it should be okay to make a lighthearted compliment on a cleavagey costume, or to use the word hot, etc

  • Lemmy Rambo

    Some women are happy to give hugs though, even having “Free Hugs” signs at cons. I don’t think that kind of niceness spreading nothing but a good thing should be looked down on.

    Asking for a hug is not harassment, that’s silly. For one, the person being asked might be cool with it and say yes. Being pushy or lame or something, well then that’s harassment. Everyone is different.