Sunday past I had the chance to attend Arcadia Cosplay ball 2014 in Trinidad and Tobago. Many of you may know that this is not my first time attending a cosplay convention. At this point I’d even say that I’m a veteran haha… just kidding. Anywho I usually attend these events officially on behalf of Buttonsmashers Blog as a press. This usually involves covering all the news, cosplayers, games and such, but this time was different. This time I was not just an attendee or press. This time I was invited by the event planners; Access Power, to be a Judge in the cosplay competition. As this was my first time Judging cosplay I tried not to be too hard or too easy on any of the entries, all of whom were awesome. Some spent a lot of time creating impressive cosplay while others were just awesome for being brave enough to enter the fray.
As I was on Judge Duty for the day I didn’t want to get caught up in any other activities that could prevent me from being present or alert when the competition eventually started. For me what that meant was to find a nice place to relax while at the same time being close/central to everything. I ended up sitting in the movie theatre with Cece, to read some manga till the Cosplay competition began. From that position I could see the stage, get streetpass and hangout with some patrons that happened to enter the theatre. (Oh btw if you were there and got my streetpass, feel free to leave your friend code in the comments and add mine). Having found the ideal place to relax during the Con I was still in wonderland as to what I’d have to do when the competition started. I had been briefed on what was required of me, but that was not enough to prepare me fully for what was to come. I didn’t know what to expect behind the doors of the prejudging room. It was then that a friend brought me some candy, yes candy, a lollipop to be more precise. I’ve not had one of those in years, but damn after one I wanted more and lucky me. They were free at one of the boots. It wasn’t too long before I wondered out of my new cave into the outer world on a quest for free candy, and after acquiring the sugary goodness I proceeded to retreat back to the cave.
(Disclaimer: Everything past this point was written post reading a review by one of the cosplayers at the event)
If weaknesses in a particular cosplay were pointed out it was not to offend or belittle the person, but rather to show them where improvements can be made or why they may or may not have won the competition.
I had written the first two paragraphs of this article early monday morning and was going to post it earlier, but got occupied by some other stuff and forgot to finish/post it. So why am I writing this now? Why am I adding something that I didn’t plan on adding? Well it’s simple really. I read a review about the Con and it seemed that a big part of that review was the judging aspect and it was not the most favourable review of that aspect. I don’t know the person that wrote the review personally, but I did judge his cosplay, and I have seen him at previous events. If you check his fb fan page you’ll see what we creates is of a high quality, and so it was no shock that he then went on to win the cosplay event, what shocked me was the fact that he was not too fond of the judging arrangement. He mentioned a few other aspects of the convention that I won’t mention here because I was not involved in those aspects, but as for the judging part I do have a few things I’d like to say. As a reviewer of games, anime and manga I can’t go easy on a title, chapter or series because they’re fairly new or put in a lot of effort. That is not how the world works. I used that same thinking when judging cosplayers at the event. If I was harsh on any or critical in a way that offended or hurt their feeling then I must apologize for that, but I stand by my scores, and what was said to some of the cosplayers during pre-judging. Yes some of it was harsh, because some of the cosplayers were not properly prepared they were told of their shortcomings and I believe that will work out well for them with their future cosplay.
[To Caps Cosplay] I remember your pre-judging and it was brought under debate when you presented your cosplay and it didn’t look like the character reference images, but you were very vocal and capable of defending the creative changes you made when compared to the original and we liked that. However not all the cosplayers were as prepared or as vocal as you. It should be noted that this was a competition and if weaknesses in a particular cosplay were pointed out it was not to offend or belittle the person, but rather to show them where improvements can be made or why they may or may not have won the competition, so that were they to enter a future event they’ll not make the same mistakes.
Anywho I’ve written more than I planned and I need to start getting ready for tomorrow so I bid you adieu for now.