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Cosplay Etiquette

In General: Cosplay is not consent. This means:

  • Do not touch a cosplayer, their costume, or their props without permission.
  • Do not take photos of a cosplayer without asking permission and allowing them to pose first.
  • Do not use the zoom feature to highlight only aspects of a cosplayer without their consent. If you would like them to do a specific pose or do a closeup of a certain aspect, ask them!
  • Do not make any lewd or suggestive comments to a cosplayer because of what they are wearing. Unwanted criticism/critique or comments directed at cosplayers may be treated as harassment. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Criticizing someone because of their race, gender, body size, etc.
    • Making snide remarks about skill level.
    • “I could do that better” statements.
    • Unwelcomed critiques of their cosplay. Unless a cosplayer specifically asks for feedback about how to do something better, do not give it.
    • In short: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Etiquette for Photographers

  • Please do not use flash or auto-focus assist lights during the cosplay contest! It makes it difficult for cosplayers to see when they are walking across the stage.
  • Do not ask to take photos with only one cosplayer out of a group from the same series/clearly in a group cosplay. Take a picture of the group, and if you’d like an individual shot of your favorite character, ask later.
  • Please be mindful of your equipment that may block walkways, entryways, or other general traffic.
  • Only official Naka-Kon photographers and press will be allowed in the Green Room.

Etiquette For Cosplayers

  • Be fully aware when in a large costume or in a costume with protruding elements (like wings, tails, etc.). If you cannot see well, make sure you have a friend to help make sure your pathways are clear.
  • If asked for a photo, move out of the flow of traffic, against a wall, or to a less common area.
  • If you are wearing extensive makeup or body paint, seal it properly. You don’t want to be in a situation where you cause damage to something (e.g., the pool, hotel or convention center decorations, etc.).
  • Do not use being “in character” as an excuse to be a jerk, make lewd or suggestive comments, or physically or verbally bother someone. The harassment policy still applies to you, regardless of who you are dressed as.
  • You may not, under any circumstances, Black/Brownface, or wear any costumes that are offensive or disrespectful to any group of existing, living cultures and people. This includes darkening your skin to match that of an existing race, wearing Nazi regalia, etc.
  • If you are not a cosplay handler or cosplayer, please do not hang out in the Green Room.
  • There may be photographers in the green room. You are welcome to politely refuse photography if you do not wish to be photographed.
  • Please remember that the Green Room is a collective space with a lot of nervous energy. When in the Green Room, please be mindful of your noise level, how much space you are taking up, as well as the content of your conversations.
  • We understand you may want feedback from the judges after the Cosplay Contest. Some judges may not be comfortable providing that feedback immediately after the cosplay contest, so we recommend attending the Cosplay Contest Feedback Panel (see the schedule for details).
  • Be respectful of the judge’s decisions. Being rude, disrespectful or otherwise hostile toward the judges after the results of a Cosplay Contest may result in your ineligibility to compete in the cosplay contest for future years. If you feel a call was made due to unjust circumstances, please contact the Cosplay Contest Directors with evidence.