It’s the PSN Community Spotlight! For the uninitiated, this is your chance to tell your unique PlayStation story in the new and improved PlayStation Community Forums. Those that find their way to the PlayStation Blog will find a $50 PlayStation Store voucher in their inbox.
This week’s story comes from PSN member Calvin-The-Bold. With convention season in full swing, it was great to see a story about some of the most compelling attendees of these shows: the cosplayers! Read on to see how PlayStation influenced this gamer’s decision to step into the roles of some of gaming’s favorite characters.
My Big Fat Cosplay PlayStation Story
I’ve always been a PlayStation kid, and I’ve always been an outgoing person but the thought of dressing as my favorite PS characters in public was, for the longest time, just a dream. In my early teens, I’d rationalize to myself that the costumes are too hard, too expensive, or I’d just look lame in front of everyone. Never in my life did I think that I would one day be surrounded by throngs of excited fans with my hand raised squinting off into an imaginary desert at a busy Sony booth at Comic-Con. But like Drake quoted from T. E. Lawrence about the dreamers of the day, “they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible”. This, I did.
The Uncharted series struck a huge chord with me since it was released a few years back. Starting with Drake’s Fortune, I was introduced to a funny, confident, and capable treasure hunter, someone that his friends loved, and enemies hated. Naughty Dog and PlayStation’s awesome attention to excitement, story and lovable characters basically summed up everything I liked in a game, and a movie. I was beyond excited for Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception. I’m still secretly hoping for another Uncharted adventure to be announced =p.
So of course, being new to cosplay, I wanted to stick to something grounded to reality. As far as I’m concerned, any foamcraft for armor is voodoo magic that, like Bill O’Reilly and tides, I can’t explain, so Commander Shepherd and Monster Hunter armor was out. BUT, why not go as my favorite scoundrel, Nathan Drake? I style my hair like his anyway, and it doesn’t hurt that I rock climb too! In fact, why stop there? Why not shoot for my other favorite character, the greatest soldier that ever lived: Big Boss of Metal Gear Solid fame? As far as the gaming world is concerned, the name Snake is synonymous with manliness and superhuman will, which is what drew me to Metal Gear in the first place, and I like to think that I’m pretty physically fit, so why not?
It took a lot of time to get every piece of my costumes together, but in the end I was really happy with the final products. I have a hard time explaining what the feeling is like to people who’ve never done cosplay. I feel a rush of confidence, childlike fun, and excitement. When I clip into my STABO harness as Snake, I’m no longer Andrew to the world, I’m a war hero, a fighter, and a lover of cardboard boxes. As I hook my arms through my leather gun holster as Drake, I become a treasure hunter and a lovable smart aleck.
For me, doing cosplay has been one of the biggest joys in my life. I get to be whoever I want to be, and actually get praised and respected if I pull it off well instead of looked at like I’m crazy. Well, maybe I am a little crazy, but I love the boost in confidence that I get from the positive feedback from fans and people in the industry. This hobby also led me to meet tons of amazing of like-minded and enthusiastic individuals who dress up to celebrate their favorite characters. I’ve met game developers and cosplayers from around the country and it feels amazing to be a part of a group of people that are all a little crazy, just like me. And there is no other event in the world that has more of us crazies than San Diego Comic Con, my favorite time of the year. Whenever July comes around, look out world, Drake and Snake are coming to town. I throw on my costumes and head out feeling ten feet tall.
I’m walking to the badge pick-up line when before I know it I hear an excited gasp followed by a “It’s Drake!”. I turn to see this young girl snap a quick photo of me as her line shuffled past. This was only the beginning. Sure enough, in the crowded halls of the convention center, whole throngs of fans stopped me to pose for them. I felt overwhelmed by the response, it was amazing. I had a hard time to keep from blushing as girls (and….some guys ) asked to take their photos with the one guy who is cosplaying as the man of their dreams. It’s a blast to play the part in all the photos.
It was awesome to see so many fans of Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid. It made me feel good knowing that I wasn’t the only one who had a ton of passion and love for a series. And it was even cooler to see that fans of Nathan Drake came at all ages! There was a 4 year old boy who out of the corner of my eye, I saw staring for a long time when I was waiting in line to meet Blair Herter from G4. I smiled at him and asked “do you know who I am?” and he nodded with a shy grin. I looked up at his mom and with a nod of her approval he ran over to me to snap a photo. **click**, that one melted my heart.
This past Comic Con was the greatest of my life, as I met tons of new people, several other great Nathan Drakes and Naked Snakes, spent the weekend with the perfect Tifa and got the attention of some important people in the industry. All of this crammed into 2 days. The words “Big”, “Fat”, and “Crazy” don’t even begin to describe this cosplay story of mine. I am so thankful for meeting all these wonderful people that put so much time and effort into their work and who have make my life so much more interesting.
So what’s next for this Nathan Drake/Naked Snake? “I dunno, I haven’t thought of it yet”. But with PAX looming in August, the possibilities seem endless.
Awesome work Calvin-The-Bold; looks like you have an incredibly fun time in the gaming community; maybe we can hang out at PAX!
For next week, we’re looking for thoughts on new PSN release Dyad. For those who play it, you know it’s unlike anything else. I’d love to check out your thoughts/insights on the game and consider posting one for next week. Click here for more info on this week’s special request.
Feel free to review Calvin-The-Bold’s original forum post here, and we’ll see you next week!