Otaku? Who, us?
Stumbling across a blog post about the socially ostracized life of a typical “otaku”, I couldn’t help but read. The obsessively otaku fanboy spends so much time in their own interests (and bedrooms), that they manage to cook up some pretty crazy fan-fueled goods for the equally maniacal.
But before the mother ship calls us home to reality (and we convince ourselves we’re not that bad) we have to recognize two important things about this kind of geek obsession.
1. Geek culture is not so wrong these days. Sure, it’s not the way, but it sure has its share of respect and honor in the modern pop culture setting.
2. Costume lovers are no more than a few degrees of separation away from being totally otaku, and only one away from geek sheik. We turn to Wired Magazine for more validation.
The Wired Magazine Geekipedia Tells All…
It turns out that costume fanboyism shows its face more than a couple of times in the Wired Geekipedia. This lovingly crafted tribute to the education of blatant nerdery really pins down the culture, and some of these words just may be familiar to a costume lover.
Cosplay – Wired says “Donning a costume offers shy geeks an anonymous mode of self-expression and fun.” It’s not all that inaccurate nor is it shameful in any way. Cosplayers have seen a huge boost in numbers since big events and imported anime films make their way westward.
Machinima – Some people are costume lovers of a different sort. They like to mount their alternative image in a virtual setting. Machinima is the practice of making films out of characters and animations extracted from video games and virtual worlds. Any Second Lifers know exactly what it is. Ultimately, it’s the practice of the virtual costume.
Manga – Manga is basically printed anime, and it’s also gaining attention in the western world. As a huge fuel for cosplayers, Manga is easy to recognize these days.
Otaku – If you have a tendency to be otaku, you already know it. Although, the connotation of the word in the English language denotes more of an obsessive love for something, it’s actually quite derogatory in Japanese. Watch who you call otaku, especially if the finger should be pointed at you. We all saw your sketches for your next costume…
Social Networking – Yeah, this is a bit more geek sheik since, well.. you know… EVERYONE is doing it. Significance to a costumer? Well, have you ever signed up at a costume forum, joined a costume chat or group, or been on a social network specifically for costumes? Yeah, you know who you are.
Tokyo – It turns out a lot of the costume related entries in the Geekipedia surround the cosplay culture. That doesn’t mean other forms of costume love don’t belong. However, it would be silly to not mention Tokyo as a huge influence in the culture.
Viral – A great term that has become easy to grasp in the last few years. Denoting the spreading of a trend in a viral manner, this type of attention is nearly all costume lovers get. If you heard of a great DIY project, a fun costume event, or a clever party that you want to throw… it’s likely you didn’t find the information advertised in the newspaper. Word of mouth love sustains the community of costume lovers.
The best part about the list is that it’s just not done. They’re adding more every day. Should we submit DIY? Anyone??