It can look like Cosplay came out of nowhere. But science-fiction and fantasy have been popular genres for generations now—one could argue that they’ve been around as long as literature itself. Costuming has been around since the first scifi conventions in the 1930s and 40s, when people would dress up to fit into the genre they liked to consume, not necessarily to reflect certain characters. By the 1970s there were formalized costume contests and standards for costuming. The term “cosplay” itself was invented by a Japanese news reporter who visited an American convention in 1970 as a shortened form of the terms “costume play”.
While my wife and I were waiting in the delivery room for our sixth child (yes, sixth) to be born, I was looking for some kind of distraction to pass the time until the little guy arrived. We had brought along our laptops and iPads just for this sort of situation. It seemed like this delivery was taking longer than we thought it would, and I was beginning to get anxious, so I turned to Netflix. I had finished most of the shows I had been watching, so I was looking for something new and good to watch. That’s when I turned to Stranger Things. I had heard people talk about it or read about it online, so I thought I would give it a try. After about five minutes I was hooked.