Nerd culture has been on the rise with the revitalization of movies such as Star Wars and Star Trek, and among new releases of classic comics such as The Avengers and Justice League. Pop culture is becoming more “nerd” oriented which has popularized cosplay, dressing up as a character from pop culture and bringing them to life. Typically, cosplayers dress up at events such as comic conventions or contests. Unfortunately, there aren’t many in the Utica area. However, on March 26th, SUNY Poly will be hosting their first ever cosplay contest from twelve to four in the Student Center MPR. The contest itself will start at one and throughout the day there will be raffles done by some of the supporting clubs, such as anime club, duel academy, and superhero club.
Support for the cosplay contest is strong between both the students and faculty of SUNY Poly. According to Max Nadel, Vice President of the Sci-Fy club, many faculty members are interested in seeing students participate outside of the classroom and in other fields of interest. This interest has also been expressed by students who hold the hope that the contest will bring more students out of their rooms, while making an environment that will help people to socialize with others who are interested in these topics. Speaking from experience as someone who has been cosplaying for three years now, an opportunity like this is a special one that should be taken advantage of, especially for beginner cosplayers who are just getting their foot in the door. As a beginner cosplayer, it’s vital to experience the cosplay world one step at a time, which is why this contest is a great opportunity. Three years ago, I would have loved to be part of an event such as this, due to the size of it, as well as the support of the community. While many individuals may be bringing cosplays to this event, it’s not only for cosplayers. In fact, the event is open to anyone on campus who wants to attend. Despite whether someone is cosplaying or not, this event can be useful to both those experienced in cosplay and those not. This time around, the contest is limited to one cosplay per person; however, in the future this may change. As a whole, the cosplay contest is meant for expression of individuality while encouraging more participation in events on campus.
The goal of this contest is to become an annual event. The head of the contest committee, Clarisse Acolitse, hopes that this will be an event that she can tell potential students, while giving campus tours. Clarisse and many students want this to become a staple event for the school and something that students, both incoming and present, can look forward to each year. Personally speaking, I am thrilled that our campus is having a cosplay event to celebrate nerd culture.