Ashley Riot, a female cosplayer known for her portrayal of Street Fighter V‘s Cammy, was forced to cover up at this year’s CEO convention due to a single complaint.
Over the years, industry conventions have changed. Sometimes it’s been for the better, with more opportunity to see your favorite entertainment in action. The days of invitation-only — such as the days of E3 — are behind us, and the days of the open convention are here.
Video game developers in particular have realized where the money is (with the fans), which has led to the growth of ticketed venues like PAX. While this is arguably better for the little guy, there’s one problem with it – you’ve got to please a much wider audience.
Gamers will probably cringe at the term “wider audience”. The phrase has been used like a codeword for years, a subtle way of saying “we’ve stripped your favorite game down to its simplest components”. PAX has done this too, and as such, has invested in some rather bizarre practices to keep certain groups happy. The “aggressive navel” policy in particular has many of us left scratching our heads in disbelief.
PAX clearly isn’t the only such convention to do so, either. This week at Community Effort Orlando (CEO) 2016, a female cosplayer was forced to cover herself up due to a single complaint. The cosplayer, Ashley Riot, is known for her portrayal of characters like Cammy from Street Fighter V, who wears a high-cut leotard as her standard costume.
As an event focused on fighting games, a Cammy cosplayer isn’t something one should be surprised to see. In fact, head to any Florida beach and you’ll likely see something similar, especially during the Summer. Regardless, Ashley was surprised to be told that she had caused upset with an attendee.
APPARENTLY I HAVE TOO MUCH JELLY FOR FLORIDA!!! Thanks so much to the person who complained to the staff at @CEOGaming. And Because of you I had to pants my Cammy Cosplay. Because in 95* weather children will be traumatized if they see LEGS!!!!!! Oh my! To be clear the staff for the con has been amazing and respectful. I’m pissed at the person who can’t handle someone having fun in Cosplay and people enjoying a character like Cammy! #ToohotforCEO
The above post was made by Ashley Riot herself on her Facebook page, shortly after she was made to cover up. Ashley notes that the staff at CEO were very courteous and respectful, so this likely isn’t the same sort of situation you’d find at PAX. It’s quite a chilling thought, though, that a single person can have such a large influence, but this is unfortunately becoming more common.
Dress codes are sometimes sensible, if not usually. If you’re meeting clients for work, you’re probably not going to wear a mini-skirt and a cropped shirt. Well, unless you’re in that sort of business. In the world of cosplay however, things are different.
Many characters show off a bit of skin, whether due to design reasons or practicality. It’s a part of the culture, with people opting to cosplay a character by choice. This impacts both women and men, with characters like Zangief, Kratos, and the sexy Dugtrio trio showing off their navel proudly.
As time goes on, we’re seeing more and more restrictions placed on cosplayers just having a good time. A lot of cosplayers put in a huge amount of work on their attire, sometimes spending weeks on intricate and expensive costumes. To have their hobby ruined by one bad egg isn’t what gaming is about, and it’s not what these conventions should be about either.
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