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Cosplay & Fandom Blog
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Cyan Sonata

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General con etiquette that everyone should know and follow

But for some reason they don’t

  • Keep your hands to yourself.

This covers a lot of things, and it should be something we all learned in preschool. But for some reason, people get to cons, and completely forget all about it. This includes -

  1. Don’t touch props without permission. It might LOOK sturdy, but you never know what may have been hastily re-affixed with super glue and duct tape in the hotel before the con. You might say ‘oh that’s just common sense,’ but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people walk up to a cosplayer and start handling their props. It’s rude, don’t do it!
    If you’re curious about how something is made, just ask. Most cosplayers will be happy to explain what their prop is made of and how they made it! 
  2. Don’t touch wigs or clothes without permission. Again, you’d think it’s common sense, but apparently, it’s not. 
    A friend of mine was cosplaying a character that required half his hair to be tucked under a wig, the wig folded in half and pinned, and the other half of his hair visible and put into cornrows. This was a long and complex process. While he was just sitting at a table at the con, a girl came over and pulled on the wig part! Just walked over and pulled on it!
    Think that’s inconsiderate? Yeah, it is. So don’t do it.
    Also, don’t touch someone’s cosplay. You’re invading their personal space, and it can be downright creepy. Would you just go up to a stranger on the street and start fondling their clothes? No? Then don’t do it at a con!
    Again, if you’re curious about construction, ask them! You’ll probably learn a lot more about how whatever it is was made by asking than just manhandling it.  
  3. Don’t hug/glomp people without permission. This is probably the most important thing any con-goer should adhere too. You never know if someone has a medical problem, is wearing/carrying something fragile, has on shoes that can barely support them, let alone another person clinging to them, and so on and so forth.
    Most cosplayers LOVE to be loved and appreciated, but forcing that love and appreciation upon them is NOT the way to go about it. Politely ask for a hug. The worst they’re going to do is say no, and is your hugging them a matter of life and death? I think not. I’ve never refused someone who asks me nicely, but I automatically think less of someone who just attacks me out of nowhere. 

Think of the Golden Rule. You wouldn’t want a strange person coming over to you and messing with you or your stuff, so don’t do it to others.

  • You’re responsible for everything you’re wearing and carrying.

'Well, duh,' you'd think, but it's easier to forget about that you think. Unless you're used to carrying around a five foot sword on a daily basis, you're probably not thinking about how much extra space you're taking up. Watch yourself when you turn around! In really crowded areas, if you have a large prop, you might have to lift it over your head to avoid hurting your fellow con goers or the prop itself.
And if you’re wearing anything will a long, trailing train or long, trailing sleeves, HOLD THEM UP. Someone WILL step on them, and there will be ripped stitches, or at the very least a dirty footprint, and you will be upset. It’s not their job to watch the ground while they’re walking, it’s your job to keep track of your own clothes.

  • Don’t block walkways and crowded areas.

I can’t begin to tell you how rude and annoying this is! Some general guidelines -

  1. Don’t stop people for pictures in small, cramped spaces like the Dealer’s room or Artist’s Alley. Some cons actually have this as a rule. Politely ask if the cosplayer wouldn’t mind stepping outside for a photo once they’re finished. Blocking tables and walkways like that is rude both to the con goers who are trying to look at things to purchase and the sellers whose wares you’re standing in the way of.
  2. Don’t sit in narrows halls. Just don’t. No one wants to trip over your feet.
  3. If a room has a occupancy cap, don’t linger there. If it’s someplace like the aforementioned DR and AA, do your browsing, make your purchases, and get out. It sucks to be stuck in a line to get into a room while people stand around chit-chatting. 

Typically, especially at larger cons, people are paying a lot of money and came a long way to be there. So they want to go to as many events as possible. Don’t do anything that could impede someone from getting from Point A to Point B. How would you feel if you missed an event you really wanted to go to because there was a gaggle of people standing around talking in the middle of a hall?

  • Don’t shout while you’re indoors.

Unless you need to get the attention of someone on the other side of the room, use an indoor voice. Con centers are loud enough from all the people without you screaming at the person who is standing right next to you.

  • Always think of the other person before yourself.

This really covers everything I’ve already said. Before you do something that would affect someone else - and when you’re in a large, crowded, public place, pretty much everything affects someone else - think about how the other person is going to feel/react. 

Most of the con goers I have met are lovely people. But then there are those unthinking people who can make certain experiences absolutely miserable. Don’t be one of those people. You’re there to have fun, but so is everyone else. Make it a fun experience for everyone and be courteous to others!

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