WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF COSTUME IN PLAY AS A VITAL ASPECT OF 21ST CENTURY CULTURE?... COSPLAY, LIVE ACTION ROLE PLAY, RENAISSANCE FAIRS, HISTORICAL REENACTMENTS
This study investigates the importance of costume in relation to various ways of play such as Renaissance fairs, live action roleplay, historical re-enactment, film, theatre and specifically focuses on the art of cosplay. During this research the definition and origin of cosplay are explored as well as looking at the significant development that this community has faced over the late 20th and early 21st century. This research also explores the different ways costume is used to assist the occurring play and how it is able to express a narrative and help to portray a fantasy whether this be the fantasy of a fiction character crossing over into a place of reality or creating a fantasy world for people to experience and forget about reality for a short while. The study concludes that costume has an extremely important role in the different genres of play explored. Within each genre the way in which costume is used is slightly different, often overlapping with other genres however the importance of the role of costume rarely falters.