This year marked my third year going to rAge for most of the weekend, and never have I enjoyed it more. Sure, the place was packed to a point where you wondered how much actual fresh air was left in the dome, but that just signified the growth of gaming in South Africa to me. However, of all the spectacular things to see at rAge, the cosplay will always be my favourite. And this year it was nothing short of extraordinary.
As you’d expect, the weekend was littered with amazing cosplayers who wanted to show off their hard work, and to have fun with their people. What most of us did not expect, however, was that this year we got our very own area to congregate in. At the end of the weekend, a lot of people regarded the new Blue Wing as a sort of mini ICON within the mammoth maze that is rAge, and most (if not all) of the attendees who wanted to see art in all its forms were glad to have had it.
This new, highly welcomed addition to the TicketPro Dome played host to the judging and showcase of the cosplay competition hosted again by GES. All weekend long you could find at least 7 immaculately dressed cosplayers getting ready for their time in the tent, or having their picture taken in front of the green-screen beside it. The sheer amount of anxiety in that corner of the hall would make most people need a stiff drink. And I’m pretty sure most of the contestants would have loved one at that point.
As for the actual proceedings of the cosplay competition, it went like this: Each cosplayer was appointed a specific day and time for them to meet the judges behind an iron curtain, where their cosplays were examined, their skits judged, and/or their (in) character(ness) measured. The finalists in the skits division were given time on-stage in front of an eager crowd, to determine the overall winner in the category. The other divisions were, obviously, judged completely within the tent. Or at least, this is how I understood it.
Leading the festivities as the best MC I’ve had the pleasure of seeing was the absolutely delightful Baka Sakura, who managed to get the whole hall chanting “cosplay” right out of the gate. Between the jokes and interlude singing she introduced each skit, and ultimately announced the winners. Which turned out to be:
Well done to everyone who entered, but let’s be honest, JinxKitty deserved that win. That Wonder Woman, though! Where was she hiding all weekend?
All the fear, hoping and hard work leading up to this weekend was worth it, as the winners and honourable mentions that hit the stage were nothing less than awe-inspiring. Luckily, we managed to film it all. So even if you were there, and you want relive the marvel that was Cosplay Cartel‘s and JinxKitty‘s goose-bump inducing monologue, you can watch it here. It’s been a cracker of a rAge, and it was amazing amounts of fun! It was definitely a reminder that cosplay is for everyone.
Have a look at some of the ‘players we managed to capture during the event!