Convention rules are getting more strict in Germany.
Appearantly the unusual (weird) behavior of some people, called cosplayer, finally results in rule changes.
I think I can see it from 2 positions:
On one hand it’s sad that these changes need to be made, on the other hand I welcome the changes as some people really are annoyingly rude.
I’ll give an example by the rules of the “Leipziger Buchmesse” (Leipzig’s Book Fair) in 2 weeks.
So far a lot of cosplayers didn’t cared much to get dressed before going to the book fair, they got dressed at the fair, in the toilets or somewhere near there. Most cosplays were really big and blocked ways of other people – or the cosplayers themselves blocked ways and entrances. Also there were some scary (bloody) zombie cosplays… a lot of reasons for the “normal” audience of the book fair to get annoyed, resulting in negative publicity for the book fair itself.
So the (partly new) rules for the “Leipziger Buchmesse” are as following:
Die Kostüme dürfen nicht zu freizügig sein, d.h. Oberkörper, Intimbereich und Po müssen ausreichend von Kleidung bedeckt sein. Obszöne Gesten/Handlungen sind ebenfalls untersagt.
Bei Verstoß droht Ausschluss von der Leipziger Buchmesse.
Cosplayer müssen darauf achten, dass großzügig ausladende Kostüme so gestaltet sind,
dass sie problemlos durch Gänge, Röhren und Türen passen und andere Besucher nicht behindern.
Wir bitten alle Cosplayer, sich zu Hause bzw. in ihren Hotelzimmern anzukleiden, zu stylen
und zu schminken. Haare in den Waschbecken oder haarsprayvernebelte Sanitäreinrichtungen sind unfair den anderen Messebesuchern gegenüber und die Verursacher werden u. U.
für die Reinigung der sanitären Anlagen haftbar gemacht.
Kostüme, die Gewalt verherrlichen, die Darstellung von Verletzungen (z. B. blutverschmierte
Kleidung) oder Kostüme mit Militär-Hintergrund (z. B. Armeeuniformen mit Stahlhelmen, Gewehren u.ä.) sind nicht zugelassen! Wir bitten alle Cosplayer, sich an das Abzeichengesetz
zu halten, das die Darstellung bestimmter Zeichen und Symbole verbietet.
Kostüme, die andere Besucher insbesondere Kinder zum Gruseln und Ekeln bringen (z. B.
Zombies, Monster mit extrem verzerrten Gesichter), sind nicht zugelassen.
1. The costumes can’t be too revealing; obscene behavior is prohibited (this is an old rule, active for ~10 years)
2. Cosplayer need to be aware of the size of their costumes and shouldn’t block doors and ways as well as not hinder other people. (old rule, active since ~8 years ago)
3. Cosplayers should get dressed at home/in hotels to avoid hairs in sinks and smelly sanitary facilities. (old rule, active since ~5 years ago)
4. Costumes that glorify violance or wounds (e.g. bloody clothes) or costumes with military background (e.g. army uniforms with steel helmets, guns, etc) are not allowed. (new rule)
5. Costumes that give -especially- kids the creeps (e.g. zombies, monsters with extreme faces) are not allowed. (new rule)
As a cosplayer I disagree with any statement that rules are restricting people of what they love to do. Rules are made to restrict unwanted behavior. Nothing else.
If anyone feels offended by those rules: If you don’t like the rules, you don’t need to visit the convention.
Easy as that.
I understand that there’s this “you can do whatever you want because we all live freely in this world”, but conventions, especially if they are not meant for one type of audience, have the right to say: These are the rules, stick to it or leave.
In case of the “Leipziger Buchmesse” I made a lot of different experiences. Some people like cosplayers, some find them weird, some have prejudices caused by the media or direct behavior of cosplayers.
You never can avoid that, but what would make it easier for all: Stick to the rules. Treat others the way you want to get treated.
I am not the kind of person getting dressed at any convention – I simply despise the fact getting dressed in a small cabine, the waiting room or in front of the toilet when others around me use their hairspray en masse and scream like piglets. It’s a public place, I go there to pee – nothing else. Basic knowledge.
In case of the nude outfit… well I wore those, BUT… I know how to hide things people would get offended or drool over. I never wear spacey outfits that block anyone else’s way – safe~ – and especially I’m not into military uniforms, zombies or monster appearances.
As said earlier: Rules shouldn’t offend “normal” people. It doesn’t affect me so I don’t feel offended, it simply sets boundaries to those people, who think they are the crème de la crème. And for that I’m relieved they finally react on the annoying misbehavior of the last years.