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  • We provide ID services to Small Businesses, Clubs and Organizations, Conferences, Conventions, Nonprofit Organizations, Entertainment Venues, Co-Working Spaces, School Clubs, Volunteer Organizations and more!

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  • "Army of Darkness" Ash
    (EpicIDs Customer)

  • "Shaun of the Dead"
    (EpicIDs Customer)

  • "MIB - Men in Black"
    (EpicIDs Customer)

  • "Stark Industries" -Virginia Potts
    (EpicIDs Customer)

  • "Orange Is the New Black"
    (EpicIDs Customers)

  • "iZombie" - Liv Moore
    (EpicIDs Customer)

  • "SHD - The Division"
    (EpicIDs Customers)

  • MORE
  • "Spongebob Squarepants"
    (EpicIDs Customer)

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  • Cosplay Responsibly Series: Part 1 - The Fundamentals of Cosplay Safety

    Introduction to the EpicIDs Cosplay Responsibly Series
    The Multifaceted World of Cosplay and the Importance of Responsible Participation

    Cosplay, a portmanteau of "costume" and "play," is a captivating form of performance art where enthusiasts, known as cosplayers, don costumes and accessories to embody characters from movies, video games, TV shows, and various pop culture realms. While it's a fantastic avenue for self-expression and fandom celebration, it's crucial to approach it with a sense of responsibility—for your safety as well as the well-being of others.

    The popularity of cosplay has skyrocketed over the years, transforming it from a niche hobby to a mainstream phenomenon. Whether you're attending a smaller local event or a major convention like DragonCon, PAX, San Diego Comic-Con International, AnimeExpo, or New York Comic Con, you're bound to encounter a diverse tapestry of cosplayers.

    These participants vary in their approach, from those opting for minimalist outfits—such as a casual look paired with a name badge to depict Shaun from Shaun of the Dead,' Ash from Army of Darkness,' or Liv Moore from iZombie—to others who go all out with elaborate costumes, often investing significant time and resources. Some even spend countless hours handcrafting their costumes or shelling out hundreds to thousands of dollars to assemble the perfect ensemble.

    As you delve into this vibrant world, it's essential to remember the key principle of "Cosplay Responsibly," which forms the basis for this series.


    Cosplay Responsibly Series: Part 1 - The Context of Cosplay

    Cosplay has evolved from being a subcultural curiosity into a mainstream form of expression. We see it at Halloween parties, on college campuses, in blockbuster movies, and even as the focus of various reality TV shows. Yet, with this widespread acceptance comes a new set of challenges.

    One such challenge is the necessity of context, particularly when cosplaying in public settings where not everyone might be familiar with the world of fandoms and fictional characters. For example, if you're going from point A to point B, it might be wise to keep elements of your costume—like masks, helmets, or weapon props—safely stowed away in a bag until you arrive at your intended location. The importance of this precautionary measure became starkly evident through a recent incident involving a young cosplayer.

    The case in question involved a teenager walking into a school dressed head-to-toe as Darth Vader, complete with a mask and what looked like a bulletproof vest. To most Star Wars fans, this would have been an appreciable act, especially given that the incident occurred on May 4th—a day celebrated as Star Wars Day. However, a bystander unfamiliar with the franchise or the significance of the date perceived it as a threat and alerted the authorities. The result? A complete lockdown of the school and surrounding community.

    There's a second layer to this issue: legality. For example, some jurisdictions have laws against wearing masks or face-covering items in public. In Virginia, the law stipulates that anyone over 16 who conceals their identity using a mask or hood in public could face a year in jail and/or a hefty fine. This isn't just a hypothetical caution; it's a legal reality that has implications for cosplayers.

    Understanding the cultural and legal context is crucial. Even characters who aren't typically seen as threatening can become so when removed from their fictional universes. In another event, a cosplayer dressed in a costume mimicking a character from the video game Fallout caused a minor scare. Onlookers, unaware that the "bomb" on his back was just a painted Pringles can, called the police. Imagine having a SWAT team descend upon you for your love of a fictional world!

    For those who cosplay characters with professional roles like police officers or FBI agents, there's yet another layer to consider. Flashing a fake badge or ID in public could be against the law in many jurisdictions. Pretending to be an officer of the law can result in severe fines or even imprisonment.

    The bottom line is, while cosplay offers a fantastic outlet for creativity and self-expression, it also carries the responsibility to be aware of how it intersects with the real world. This becomes doubly important when your costume incorporates elements that, out of context, could cause concern or even break the law. So, the next time you prepare for a convention or cosplay event, take a moment to consider the setting. Store those potential "red flag" elements safely away until you're in a space where everyone understands that you're just celebrating a beloved character.

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