（Contributed by Ana)
I recently saw a news article about a huge cosplay event held in San Diego, in the US.
Cosplay, short for costume play, is where cosplayers wear costumes to resemble a specific character. These characters can be from films, manga, anime, comic books, or video games.
From what I understand, cosplays originated in Japan. However, cosplays have now spread around the world.
There are now many conventions, competitions, forums, social networks, and magazines for those who enjoy cosplays. Here in the UK, we can even read news articles about huge cosplay events, such as the recent one in San Diego. Other locations of large cosplay events in the English speaking countries can be found in New York, Toronto, Paris, London and Sydney.
Many cosplayers make their own outfits but, if you want to, you can order costumes and wigs from manufacturers. It has been reported that Japanese manufacturers of cosplay costumes made 35 billion yen in 2008.
Some people go even further than using costumes and wigs to look like the characters they are trying to portray. For example, they may use contact lenses to change the look of their eyes. Or use temporary tattoos, body paint, spray-in hair-colour, and so on.
I, personally, have never been to a cosplay event. But I love the idea of going to one! It sounds like fun to dress up as a different person. Although, I think it will be hard to decide which character I would like to go as.
If you went to a cosplay event, which character would you like to be?
Image from Comiket 84, Japan in 2013: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cosplay_at_Comiket_84.jpg