I can understand the frustration on both ends. I was a judge in a competition in which the Best in Show winners had armor and lights. We were wrongfully accused of such favoritism, and they shouldn't have won because they didn't sew anything. The reality was that they had put a tremendous amount of work into making sure all of the details were accurate. The electronics highlighted the costume. As a judge, it was very upsetting to us that people really believed the winners had not put the same amount of work into their costume as the other contestants.
I've also been in competitions where I'm pretty sure that people won because they had lights. It is a really crappy situation to be in, and it makes you feel terrible that someone didn't appreciate your hard work.
As CapsuleCorp said, good judges should be unbiased enough to not let electronics (or lack thereof) sway the final decision, and if you ever feel like this was a problem, it should be mentioned to the director of the competition. Even if a judge doesn't know much about sewing construction or armor/electronic construction, he or she should be competent enough to determine the amount of work that went into making a costume. If a competition is choosing judges who can't get past their own personal bias, the masquerade director needs to be thinking about choosing a different panel.
And to those of you who have had the unfortunate experience of having judges that seemed to not care about your costume because of their own personal experiences, I really hope that you don't let that sway your decision to compete in the future. Try a different con, or even a different year, with different judges.
Next up: CONvergence
Cons for 2014 - Kitsune Kon :: Costume Con :: CONvergence:: Geek.Kon :: Archon
Publicity head for Costume Con 2016 (Madison, WI). Interested? Ask me questions!
Last edited by Ayekasong : 03-02-2013 at 03:45 PM.