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Unread 05-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #1
Otaku85
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Question Cosplay Cheating??

Ok so some of my friends are into cosplay and they were mentioning another cosplayer entering the same contest over and over. I don't know much about the cosplay community or anything. I didn't even know you could really cheat in a contest or why people would if it is? I was just curious. I go to a lot of conventions just never cosplay. Although I do sometimes have time to attend the masquerades and love looking at the costumes.

So is re-entering a costume that has already won against the rules?? If so why hasn't anyone done anything. Apparently they won 5 awards already and keep entering it. Just though I would join cosplay.com to find an answer I figure if someone would know it would be these people! I just wanna know what the fuss is about.
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Unread 05-25-2011, 05:40 PM   #2
RickyFromVegas
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Only if the contest has a rule against costumes with previous title.
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Unread 05-25-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
Jothalion
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what Ricky said...

I would add though that if someone has a costume that good that it keeps winning why shouldn't they be allowed to keep entering it? It is up to others to beat the number one that is point of competition isn't?
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Unread 05-25-2011, 06:17 PM   #4
shonen_jidai
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Yeah, it's not cheating. Different cons have different rules and if you made a great costume, it's only natural to want to show it off some! ^_^ Rest assured though, someone will rise to the occasion and beat it with something even greater!
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Unread 05-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #5
kuroi_shi
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e-mail the masquerade co-ordinator at the convention and ask them about the rules.. Some cons may have rules against it, others don't...
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Unread 05-25-2011, 09:16 PM   #6
CapsuleCorp
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Actually, while it isn't "cheating," it is against the rules at MOST conventions. The term is "sandbagging." It's unethical and tacky.

The majority of convention masquerades have a rule against it, and if they don't but the director does not approve of sandbagging, it is at the very least an unwritten rule - a rule of etiquette rather than letter.

If the costume has not won any major awards (such as best in class, best workmanship, best performance, or best in show) then technically they can re-enter it at a different convention. It's usually polite to enter at a larger con, with a better masquerade, or enter at a higher skill level. It is not only impolite but against the rules to re-enter a costume that HAS won major awards, especially at smaller cons than the one where it first won.

I am a judge as well as a master-level competitor. So I can explain what the competition part of cosplay is all about. It isn't about racking up as many awards as you can for one costume, it's about creating something to showcase your skills and how they improve over time. Each individual convention is a completely independent, individual contest. If you do well at one, you're expected to try something different for another contest. It's about gaining recognition from your costuming peers for the good work you've done, and once a costume has been recognized, it's time to try something new and different. People who only do the same thing year after year, never changing the types of costumes they do, never learning, never win anything.

Masquerades are not like sports. There is no "season," there aren't "games" where you try to win as many as you can and the one who finishes the year with the most toys wins. It's best to think of it like many of the artistic contests we enter as kids, such as essay-writing contests or art shows or science fairs. You get ONE CHANCE. If you win, you have to do something different next time. You don't take the same science fair project to three different science fairs trying to win over and over again.

Are the cons where this person is running around racking up a bunch of wins very small cons who don't communicate with each other, or don't have very elaborate masquerades with serious judging? If they're winning honorable mentions or joke awards everywhere, that's different from winning, say, best in class novice. If the masquerades haven't caught on to this person yet, hopefully someone who has seen them at other cons sees them trying this again and alerts the director - if there is a rule against sandbagging. I know a lot of cons are now adding that rule, seeing people trying to sandbag and agreeing that it is rude.
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Unread 05-25-2011, 10:16 PM   #7
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Thank you for all the comments about this. I think it really helps of whats ok to do and what's not ok to do. Yeah I think people were mad because she won a sewing machine at the last con for a costume that has already won best master two times, best presentation, best workmanship, best look-alike, and then won that machine. So I was just seeing what was fair but I guess if conventions all have different rules then it can see different. It just that they are all major awards. I guess everyone had their own option on it though.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 03:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
Actually, while it isn't "cheating," it is against the rules at MOST conventions. The term is "sandbagging." It's unethical and tacky.
My thoughts exactly.

I just don't see why anyone would repeatedly go and enter the same contest again and again. It's quite sad in my opinion. Every now and again is fine, but constantly? Pfsh, that person needs to go find a new contest to enter
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Unread 05-26-2011, 03:46 AM   #9
kiratsukai
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I got a lot of shit for this opinion when I first came here, but what the hell... I still feel this way:

It is up to the organizers of a contest to write and enforce its rules and the judges to decide what deserves to win and what doesn't... not the other participants. While you're free to think whatever you like of someone's conduct -- if there isn't anything explicitly stated in the rules against a certain action, it seems grossly unfair to hold breech of any of a number of unwritten rules against someone.

Here is the reason: how do you know they know the unwritten rules?

People come from all sorts of different backgrounds and experiences... but we've all been taught this: read the rules and follow them.

If someone has done that and has found nothing against their planned course of action: they've done nothing explicitly wrong. They aren't "cheating", they aren't even "bending the rules"... If the rule isn't there -- it isn't there.

If participants find such behavior tacky or think lack of a certain rule is compromising the fairness of a competition, they need to take it up with the comittee writing the rules and get it in there. Because otherwise -- how the heck are people supposed to know?

As someone who began cosplaying in a language foreign to them, in a country with VERY different rules and systems of ettiquette, I know firsthand how incredibly frustrating it can be to be held to standards you aren't even aware exist.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 09:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
Actually, while it isn't "cheating," it is against the rules at MOST conventions. The term is "sandbagging." It's unethical and tacky.
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiratsukai View Post
If participants find such behavior tacky or think lack of a certain rule is compromising the fairness of a competition, they need to take it up with the comittee writing the rules and get it in there. Because otherwise -- how the heck are people supposed to know?
And this.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 09:38 AM   #11
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while re-competing a costume may not be explicitly against the rules of a particular contest, it is definitely frowned upon.

Some variables that effect the perception of "cheating" include:

How many times/for how long has this costume been competed in?
-A few times is fine, but after a while you really want to see the person make something else. If they haven't made anything new in years, you start to question if they even made the costume themselves in the first place.

What was the highest previous award the costume won?
-most people think that it's OK to re-compete a costume if the previous award was something like a judge's award or an honorable mention.

What was the size of the convention that the costume previously won at?
-again, most would agree that if a costume won an award at a small, local convention, it would be OK to re-compete it at a larger, regional convention. Likewise, it's usually bad if the costume won something at a huge convention, then the person takes it to a much smaller con.

It's totally cool to wear the costume again - I think there was a thread a while ago about totally retiring a costume after 1 contest, which is ridiculous considering the time, effort, and capital needed to make something. I think it's fine to re-wear the costume until it starts falling apart or you loose too many of the pieces ^^
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Unread 05-26-2011, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiratsukai View Post
As someone who began cosplaying in a language foreign to them, in a country with VERY different rules and systems of ettiquette, I know firsthand how incredibly frustrating it can be to be held to standards you aren't even aware exist.
You bring up a good point. Everyone comes from a different background. If something is "unwritten," then they can't be expected to hold to those rules that they are not aware of.

To the original poster, it's not necessarily cheating to enter the same costume into multiple contests. But it is considered tasteless by many. Personally, if my costume won any kind of award in a contest (from Best in Show to Judge's Award) I would never re-enter it. I see that win as an opportunity to improve upon my skills and make something greater.

Most conventions will have a written rule in place that you can't enter a costume that has won an award at another con. Some conventions will allow re-entry if the costume won the award at a smaller con (such as under 5k attendees) and you're entering it at a larger one (like over 20k attendees). It's up to the convention and the staff to enforce the rules set in place.

If people are concerned that an unwritten rule is being exploited, they can bring it up with convention staff and ask that it be added to the current standards for the contests. Not that it should go on a witch hunt of someone who may have been doing this. Rather it needs to be approached from a calm, well thought out perspective by concerned attendees. It won't change past judging, but it can help create a more fair environment in the future.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
People who only do the same thing year after year, never changing the types of costumes they do, never learning, never win anything.
That just needed to be quoted. lol
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Unread 05-26-2011, 11:50 AM   #13
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I'm kind of in this situation now- I'm working on a costume for one con, and another con will be coming up a few months later, in the same city.
Now here's the thing- these cons are rival events, although most of the rivalry seems to be coming from the board of the first con, and the folks from the other con wonder "why the attitude? We're a different style/theme of con altogether, not direct competition!"

Also, since the second con falls very close to a trip I hope to be able to take, I won't be able to afford to make an entirely new costume for that one. So I talked to the second con's director- the big boss. And I asked him "If I win a prize at (first con), will it be okay for me to enter it in (second con's) masquerade?"
He said (paraphrasing a bit) "No problem! What happens at firstcon is completely irrelevant to us, we're an entirely different event with a different theme and focus. So we don't care if somebody's costume won a prize at their con."

That said, I'll probably end up making some alterations to the costume between cons, whether they be touchups or do-overs of parts I figure I could do better, or perhaps some new parts added to give the outfit's "look and feel" a bit of a change.

And yes, I completely agree with what Kiratsukai said, about how if something is really a problem, then the rules need to address it, and how much it sucks to be held to unwritten rules that you don't even know about.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 11:58 AM   #14
lunaladyoflight
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I see you're upset about someone winning at Acen. We have a word for this and it's called "butthurt."

Last edited by lunaladyoflight : 05-26-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Unread 05-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #15
AnimeAngel
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I was directed here, and it may be just because my glasses aren't on, but I don't see anything about ACen here.

As the assistant department head of the masquerade department, I can assure you that we do not allow it, but we cannot be at every convention in the country. The only way we can know this has happened is if someone tells us. We're not psychics.

That sucks and I'm sorry, but again, unless someone SAYS something, there's nothing we can do about it. You also have to realize that this rule has not always been around. I have costumes with multiple awards from the early 2000s. In fact, one of my judges who had been out of the game for a long time asked me about it when she read the rule because she had no idea this was something that people put into their rules now.

There's nothing that can be done about it now. Keep us informed so that it can't happen again.
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