Off Book is a web-only series from PBS Arts that expands the definition of art. Each episode will explore a cutting-edge genre that invites you to engage with the artists and creative process.
With TV shows dedicated to it, and pictures and videos all across the internet, cosplay has now officially entered the public consciousness. All over the world, enthusiastic fans dress up as their favorite characters and show off amazing homemade costumes at conventions and in inspiring photography sessions. But beyond the glamour is a powerful story of personal transformation. Dressing up helps many cosplayers subvert cultural norms and experiment with new identities. For some, it makes them feel more comfortable in their own skin. A practice that on the surface seems just for fun, in fact can have a profound effect on the cosplayer, revealing another side to this intriguing contemporary movement.
While players of multi-player games are aware of their in-game economies, their growth and complexity would surprise many outside the world of gaming. With hundreds of millions of players around the world, MMOGs' in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars (i.e. MILLIONS), and real world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds. Many are now so big that game developers have hired real world economists to help them manage these complex systems. But with secondary economies, gold farming and other issues surfacing, are these systems in need of more attention, or even regulation?