In my previous post, I introduced the concept of cosplaying as a way to incorporate modelling and dimensional thinking, which is to bring 3-D thinking and action in a creative medium. Cosplaying falls under the fanworks genre in a way that brings an old adage to mind: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Fans who are fans of a certain character, pay homage to them by becoming them. They take a 2-D or 3-D character and bring him/her/it to life.
Ergo, cosplay is a way to model and bring dimensional thinking together. When cosplayers make or put their costumes together, they study the character’s outfit and design. They look at every known drawings and photographs of their characters, and they note the most minute details of the outfit such as the colour, the doodads like buttons and buckles, the materials, the pattern — all of these are important to the cosplayers because they want their outfits to be just right. Even hair becomes important. Many characters from animes, mangas, or video games sport unusual hair colour and/or style. Some cosplayers dye their hair, but many hunt down a wig they can model after their character. Once their costumes put together, cosplayers then act like their characters. They meet at conventions to cosplay with other fans, or they come together to do their own rendition of what they are cosplaying. In fact, see how fans decided to cosplay and re-enact this Alvin and the Chipmunks video scene! As someone who’ve seen the original film, I have to say that this real-life rendition is brilliant!
Now, in my own Hogwarts Student cosplay, I didn’t go into that much details like some cosplayers do. I just had to gather five items to complete my costume. But once I got in my costume, I felt like I had become a Hogwarts Student. My experience led me to see how it feels to wear a robe, to see how a wand feel in my hand as I pretended to cast spells, and wearing a scarf and tie at the same time made me feel claustrophobic, and I wondered how anybody could stand that. As brief as this cosplaying was (I only wore it for that Halloween since I cannot find that robe anymore!!!), it has allowed me to experience what a typical Hogwarts Student may experience, and I was able to translate that experience when I am writing Harry Potter fanfics. After all, I write what I know, and if I’ve lived through something, then it’s easier to write them out!
Therefore, modelling and dimensional thinking are two cognitive tools that should be encouraged in everyone. Even people who have form-blindness like me can use these tools. As a child and an adult, I hate building things with Lego and other building materials. I think part of my dislike stems from my poor fine-motor skills and the fact that I just cannot see 3-D in games and films that support them. Instead, I’m a very 2-D person. Even with animations, I prefer 2-D designs over 3-D. However, that doesn’t stop me from dimensional thinking and modelling through words when I write. Still, though, not everyone will be like me, and those who do not suffer from form blindness, I’d encourage to use Lego and building materials to enhance their creative development. After all, why should people limit their thinking to one dimension, when they can be capable of more?