Elisa Melendez

Cosplay is avibrant part of any geek community, and the gaming community is no exception. Check out some of the best favorite cosplays from video games and wider geek culture from this past weekend’s Penny Arcade Expo East—or PAX EAST—in Boston!

Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I dig a cosplay that repurposes common items (like this motorcycle helmet) and turns them into something special. This totally tubular Michaelangelo has me craving pizza.

Michonne from The Walking Dead


It’s not every day cosplay makes you do a double-take. From the outfit to the attitude, Michonne from The Walking Dead is the very embodiment of “ripped from the pages AND the screen.”

Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat


This may not have been the only Mortal Kombat character on the floor, but it was the only one I saw with actual special effects attached. To get the frosty fog effect, Phil wore a vaporizer and ran a tube up his leg to his mouth. That's way more convenient than his original plan of carrying around a small fog machine.

Earthworm Jim


It’s Earthworm Jim! A refreshing throwback in a sea of current- or last-gen cosplays. I caught him in a rare moment of not being mobbed by nostalgic gamers begins for pictures.

Wardens from Dragon Age 2


These folks are Wardens from Dragon Age 2 (a Daelish elf and a human, they were quick to point out). The elf’s costume took about six to eight months on and off to assemble, they said, while the human’s outfit took a couple of years, as she was trying to figure out the right way to create the dragonscale texture. Both outfits used dragonscale armor, but they were completed in different ways.

One used the traditional method of stamping with rings:


The other knit the scales together:

Male Moxxi from Borderlands


This Mad Moxxi was Ryan Cryptic’s first cosplay project. Borderlands is one of his top five favorite games ever, and he loves Mad Moxxi. The idea of creating a genderbend version was something new and unique to try—and the execution was good enough to garner praise from the game’s developers themselves!

Lady Loki Hanging With Edward Kenway from Assassin's Creed IV


Lady Lokis are all the rage, and this one takes it to Asgardian levels of awesome. The outfit has been in the works on and off for the last two years. The impressive horns are made of a combination of a popular cosplay material called Worbla and floral foam. She also had a hand in crafting Skipp’s Edward Kenway outfit, taking on the sewing while Skipp worked on the leather pieces. The best part of the outfit for Skipp? Cosplaying as the scruffy Assassin’s Creed IV pirate gives him an excuse not to shave.

Sexy Sax Man


It’s a gaming convention, but there’s no reason you can’t expand your cosplay options to wider Internet culture. The outfit is simple, but the only way it works is if you can actually play “Careless Whisper” on the sax convincingly enough.

Zelda Duo


It’s hard to believe, but this Zelda and Hilda duo was MeganWins’s and Pixy’s first major cosplay project. The outfits took a grand total of 260 hours to complete. The triforce was fashioned out of acrylic, cardboard, duct tape, and LED lights in a couple of hours’ time. And, look!

Even the NAILS coordinate:


Elisa Meléndez is a writer, geek, and Ph.D candidate in sociology studying gender and video games. Her work can be found in Slate, Miami New Times, and the UbiBlog. When she's not hanging out in a virtual environment, she fronts Miami rock band Crimson. For more on her and pictures of her gorgeous cat, visit elisamelendez.com and follow her on Twitter: @elisarockdoc.