In spite of the reputation of the geek as a solitary creature, there are times when we must gather en masse at various conventions. We are not content to meet in groups of 3 or 4. No! We must pack thousands of us into a hot, crowded convention center. Geeks from all over flock to these gatherings and, as a result, the likelihood for the passing of germs is high.
Rare is the person who comes away from a ‘con unscathed. In light of the recent events regarding PAX and the presence of an uninvited guest (Swine Flu), I thought the topic should be discussed. Sure, you could walk around in a surgical mask and a pair of latex gloves to protect yourselves from germs, but the ‘con is the perfect venue to be a bit more creative. I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 costume genres you can use to keep other peoples’ germs at bay.
1. Ninja/Power Ranger/Snake Eyes/ Cobra Commander
The key feature here is some type of cloth facial covering that could easily hide a surgical mask and make you look quite dapper as well. The requisite pair of gloves also protects your hands from germy game demos. All these costumes are fairly readily available from various costume retailers or are simple enough to put together yourself.
2. Storm Trooper/Darth Vader/ Boba Fett
Again with this genre is the mask to hide a less aesthetically surgical one, but this time they are hard masks. Plus, the odd sound your voice will make coming through the various layers will only serve to enhance the cosplay experience. And, again, the gloves are part of the outfit. These, however, are probably better for the more die hard fan, as purchasing one or making one yourself can be quite daunting.
3. Steam Punk/WWII Soldier/Psycho Mantis from MGS
The big draw here: Gas mask. Rather than use a fake one, get a real mask and outfit it with a couple of filters rated to keep biological microbes and you’ll be all set. All in all, it’s fairly simple to put together a decent outfit from thrift or army surplus stores. A pair of thin leather gloves will make button mashing easier and safer.
While certainly not the easiest costume to move around in, you could probably hide an entire respiration system within a good cardboard robot. Make sure to bring a friend, though. Maneuvering by yourself could prove quite hazardous.
5. Mascot-style Characters
While this is certainly something I would never encourage, there’s certainly no better way to keep everyone away from you than by dressing up as a terrifying large headed stuffed animal.
I hope that now before you head off to your next convention that you’ll remember what you’ve learned here and will take the necessary, geeky precautions.