Cosplay Games

Cosplay Games - We Put the Play in Cosplay!

Do you love donning cosplay and portraying your favorite character? Do you love watching your favorite anime, manga, and video game characters come to life? So do we!

Cosplay Games is your one-stop shop for unscripted cosplay performance. It’s not a contest - if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right! Check out our various events below to see what we do, and then read how you can too apply and become a participant.

Death Match

32 participants will enter, only one reigns supreme: this bloodbath is an awesome way to kick off your weekend on Friday afternoon!

Characters go head-to-head to win audience favor and claim ultimate victory. In each fight, two teams enter the stage and the audience cheers (i.e. screams) for their favorite. The loser is wonderfully slaughtered by the winner in mock combat and the victor moves on to the next round. The last one standing is declared the fan favorite for the year.

Notes on applying:

  • Solo or group applications (up to four members total) are accepted.
  • Applicants may be matched with characters from the same series to create a new team for the event.

After Dark Dating Game

Do you like wacky pairings with no canonical basis? This classic is your chance to see your favorite ship set sail as we kick off our After Dark (18+) programming on Friday night.

Each round, an eligible bachelor or bachelorette will ask questions to three potential partners to determine who to choose for a whirlwind romance! Questions range from comedic to innocent to blatant innuendo. Join us for some mature fun at this love-filled event.

Notes on applying:

  • Solo or pair applications are accepted.
  • All applicants must be 18 or older.
  • If selected as a bachelor or bachelorette for this event, preparation before the convention will be required, which may include attending rehearsals/meetings.

After Dark Match Game

This anime take on the traditional “Apples to Apples” game goes off the rails when a panel of cosplay characters attempts to do what they do best: fill in the blanks. This new addition to our After Dark (18+) programming lineup is a great way to end your Friday night!

With so many personalities involved, you never know what the answers to even the simplest questions might be.

Notes on applying:

  • Solo applications accepted.
  • All applicants must be 18 or older.

Lip Sync Battle

Come cheer on your favorite anime characters as 16 contestants battle to become the ultimate Anime Boston idol. This hit is a highlight you don’t want to miss on Saturday morning!

Contestants (usually individual characters, but groups are sometimes accepted) compete with each other in lip sync performances until a single winner is chosen by the cheers of the audience. Pop, rock, Broadway, comedic – all music genres are accepted. Come for the cosplay, stay for the jamming tunes!

Notes on applying:

  • Solo or duets are accepted.
  • Applicants will be asked for four songs they would like to perform. Songs will be cut down to 60-90 seconds for the event.

Cosplay Improv Battle

Come check out our newest game on Saturday afternoon for cosplay fun that pitches your favorite characters against each other...and the audience?!

Pre-selected teams of characters will face off in a series of improv games designed to have you rolling on the floor! But these cosplayers aren’t going it alone - members will be pulled from the audience to help (or hinder) the teams in these challenges. Who will win? Come find out!

Notes on applying:

  • Improv, theater, or other experience in roleplay required.
  • If selected, participants will be asked to attend pre-convention meetings and a rehearsal at the convention on Friday afternoon.


What happens in Shenanigans, stays in Shenanigans. All we know is it involves cosplay. And possibly a chicken.

You definitely don’t want to miss this midnight event (18+) after the Masquerade!


No Anime Boston is complete without the action, drama, and brutal battle of this larger-than-life game of chess! This year marks the 15th Cosplay Chess - don’t miss this legendary event on Sunday morning!

Cosplayers represent pieces on a giant chess board as the two factions face off in this epic challenge between two chess masters. Every time a piece is taken, the losing piece is destroyed in mock combat - sometimes with the help of a special attack piece that appears just for the fight!

Notes on applying:

  • Solo or group applications (up to four members total) are accepted.
  • If selected, participants will be asked to attend a rehearsal at the convention on Saturday morning.

How to Apply for Cosplay Games Events

All our participants are con-goers just like you - if you’re interested in joining the fun, read below for our step-by-step guidelines for how to apply to our events!

Step 1: Create an account and log into Cosplay HQ

  1. Go to and click on "Forums".
  2. Create a Forums account (if you have not done so already).
  3. Log into your Forums account.
  4. While logged in, go to "Cosplay HQ" -
  5. Enter all personal and contact information requested by the system.

Step 2: Add profiles for any costumes you want to use when applying to events

  1. In Cosplay HQ, go to “My Costumes” and click “Create New Costume”.
  2. Each costume has space for a costume name (e.g. Super Saiyan Goku), character name (e.g. Goku), series name (e.g. Dragon Ball Z) and series genre (e.g. anime).
  3. Once the costume is created, use the “Manage Photos” button to add up to three photos.
  • We recommend a full front shot, a full back shot, and a close-up of face/wig/makeup or other relevant details.
  1. If you do not have your costume yet, feel free to use work-in-progress pictures (if making it yourself) or the store pictures (if buying online).
  • You can also use the “Other Info” section on the costume profile to write notes about pieces you are working on or will be receiving.
  • Make sure to replace these photos with pictures of yourself in the costume before the applications close (if possible).

Step 3: Complete the application form when applications open

  1. Applications will open on January 1st.
  • This will be announced via Anime Boston’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) and on the Anime Boston forums.
  1. Log into Cosplay HQ.
  2. Under applications, check off any events that you wish to apply for. This will expand the form for that particular event.
  3. You can apply for each event with up to three costumes per event.
  • As Anime Boston is an anime convention, cosplays from Japanese sources such as anime, manga, video games, and other Japanese media have a MUCH higher chance of being accepted. Certain events may not be able to accept ANY non-Japanese costumes.
  1. When you are done, click "Submit".
  2. Submissions can be updated/edited at any time until applications close.

Step 4: Look for emails from event coordinators

  1. Once applications close, coordinators will make their selections within 1-2 weeks.
  • Coordinators will provide updates on the forums.
  1. Each coordinator will send emails communicating selections and expectations.

Staff Panels

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it takes to be a part of Anime Boston’s Cosplay Games, come check out our panels:

  • How to Survive Cosplay Games - Do you want to learn how to shine on stage lip syncing, or fight to the death in stage combat, or fight for love in a dating game? From building a stage presence when you can’t speak (e.g. Chess) to smooth talking through an event, learn some tips and tricks from those who’ve done it in the past. If you are a Cosplay Games veteran, see above for how to apply to be a part of this panel!

  • How to Make Stage Combat Safe & Spectacular - Come learn the secrets of choreographing amazing stage combat from a community expert. Take your battles up a notch, while making sure you don’t take actual damage.

  • Cosplay Games Q&A - Have you ever wondered what goes into the cosplay games events? Are you curious about what we look for when we pick participants? Come and ask our panel of staff in this open Q&A session after the games are over on Sunday.

Other Cosplay Games

The fun doesn’t stop with our events. There are opportunities to play around in costume all weekend:

  • Catch the Barrel - The white barrels are back, floating around the halls at Anime Boston. If you are in cosplay, you can challenge someone holding the barrel. If you win the game of rock-paper-scissors, you (and your team) take control of the barrel and gain a victory point. The team with the most points gets a secret treasure or weapon that will change the tide at Cosplay Chess on Sunday morning! Event runs from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning.

  • Scavenger Hunt - You don’t need to be in cosplay to take on our scavenger hunt that will have you searching the convention for cosplay, anime, manga, and video game items. If you complete our standard hunt, come back to give our master level hunt a try! Event runs from Friday morning until Sunday afternoon.

  • Cosplot - Something is going on at Anime Boston! Exactly what, we’re not sure. Catch all the details at the Cosplay events. To learn more see our Cosplot history.