Avoiding the PAX pox

As stated in today’s Penny Arcade, games events can be a virulent source of disease. However, they’re also supposed to be friendly, social events, so recoiling from any contact with your fellow attendees, covering your face with a wet cloth whenever they threaten to breathe on you, might be considered rude.

How to stay healthy, while not being outright insulting? Simple, cosplay one of these three game characters:

1. Zombie in FEMA fictional analogue for FEMA environment suit, from Left 4 Dead 2

one size fits allThese popular nuisances from Valve’s second multiplayer zombie shooter have the advantage of combining all-over protection – what keeps germs out more effectively than a government issue envirosuit? – with being a very lazy costume to assemble. Simply slap on some grey face paint, pull on the suit, and you’re ready to go.

Of course, not every aspect of this outfit is ideal. It’s probably immensely expensive and difficult to buy this kind of suit, and if you do, expect to answer lots of questions from local law enforcement about exactly why you feel the need to protect yourself against chemical weapons in a suburban area.

Also, it looks a bit sweaty in there. Expect to boil in the bag if the aircon  fails again.

2. Hunk, from Resident Evil 2 and numerous spin-offs.

Hunky monkeyA fan favourite. If Boba Fett proved nothing else, it’s that nothing provides a greater identification figure for the hardcore fanbase than a masked man with no visible personality who seems to have nothing to say in any given social situation.

Odd that.

Anyway, Hunk is your everyday gas masked special forces dude, and as such is interchangeable with all manner of other games protagonists and baddies. Expect to be mistaken for a Helghast, someone from Modern Warfare, a SWAT guy… OK, it may be a bit generic. In fact, you wouldn’t be that different from…

3. Artyom, or pretty much anyone else in Metro 2033.

Hey, I know you! I'd recognise that cracked lens anywhere. A newy, and not too dissimilar from the Hunk mercenary type character above, but the various tunnel-dwellers from the far future of oh-shit-I’ll-probably-live-long-enough-to-see-this-shit-for-real have a couple of advantages as cosplay templates.

For a start, as it’s twenty years after the apocalypse, there’s no need to worry that your second hand army surplus duds are going to embarrass you. Whereas Hunk and his ilk always have military standard, spotless black gear, these guys make-do-and-mend, so you needn’t worry about how mismatched all the army surplus you bought for cheap looks. Wear and tear is authentic, in this case.

Also, and this is what puts this outfit above the rest, is that most of those other mercs wear their gas masks all the time, whereas a key game mechanism in Metro is the need to take your gas mask on and off depending where you are.

So, in this gear there’s no need to choke away beneath a mask for the entire con. Simply sling it around your belt, enjoy the show floor and, whenever you see someone particularly sniffly heading your way, make a big show of shouting about a gas attack in a Russian accent while putting the mask on. Job done, post-con-illness largely avoided.

Of course, none of these outfits will prevent the ill-effect of drinking your own bodyweight in overpriced alcohol in the hotel bar. But that’s another problem altogether.

Mark

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March 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized.

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