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Cosplay and Video Games: Interview With Stella Chuu

The cosplay community is rapidly growing as more anime, comic books, and video games are released. For those of you who do not know what cosplay is, it is when someone dresses up as a fictional character and they model, attend conventions, even role play. Think of it like a 24/7/365 Halloween…Without the Paganism. People like Stella Chuu are making money and having fun cosplaying often making their own outfits and props to use. I wanted to interview this lovely woman because she does so much with her cosplay. From burlesque to more risque modeling on Cosplay Deviants. Turns out, she does a lot more for video games than just cosplaying.

Z: When did you know you wanted to turn cosplaying and modeling into a full on job?
S:Sometime around early 2011. I had just discovered how amazing pro-cosplayers, such as YaYa Han and Linda Le, were not only creating amazing cosplays but influencing the community. I wanted to work harder to perfect my craft and achieve a similar influence.

Z: How did you get into burlesque?
S: I was part of an improv troupe. Some of the girls in the troupe were burlesque performers. I had never heard of burlesque, so I inquired further. I realized that burlesque was my calling. I debuted with D20 Burlesque, with my infamous Pedobear act.

Z: You have done some modeling for Cosplay Deviants. Where you nervous about your first set?
S: I was super nervous. I hadn’t really done much modeling beforehand. It was a lot of fun and I’ve been modeling ever since.

Z: What gaming consoles do you own? Out of those which do you play the most?
S: I currently own a PS3 and Wii. I played PS3 the most, but I’m also a big PC gamer.

Z: What are the current games you are playing?
Borderlands 2. I’ve already played through the first two DLCs with the Siren class. I’m working on the Assassin class now.

Z: Has gaming always been a part of your hobbies?
S: Ever since Pokemon Red, gaming has been a big part of my life. I mostly prefer RPGs and puzzlers. My favorites are Portal, Borderlands, Braid, and the Final Fantasy franchise.

Z: Many people say that video games are sexist, often portraying women as objects of lust because sex sells. Would you say that video games are sexist?
S: Indeed, video games are highly sexist. Most game producers, designers, and programmers are male. Games have traditionally been consumed largely by a male audience. Sexual content is a staple in pop culture. That’s not to say that these games aren’t highly entertaining. I’ve grown to love the sexploitation and use it to my advantage in burlesque and cosplay. However, I also fight for women’s voices to be heard. I believe that games are meant to entertain everyone.

Z: As a woman who is a gamer, would you say that the perception of “Gamer Girls” is blown out of proportion?
S: I fully support the movement to stop discrimination against gamer girls. I am mortified by the people out there stating that girls can’t be geeks. Gaming is a genderless entertainment.

Z: Outside of modeling, would you say you are immersed in the video game/anime/comic industry?
S: I’m actually a game designer by trade. I design small games for mobile platforms. I’ve also lettered a few comics and published a few webcomics. Not only do I consume, but I also produce content for others to enjoy!

Z: As a very attractive woman, are you judged in any way from other people for liking “nerdy” things such as video games?
S: Like most people, I was bullied in high school for being a geek. This has taught me to pick my friends carefully. Thankfully, no one has directed any negative energy towards me since. All of my fans know that I am a geek and they have supported me the entire way.

Z: What do you love about modeling/cosplaying/burlesque dancing that makes you so attracted to it?
S: Being able to express that I love my body is an exhilarating feeling. I can show people that I am a sexual and powerful being. I am able to become any character that I want. All eyes are on me and I control what they see.

You can follow Stella on Twitter and Facebook. You can buy stuff from her on Etsy ranging from clothing accessories to prints of her cosplays.

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