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Check out the best people we saw playing dress-up at Gen Con this year!

This past weekend I attended my 4th Gen Con, but it felt like my first because the wizards in charge dramatically changed the convention floor layout. The new setup was indicative of shifts in the focus of the gaming market. Wizards of the Coast, makers of D&D and Magic the Gathering, occupied less show floor space than Fantasy Flight Games who specialize in expensive board games like Battlestar Galactica and a new Gears of War game. (Just considering exhibition floor square footage, if you count the Magic CCG tournament space and D&D demos in other locations, Wizards’ products certainly had a larger presence.) After the implosion of E3 a few years back, videogames typically had a strong presence at Gen Con but this was the first year that there was nary a controller or keyboard to be seen.

What did stay the same was the amazing costumes that Gen Con-attendees wear as they stroll around the floor looking for new 20-sided dice. After heading to various conventions over the last few years, I continue to be impressed with the variety of the genre and theme of costumes at Gen Con. It might be the only convention where you’ll see a Batman next to an orc warlock beside a kid wearing an adorable Dalek costume.

As fantasy is definitely my favorite genre, it doesn’t hurt that the costumes skew towards the more speculative. So without further ado, here are my favorite costumes from Gen Con 2011.

Share and enjoy!

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The weird thing is that she was chanting “I killed Sirius Black!” the whole time.

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The black eyes of these Weeping Angels just pierce my soul.

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That’s a very sad looking cat-lady.

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We at The Escapist offices aren’t 100 percent but we think this character may be from Star Ocean.

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Blood on the torso really sells this cyborg fellow’s costume.

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American McGee’s Alice 3: Transgender Alice Returns.

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Captain America and family.

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I love that this is a complete adventuring party with cleric, archer, mage/alchemist (see her quaffing a potion) and warrior.

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Genres collide in this couple with a Sailor Moon character and a scary orc warlock from World of Warcraft.

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Biker dude would look totally at home in Mad Max.

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Read my lips: No new axes! What’s in your wallet?

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The little girl in a Dalek costume is downright adorable.

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That’s a big weapon for such a tiny – and well-dressed – girl cosplaying Maka from Soul Eater.

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I’m glad that there was at least one legitimate chainmail bikini here at Gen Con.

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You know, you don’t see enough Sand People represented in cosplay these days, especially portly ones in a kilt. Move over, Vader.

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This Alice is nothing crazy, but I dig the simplicity of her costume.

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It’s a head in a bucket. Creepy.

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I’m pretty sure that this is a purchased costume but the stance and demeanor just screams Batman.

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Yip, yip, yip. Camera. Uh huh uh huh.

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Keep your ADAM away from these splicers.

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I’ve got to respect a cosplayer who goes all out with bare feet. Do you know what’s been on those carpets?

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My favorite shot of the con: A Stormtrooper beside his parody the Spaceball. It’s just gravy that the pingpong is hailing Skroob.

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This pair was kind enough to pose for pictures even though they are portraying the dark Elven race of the Drow.

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The tricked-out Victorian baby carriage was pretty sweet because she could lie down for a nap if she wanted to. (That child is scarred for life, isn’t she?)

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It’s a trick. Get an axe.

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Lady Vader? Ok, maybe I’ll rule the galaxy with you.

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An assortment of villains: I wonder what Joker, Scarecrow and Riddler talk about when they meet at conventions like Gen Con.

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The X-Men in all their glory.

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Steve Martin would be proud. I got a condo made of stone-a!

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Right after I took this shot, the undead berserker beheaded some lady and made off with some copies of Battles of Westeros from the Fantasy Flight booth. No kidding.

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Yes, Commissar. Right away.

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My second favorite shot. These Western steampunkers just look resplendent in their getups.

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This is technically a booth babe from the WoW TCG booth but I thought you’d want to see her anyway.

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Tony Stark looks awesome with a Dirty Sanchez moustache.

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Scarlett pulled the trigger and shot me through the heart.

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I asked this Tech Priest from Warhammer 40k for a picture and it took him about five minutes to get the face piece looking perfect.

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Evidence of the glassies! Who’s up for a bit of the ultra-violence?

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She turned me into a newt. I haven’t gotten better yet.

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I give Bluebeard the Best Grimace of 2011 Award.

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I honestly can’t tell of this is a samurai or a geisha. Perhaps geishai – or a samusha.

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Any costume that involves heavy bronze jewelry and a ram’s horn shaped headpiece is damn awesome in my book.

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The innocent expression of this steampunker was really endearing. He was just so happy that I asked him for a photograph.

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Start ’em young, I say. No need to wait until Halloween to pretend you’re Iron Man and Super Red C Girl.

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The impressive detail of this Goth Lolita was the opaque contact lens. “Does it hurt?” I asked. “No,” she said.

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The Sixth Doctor has a really ridiculous costume, but we love him anyway.

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Blue skin and yellow bikini. Yeah, I got nothing. I could use some help determining who this woman is playing. We’re stumped.

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An interesting pair: A clockwork humanoid from the Doctor Who episode “The Girl in the Fireplace” and a member of Organization XIII from Kingdom Hearts.

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I love that the girl from Scott Pilgrim is getting photo-bombed by an evil clown.

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Justin told me that this girl was from Avatar. I had to stop for a second before I realized he was talking about the anime, not the 3D James Cameron flick.

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