Cosplay & the geek
: the tension between creativity, inclusion, & gatekeeping in cosplay. What types of gatekeeping do cosplayers experience?

  • Rebecca Steel

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


In 2014, social media was taken over by #gamergate, a hashtag synonymous with misogynistic discrimination within the game development industry. Soon after this an avalanche of other hashtags highlighting sexism and sexual harassment (e.g., #metoo; #comicgate; #times up) within male-controlled entertainment industries began to emerge. This study investigates whether hegemonic masculinity has any influence on gatekeeping practices witnessed within the cosplay community, both online and in convention settings. Nine cosplayers from the Scottish cosplay scene took part in online semi-structured interviews which were thematically analysed using NVivo software. The findings suggest that, however inclusive and accepting the cosplay community is, it does encounter prejudiced harassment from those outside it, who may identify with the wider geek subculture.
Date of Award26 Apr 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorNuala Killeen (Supervisor) & Stefano De Paoli (Supervisor)


  • Fandom gatekeeping
  • Hegemonic masculinity
  • Gatekeeping
  • Cosplay
  • Canonically correct cosplay
  • Cosplayers
  • Geek
  • Nerd

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