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Harassment of cosplayers is a serious issue that needs to be tackled earnestly. “Cosplay is not consent” signs have been up since 2014 at the New York Comic Con (NYCC). However, harassment is not a problem of New York alone. Vice covered this topic in depth and one particularly glaring example from their report is about Malaysia based Kino Mikii who was approached online by an individual who called himself Michael Alex for a photography session. Vice reports, “But the photographer wasn’t all that interested in her costumes. Instead, he quickly shifted the conversation to sex toys before offering her SG $2,000 ($1,483 USD) for a private photo session and sex, writing “I want to taste your beautiful body.””
Could a situation like this have been avoided? Do cosplayers who depend on their art to earn an income stream necessarily have to put themselves in harms way of doing it? Cure Worldcosplay (CW) is an online platform for cosplayers and other stakeholders that is using emerging technologies like blockchain and smart contracts to not only provide a safe environment but also making it easier for players to monetise their work.
Verification can mitigate harassment in cosplay
Harassment is perhaps the most serious of problems that cosplayers face. While many platforms rely on Social Networking Services (SNS), this method can expose cosplayers to unwanted attention and does not solve the central issue of identity. However, using blockchain CW will put in place a system that would allow users and players to identify each other. It would also be possible to evaluate each other on the platform and player activity would be stored on the blockchain adding an element of tamper resistance.
Monetisation is the key
It is difficult at the moment for players to receive monetary compensation for their work because of two reasons. One is that most cosplayers do not have access to settlement accounts and find it difficult to charge for their products and services. This is also true for prop makers and photographers in the cosplay industry. Secondly, many of individuals who participate in cosplay are relatively young and may not have credit or debit cards. This makes it difficult to carry out transactions. CW will usher in the Cosplay Token (COT), which would enable anyone, anywhere in the world irrespective of constraints like borders to make payments. COT would be purchasable and exchangeable with other cryptocurrencies. An opportunity that will open up for cosplayers to generate revenue would be content marketing. While there are constraints today related to copyright and revenue sharing, CW will use the power of blockchain to address this issue. Copyrights will be recorded on blockchain and revenue sharing will be implemented through smart contracts.
Adding value through exposure
Cosplayers work hard on their costumes and on their craft. Sometimes a lot of money is required to perfect a certain look. It is unfortunately the truth that for most players this does not result in any substantial return. This can lead to demotivation and some players are dejected enough to leave the industry early on. However, if early exposure and community support was provided, the outcome could be different. CW will connect both users and players and help players receive exposure. The multilingual platform that allows for publishing of content in 12 languages is truly global. The popularity of Cure WorldCosplay can be established from the popularity of the platforms SNS followers on Facebook and Twitter, which have more than 430,000 users. CW have managed to create a United Nations of Cosplay in a way and that means more opportunities for users who can now access information on events. Since information uploaded on the platform can be evaluated by other users, there will be an encouragement for users to post accurate and correct information.
Unlocking hidden potential, setting cosplay free
Cure WorldCosplay by taking the bull by the horns has been working to convert problems into opportunities. CW is already the leading platform for cosplayers from around the world in an industry that is growing at a CAGR of 15 percent each year and is approximately worth US$ 25-50 bln dollars. It has the potential to corner a large pool of these unchartered waters, simply by doing what has been left undone for long. They have recently released a whitepaper about their platform and their approach of using blockchain technology to mitigate cosplay problems. Soon Cure would be launching an initial coin offering (ICO) in which COT tokens would be sold to the public. This would provide investors with the opportunities lurking in the hitherto unexplored cosplay industry. A whitelisting page is available for users to sign up for the crowdsale. CW’s efforts will possibly have a twin effect, one of unlocking the potential that is in cosplay and the second of setting it free.