serious cosplay stuff

An Open Letter to the YGO Community

As most of you on here have now probably seen, the last ~72 hours on here, for me, have been the stuff of nightmares. It truly breaks my heart to see the community on here that I once adored turning so vicious and vile and so willing to pull whatever cards (no puns intended) they need to make someone else’s life in the community hell, or ostracize them from it. The last 6 months, I have seen the worst of this community– but never at my own hands until now. But this needs to be addressed…

YGO has always been a huge part of my life since the day it aired here in the US (and even before then, when I was introduced to the card game by a friend from Japan’s older brother who had them a year before the US release). It helped me through a lot of dark times and difficulty in my childhood, and I owe so much to the franchise for that. Through the show and card game, I have made some of the best friends I ever could have asked for over the years – one of which I asked to marry only a few months ago at a convention in TN where Dan Green and Eric Stuart were attending. I’ve learned so much and met so many through the various communities within the umbrella YGO community (TCG community, cosplay community, etc.) and I’d be lying if I said for the most part, it’s been anything but wonderful and welcoming. I’ve always felt at home and comfortable in the community… until the past few nights.

I won’t get into the whole thing about the botched screen shots and people posting my private and personal information and accounts on here, with claims that I said XYZ and had a majority of the community down my throat (to the extent of death threats)… all over something another user ripped from a private thread discussion and posted out of context, without the rest of the conversation to defend me. This, truly showed me the colors of the community, and how vile people can be.

But it goes beyond there. For those of you who have been following the YGO news… with the championships in the TCG going on, there has been major drama surrounding some of the players. Apparently an argument broke out, and two of the players had their “nudes” leaked and sent across the YGO TCG community. It was so bad, the group that initially started sharing them was shut down– with tens of thousands of members. Yes, my fellow YGO nerds… this is actually what’s happening in our community right now. Two young women literally had explicit images of them spread throughout the community without their permission because of a disagreement… More on this can be found across youtube in interviews with the women, and in a YGO news article I had seen around quite a bit the last few days. This is what this community has become.

On top of that, going back to personal things… the cosplay end of it is becoming brutal, as well. In general, the cosplay community has always been vicious, but I’d always found the YGO bunch to be really loving and supportive of one another. And I liked to believe that to be the case… Long story short, I’ve been hearing a lot of things lately regarding a friend I had made in the cosplay community here. I’d heard a lot of negative things regarding them for months, even before we started talking, but I always give the benefit of the doubt (until you hurt me or someone close to me and I witness it). Everything was fine and good, but then suddenly, all interaction seemed to stop. All likes and comments that used to be on all my posts disappeared, and the only time I was contacted was if there was drama. And it was exhausting. Over the past week, I’ve heard from a few sources that this “friend” supposedly was cutting ties with me because they were “jealous” of my cosplay and the recently “popularity” and “recognition” it has been getting with my upcoming events, media appearances, etc. All they ever wanted to do was brag about their cosplay, which their achievements were really no more impressive than the next person’s. But I tried to be supportive, because that’s what I was taught in the cosplay community when I started in it… always support your fellow cosplayers.

I’d been warned though that they don’t like anyone who does the same characters as them (as I’ve seen and heard many times across the community), and it became more and more apparent as time went on, to the point none of my posts any more or liked or commented on as they used to be daily. And our mutuals are slowly starting to remove me from their lists. It sickens me, honestly, that it’s come to this. Especially because I’ve been hearing it from multiple people across the community how jealous you are of me– that, you have even admitted yourself in the past – and are out to ostracize me. Cosplay is NOT a competition. It’s about having fun and doing what you love and being a big nerd. I get invited to guest for my positivity in the community, my passion for what I do, and for being a good sport and actor. I get media coverage because I do what I do well and am in the right place at the right time and know how to talk to people. But yet, you hold a grudge against me for it. It’s disgusting.

I truly don’t know what happened to the community practically overnight. This place used to be so comforting, with a bunch of us all being super dorks and talking about our favorite characters and sharing silly posts. Now, it’s about people wanting attention…. or being threatened and called attention seekers. The drama needs to end. People act like they’re 5. To say the least, I’m disappointed in this community. Disappointed, but I still care because it means so much to me. 

I want the pettiness to stop. Go out there and support your fellow community members (whether in the TCG community, cosplay community, etc.). Don’t make everything a threat or a competition. Do your thing like the geek you are. And stop the lies, stop the slandering, stop the spreading of personal/private information, and stop the jealousy. This isn’t the community I joined years ago… and this isn’t the community I want to leave.

Stay classy, YGO peeps. And stop breaking this Seto Kaiba’s heart. 

“It had been so long since he had last seen Arya. What would she look like now? Would he even know her? Arya Underfoot. Her face was always dirty. Would she still have that little sword he’d had Mikken forge for her? Stick them with the pointy end, he’d told her.”

cpt-tightpants as Jon Snow
bratkartoffel25 as Arya Stark
Photography by David Harback, Katsucon 2014