Cosplay is short for costume play. This term describes both the practice of dressing up as film, television, book, or video game characters, as well as the actual costume worn during the practice. The term was coined by anime producer Nobuyuki Takahashi, who was impressed by the costumed attendees he observed at Los Angeles’ World Science Fiction Convention in 1984.
Cosplayers commonly dress as characters from Japanese manga or anime, but may dress as any fictional characters. The practice originated in Japan but has spread throughout the world.