Cosplay, contest, showcase, meetup! Bring your best creativity! As part of this track, there will be a Cosplay Contest event, a cosplay repair station, and a workshop! People may ask you for photos--it is your choice.

You can find the Cosplay Repair Station in YOUmedia (on the 1st Floor of the library in the northeast corner of the building), as well as a special Cosplay Workshop from 11am-1pm.

Registration for Cosplay Contests and general information can be found at Hubworld (at the main lobby on the Lower Level).

Please review the guidelines below, and check out our Cosplay Contest rules below!


Respect of Other Cosplayers

We aim to create a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment for all con-goers.

We recognize that you may be enthusiastic when seeing someone cosplay a character you appreciate. However, please remember to respect their boundaries as a person and ask permission before touching or photographing them. Person first, cosplay second.

Please respect people’s cosplay choices and interpretations regardless of canon, ships, skill level, physical resemblance, and gender. Cosplay is for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, or ability.

With that said, please consider how your cosplay may reflect or appropriate others’ cultural identities. For example, we strongly advise against using face paint that mirrors a real-world skin tone or real-world, culturally specific symbols that are not your own.

Offensive Symbols and Comments

We want this to be a safe space for people of all different backgrounds including gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race/ethnicity, etc. Speech, text, and symbols that target groups of people or which express hateful ideologies are unwelcome.


All prop weapons should be safe to have in a public space, meaning they:

  • Won’t cause others to be afraid, including all realistic gun replicas

  • Can’t hurt someone else due to weight, projectile capability, sharp edges, etc.


Please help us create a “PG” environment. Be aware that young children may be present.

Safety and Preservation of Space

Be mindful of protecting the space and the safety of other con-goers.

  • If using makeup or effects, please make sure it won’t transfer onto other people or surfaces. This includes footwear that may mark the floor.

  • Be aware of how much space your costumes and props take up so they do not affect the flow of traffic in the space. A good rule of thumb is that they should not extend further than a foot from your body.

Please also abide by Chicago Public Library general guidelines. This means you may not:

  • Engage in disruptive or unsafe behavior, including interfering with the use or operations of the library by users or staff.

  • Enter the library without shoes or clothing covering both your upper and lower torso.

  • Remove shoes or clothing while inside the library.

  • Bring in animals other than service animals.

  • Block aisles, shelves, entrances or leave items unattended at any time.

  • Take photographs or videos of library users without their permission.

  • Harass library users or staff including intimidating, following or staring.

  • Use loud, abusive or profane language.

Library and convention staff have final say on whether the cosplay rules are being met. Those who are not following the rules may be asked to modify their cosplay, cover up certain areas, or store components for later pickup. Staff reserve the right to require anyone to leave.

These guidelines are subject to change. Please check back for updates.


Gamers Universe features three ways to show off your cosplay: a non-competitive Showcase, a Beginner to Intermediate Competition, and a Master Level Competition.

The Showcase is open to all, including store-bought cosplay. No sign-up necessary. Show up to strut your stuff to the music - sorry, we can’t accommodate song requests. The Showcase will run up to half an hour, and we’ll try to fit everyone in, but crossing the stage is first come, first served. Pairs or small groups are welcome to walk together.

Sign up for the Beginner to Intermediate Competition and Master Level Competition at Hubworld in the lobby on the Lower Level. The Master Level is intended for more experienced cosplayers–we reserve the right as hosts to recategorize participants.

Both contests will be judged on Artistry/Craftsmanship (1-10) and Performance/Energy (1-5), and the overall score will determine placement. Modified, creatively embellished, or collected pieces of clothing (for example, a creative combination of items from a thrift store) all highlight your Artistry/Craftsmanship. Store-bought, cosplay-specific pieces like a trident purchased on Etsy may be used but will not count toward your score. For example, if you cosplay Temari from Naruto, you might find, build, or purchase a fan and decorate it, but buying “Temari’s fan” off of AliExpress will not improve your score.

You’ll be asked to provide the name you wish to be called, the name of the character you’re cosplaying (original characters are also welcome), and the title and artist of the song you’d like to play if you have a preference. Please no explicit lyrics. Each participant will have up to one minute on stage.

We’ll have 50 time slots total, regardless of competition level, and each level will have 3 top prizes. We will keep a wait-list, so even if slots fill up, we encourage you to attend. Should fewer than 3 people sign up for the Master Level, we’ll hold a single competition with prizes awarded to the top 6.

We reserve the right to make changes to the program and the aforementioned rules based on the needs of the day.