Play at Any Cost: How Cosplayers Produce and Sustain Their Ludic Communal Consumption Experiences

Anastasia Seregina, Henri Weijo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
322 Downloads (Pure)


Communal consumption is often described as inherently playful; previous research focuses mainly on successful ludic communal experiences and largely disregards their potential pitfalls. Moreover, the marketer is usually seen as the primary facilitator of ludic experiences, which has marginalized the role of the consumer. This article explores how consumers produce and sustain ludic consumption community experiences in the face of growing instrumental costs. It assumes a practice theory lens and is based on an ethnographic inquiry into cosplay, a time- and resource-intensive form of pop culture masquerade and craft consumption. Prolonged engagement in the cosplay community leads to growing emotional, material, temporal, and competence-related costs, which hinder playful experiences. Consumers practice modularization, reinforcement, and collaboration to overcome these costs and maintain the important ludic sensations that motivate communal engagements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-159
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • ludic consumption
  • cosplay
  • play
  • communal consumption
  • practice theory


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