When a cosplayer is mistaken for the character they cosplay, it’s usually considered a compliment. But when an unnamed man from Grande Prairie, Canada, cosplayed a character from the videogame series Fallout, it was considered a potential act of terrorism.
A cosplayer who dressed as a member of the New California Republic—one of the factions in Fallout 2 and Fallout New Vegas—aroused suspicion as he walked around with paramilitary gear … and a suspicious backpack on his back.
According to the CBC, nervous passersby called the police as the man entered the premises of Lynn’s Alterations. The police then called the owner of the store and asked if he could see wires coming from the man’s backpack. Yup, wires. As per the police’s recommendation, the owner exited the back of the store while the police “made contact” with the cosplayer …
… and quickly learned that he was just that—a cosplayer.
And the bomb on the man’s back? That was several Pringles cans painted silver.
The CBC writes, “[This] should serve as a warning to others who enjoy cosplay that police will assume fake weapons are real.”
Consider the warning carefully. At least eight officers responded, with their guns drawn. While Canandian police aren't as quick to shoot as policemen in other countries, the same cannot be said in the United States. I'm glad his innocence was determined with conversation, but to me, the fact that he was entering a tailor's shop was a clear signal that he was wearing a costume.
So be careful out there, cosplayers. You want your awesome costume to cause a riot at the convention, not outside it.