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

Seregina, Anastasia and Weijo, Henri A. 2017. Play at Any Cost: How Cosplayers Produce and Sustain Their Ludic Communal Consumption Experiences. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(1), pp. 139-159. ISSN 0093-5301 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Communal consumption is often described as inherently playful, with previous research mainly focusing on successful ludic communal experiences, and largely disregarding its 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, which is 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.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


ludic consumption, cosplay, play, communal consumption, practice theory

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


27 December 2016Published Online
June 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2018 16:59

Last Modified:

12 Mar 2021 14:09

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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