Cosplay/Costume Contest

PRGE Cosplay Contest

Bring your best cosplay game to Portland Retro Gaming Expo for a chance to win some awesome prizes! Costumes do not have to be from a video game, so grab your sewing machine, unleash your imagination, and your creativity fly!

Check back to this page for more information on the 2018 cosplay contest.



Cosplay Contest Rules

We're changing things up a little bit this year, so if you've entered our contest before, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the new rules below. You can also register for the contest in advance using the form below.


  • PRGE's cosplay event is a walk-on costume contest.
    • No skits, please. You may request entrance music, but please understand we may not be able to honor your request.
    • Feel free to be "in character" on stage, but keep in mind that no nudity, profanity, hate-speech or otherwise offensive language or costumes will be allowed on the stage. This is up to the discretion of the judges and MC. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with PRGE's Conduct and Harassment policy.
  • Store-bought costumes are not eligible for prizes, but you are welcome and invited to come on stage and have your moment in the spotlight!
    • Some portion of your costume must be hand-made either by yourself or with assistance from family and friends.
  • Costumes related to Video Games are preferred, but not required.
    • We are a gaming convention, but we gladly welcome cosplayers of all fandoms.
  • Costumes will be judged according to your level of expertise.
    • This is to keep things as fair as possible for everyone. Don't worry if this is your first time making a costume, our judges will keep that in mind.
    • Bring a reference image for your costume so our judges can be as fair as possible. This is especially important if your costume is an original concept or character.
    • If you're 13 or younger, you will be judged in the Kids' category. Your parent or guardian must be with you at the contest. No, they don't have to come on stage with you.
  • You may enter as an individual, a family, or a group.
    • Keep in mind that if you choose to do this, there is only one prize pack per judging category, and you will need to split the prize with your group.
  • Your costume must be self-contained.
    • No projectiles flying out of props, keep your finger off the trigger, no rocket fists flying out into the audience, no live steel OR sharpened edges.
    • If your costume is elaborate or has limited mobility or vision, please have a handler with you to help you on and off the stage. There will be steps. Please inform us in advance if you need accommodation.
  • You must have a PRGE admission badge.
    • PRGE staff are ineligible to win prizes in the cosplay contest and will be excluded from judging, but are welcome to come up and strut their stuff.
  • You must arrive on time.
    • While it is an option to register now, it is not required to sign up before the convention. Make sure you are present, in costume and prepared to explain your costume at least 30 minutes before the contest begins.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any aditional rules for costumed attendees?

It is important to us that our attendees enjoy a safe and fun environment. We ask our costumed guests to follow the following rules:

  • To enter the cosplay contest, attendees must have a PRGE admission badge (this includes vendor, volunteer and press badges). Members of PRGE staff are ineligible to compete in the cosplay contest.
  • No glitter, confetti, pyrotechnics, live flame, or smoke generators of any kind are allowed.
  • No electrical power connections will be provided. If your costume requires power it must be part of your costume design.
  • Only prop guns or resin models that are easily identifiable as toys are permitted. No attendees are permitted to bring any of the following into the expo: Airsoft guns, any and all kinds, regardless of whether or not it is functional, BB guns and pellet guns, Crossbows, dart guns, and blowguns, Water guns or water pistols or Stun guns and tasers.
  • Staves, bo sticks, boken, shinai, and wooden swords will be permitted as long as they are handled responsibly and meet all other criteria. Metal-bladed cutting weapons, even if dull, are not permitted.
  • Fake, prop, or made-up weapons (i.e. made of tissue paper, plaster of Paris, cloth) are permitted if they are safe and not dangerous to others around you.