Asia Games Channel (AGC) Grand Opening
Long story short: I was asked to do a review by Cosplay-Fun (Malaysia) to cover the event Grand Opening of Asia Games Channel (AGC) advertised on Facebook. Not only that, i went there not only to experience but also ended up being a Kamera Kozu (Cosplaying Cameraman) covering the event. Mostly seeing how the local Malaysian cosplayers react to events like these. Furthermore, i like to thank all the people involved with Cosplay-Fun (especially Allen Yap and Ezli Qamari for filling me in on this event)
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 23rd Jan 2011
Time: 1100hrs – 2000hrs
Activities: Cosplays, Photography, Game Tourneys, Special Offer Purchases, Chance to win a PS3, etc
AGC is a new console game distributor in Kuala Lumpur which will be coming to Penang later in the year and some other places. From sources, i know that Penang is a definite. For the opening, cosplayers were invited to participate in this event. There was also a mention of a best cosplayer prize award as well (an original console game). I was pretty much expecting more of the game cosplayers to show up, but there were also a couple of anime only cosplayers that showed up. For me, i appeared as the Animate Tenchou (promotes games) and taking pictures the entire day. My goal was to try catch as many game related cosplays as possible on camera. As long as the character has his/her own game released on any platform, its a valid ‘game cosplay’.
In Malaysia, owning a console is not a common thing like in Australia. Consoles like the PS3 is considered a ‘high class’ console since its pretty expensive in Msia (without any of the Sony warranty services). For those moving to Msia, pls note! If you own a PS3 in Msia and end up having failures in the HDD/Bluray reader, etc. There is no Sony to replace it for u for free (just pay postage) like in Australia. From my experience, i think Malaysia is mostly Xbox and Wii owners (due to Open Source games). But for the hardcore gamers that love their RPG and everything, fellow comrade otakus will tend to have more than 1 type of console just like every part of the world. But due to the price, its quite a dedication to actually own multiple consoles.
When it comes to cosplaying in Malaysia, Malaysia’s cosplay community mostly focuses on mainstream anime content since they get their influences from neighboring countries like Singapore and Indonesia (and of course, Japan). But not like Australia where cosplayers of nearly everything can be found .. here in Malaysia, cosplayers tend to dress up as chars mostly in this order .. Anime > Games > then very rarely Science Fiction/Movies. Malaysia is surprisingly populated with anime cosplayers only, but sometimes i wonder if they realize there is more than just cosplaying anime chars only. Personally, i like my cosplays and conventions with more variety instead of just the basic stereotype mainstream.
AGC was pretty fun and packed (inside the store) but as more ppl gathered, the cosplayers started roaming around the E@Curve/The Curve Mall. Cosplayers were seen outside the Tenshi no Cafe (Maid Cafe, newly opened), McDonalds, Popeye’s and etc. Some even went around the mall doing their own personal photoshoots.
Flickr Gallery for the AGC Event: Found HERE! (Combined with Fairy Tale photoshoot and Tenshi no Cafe pictures)
Summary: It was a good long and fun day, running here and there to capture the experience on camera. Chasing cosplayers, seeing ppl taking pics of and with cosplayers, seeing cosplayers wander around the malls and playing games in AGC. There was supposed to be a Cosplay Parade, but AGC was swarmed with people so it did not happen due to the huge amount of people. For me, AGC is pretty .. well .. its like every other console shop that tries to promote original games in Malaysia. But for shops like these are to survive the long run, it requires the efforts of the people, the shopkeepers and the government. Fighting the good fight, not supporting piracy! Unfortunately due to the financial crisis the country is suffering, not everyone can buy original games leisurely in Malaysia (like in other countries, 1 week salary can buy u 2 original games).
I had tons of fun capturing the moment and also being dragged around for photoshoot requests by the cosplayers (and some my own requests). Made a lot of new comrades and gave out some of my convention cards, if AGC provided more services like changing rooms and storage, i would have showed up as the trooper. Most important thing is, for some cosplayers, storage is important! Malaysia has a bit of studying to do when it comes to getting involved in the console market like Australia, but shops like these face the biggest problem .. if the people lack gaming culture or pop culture, shops like these can end up having a very stale business.
The goal of the event, “The Opening” was a success in my opinion. But the way they presented their shop layout .. looks pretty .. well .. below normal (by my standards) but give it a few months, and i will come back again in December 2011 to check them out again! Who knows? They could have improved by the time i come back for a visit again!