Cosplay while simulating

Hello everyone.

I found myself in a conversation tonight where somebody mentioned that they cosplay while they’re playing their space sim. This individual stated that they feel more connected to the game, making it a more immersive experience. Therefore, they can more fully leave the real world and freely indulge in the imagination. I thought perhaps I would pose some questions to all of you, both for the sake of conversation and because I am genuinely curious.

First, do you cosplay while you sim? This could be anything from wearing a pair of flight gloves all the way up to wearing enough gear you could climb into a fighter jet straight away. If so, what do you do?

Secondly, do you feel that people who cosplay are “nerds”? I ask this because this person was hesitant to tell me because he thought I would think he was a nerd and not want to associate with him.

Third, do you feel cosplay would enhance the experience? Moreover, does having type specific hardware or a physical cockpit count as cosplay?

Here is how I feel:

First, I don’t cosplay and I never have- but I would be open to it in the right circumstances. The simulation experience is an individual one and the enjoyment one gets from it is going to be based on your own individual experience.

I can see how a person dressed like a fighter pilot, flying a fighter, might more fully connect with that experience. I can also see how it could distract from it. I can’t imagine that the gear is all that comfortable, and indeed it probably wasn’t designed to be, but perhaps that’s part of the experience.

Does one dressing up in military gear, wearing a captain’s uniform, or even a star fleet t-shirt when they play make them a nerd? Maybe. But even if it does, is that so bad?

I suppose to summarize, I see no harm in it and I can see a benefit so long as the person doesn’t assume the identity of what they are pretending to be (i.e. don’t tell people you’re an F-16 pilot if all you do is fly DCS).

I would love to hear what you all think about this. If you would rather not admit to this in public, feel free to private message me. I am genuinely curious about your answers.


I once considered gloves, but didn’t do it in the end because of comfort.

As for the “nerd” part: I think playing flight sims is enough of a qualifier for that!


Each to their own I think. The thought of sitting in a flight suit and helmet sounds fun but in reality its probably hot, uncomfortable and ill spill my beer id guess.


Cosplay? Well, I guess… Sort of.
I don’t consider the cockpit to be a costume but it it does enhance the immersion factor, so maybe it has the same effect as wearing a costume…?
Wearing a seatbelt harness also enhance the immersion, for me. Strapping into the seat and tightening down the straps makes me feel like I’m in the cockpit. It also makes moving around harder, which is realistic.
Since VR became a big thing in 2016, I became a devoted fan. It really puts me in the cockpit, as it were. Donning the headset feels a bit like using a helmet. In fact, I have toyed with the idea of making a helmet, and attach my VR headset to that.
I have, however, grown too old to care what other people think, so any nerdyness is totally lost on me. I do realize that my interest in flightsims is not mainstream, not even for pilots. I guess that makes me a nerd? But everybody who gets to play with my toys do so with a big smile on their faces :slight_smile:

If it makes you happy, do more of it.


Not sure this qualifies as cosplay per se, but I do the following regularly:

  • Listen to contemporary music when playing anything historical, especially for the epic songs of the Vietnam war era, but also had a lot of fun scrounging yt for Civil War music
  • I like to wear my Nordschleife shirt and drink from the Nürburgring mug when racing
  • I wonder if I want to invest in a vintage pilot jacket and wear that with open window during winter times when flying warbirds :wink:



Ok, first of all: Most of us probably are nerds (I certainly am and I am proud of it), and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

About cosplay:
While I have cosplayed and even LARPed, I don’t do so while flight simming, mostly because it would be uncomfortable. I like the idea though, and when I was a kid I once played Wing Commander with a motorcycle helmet on, and it was weirdly fun.

I know a guy who bought an adapter to use his real life pilot headset in flight sims, and he says it adds immersion for him.

So yeah, I recommend to try it and see. Might improve immersion or not, and might be fun or not.


I never thought about it, but I have to have shoes on (unusual in our home) when flying my sim, because barefoot or sockfooted on the rudder pedals destroys my immersion.

I also tend to wear long pants and not shorts. That sorta counts for dressing up to play a simulator, right?


I go full Furry or not at all :crazy_face:

But seriously no, I never have and never really thought about it to be honest. I do kind of roleplay, depending on the game e.g. if flying commercial in XP11 or hauling passengers in Elite I will do the whole “Ladies and gentlemen this is your captain speaking…” etc.

If cosplay in a sim increases someone’s enjoyment of the game then more power to them. I am not one to judge… unless of course you do go ‘Full Furry’ :scream:


I don’t know that using a flight sim automatically makes one a nerd. Maybe it depends on why you use it? Again, is being a nerd a bad thing? Probably not.

That was the thought I had, but I know of people who do it. By the way, spilling your beer is another benefit to simulation use vs doing the real thing.

This is why I’m building mine. Immersion.

Also a good point!

Ok, so this brings the immersion level of the experience up. I did that a few times. Who doesn’t make playlists nowadays? I might try that again.

This is exactly what I’m talking about. The person I was speaking with did the same thing and got hooked. It’s not fun for him without it now. I love how open you are about this and your “hell yeah” attitude.

I saw this A LOT in virtual airlines. I have two adapters in my desk drawer, but I reasoned it away as I was practicing- kind of a “train like you fight” type of thing.

Good observations. That’s a problem for me. At home, I tend to barely use my pedals, and when I do, I don’t use them as I would in an aircraft. So, wearing shoes could fix that bad habit. Good point.

That’s what I’m talking about, yeah. Do you feel like it enhances your immersion?

Ok, THAT would be a little beyond nerdy and into the need for clinical and pharmacological intervention, IMO.

Thanks for the replies everyone. This is good stuff.


My gloves when I race, holding an alcantara covered wheel for 2+ hours is uncomfortable to me in bare hands. Well that’s my rationale at least :wink: I usually drive bare foot, which actually really takes away from the immersion. When it’s colder weather and I have on slippers/house shoes, I much appreciate how they feel when driving. Much more like what I am used to operating a car.

Definitely flight sim’ed in gloves before, mainly to see exactly how it felt. I honestly didn’t really notice too much a difference.

As someone who always wanted to try out a Battletech Center, I am all about going full LARP if you have the stuff for it and you enjoy it. If I had a full pit I’d definitely at least try out flying or racing in full kit.


To my imaginary friends,

I’d have to Google that. So I guess that’s a ‘no’.

Ah. I see. I Think. I ‘get it’, I just don’t do it.

There’s a guy that goes full tilt: flight suit, mockup of a cockpit - even a helmet! (no VR I’d imagine). Then there’s a dude - who can’t be married - that found the business end of a -737 (300 I think it was) somewhere and hauled it to his garage. Does MSFS of course. That’s his man-cave, the aviation version. Either it’s crazy…or I’m just jealous.

I suppose as long as your not bothering someone else, go for it.

PS: I’ve seen ‘nerds’ go from, “what’s a nerd”, to “Not Cool”, to “Cool”, and, well, wherever they are now.


I used to strap on a kneeboard for clearances, steerpoints, and approaches, but don’t since I began simming full time in VR. In DCS I use the interactive kneeboard in VAICOM, but have been wanting to try OpenKneeboard.


Definitely do! It’s just as vital as Viacom for me now, and it’s very well done, easy to set up.


More like the other way around, I’m tuned into the game and it just slips out really…

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When I was at peak “Rise of Flight”, I couldn’t get enough. Some evenings I would get home from a hard 4-day, give my wife and young daughter a peck, grab a beer from the freezer (if you have a Japanese wife, you know), ditch the tie (but nothing else) and run upstairs to join my squad. For hours I’d scream and laugh in front of the PC, wearing a pilot shirt, wings, epaulettes, dark pants and a TrackIR cap. My poor little daughter would ask her mom what I was doing and Fumie would answer, “oshigoto” (work). For at least a year this is what my daughter thought I was doing when I put on my uniform and left the house for days. “Oshigoto” was what I did when I was gone. And “Oshigoto” was what I did when I was home.


I think you make a good point here. Please don’t think this is a personal attack, it’s not, but I think when it gets to the level that you ignore family OR it becomes work, it’s unhealthy. If it relaxes you, but it’s not your identity, I think it can be a healthy expression of interest, of community and friendship and can be complimentary to real world relationships. This goes back to the “as long as you’re not hurting anyone” idea.

If you don’t mind my asking such a personal question, do you feel that hurt your relationship with your wife and daughter?

Is LARP the correct term here, instead of Cosplay?

I think if you really wanted to get into semantics, LARP’ing would be assuming the roll of a character. This would include dressing largely maintaining the persona. A key element of LARP’ing would be that you are engaged in some kind of roleplay scenario/game.

Cosplay I would say is when you are dressed and acting as the character in question, but not necessarily adopting the persona. Additionally there is usually not an over arching narrative to the situation.

I’ll write more when I have a keyboard rather than my phone.


Not at all! These episodes weren’t that common and were compressed at a short period where my involvement with the squad was at a peak. I would leave for work before dawn and often get back after 2000, when my daughter was already either in bed or about to go. She’s now 18 and has no memory of the “oshigoto” nights. But it remains a running joke in the family. I do still come home from work and keep the uniform on sans tie, wings and epaulets. It’s just easier than changing.


lol, I usually drive my car barefoot (sockfoot) IRL unless its too cold or too wet outside.

never tried to fly IRL barefoot actually :slight_smile:

for the cosplay, lol again, because I had to google it similarly as @jross

I dont do it I would say. the only thing that can resemble something from the real world are the headphones hence only gaming hp no rw.
I like the comfort, good chat with friends, beer / wine, etc.

but definitely I am not siming at home, same as you @smokinhole , I call it at home ‘working’ ! :slight_smile: