I kind of get it, but I kind of don't, too. Cosplay is one of those strange aspects of geekery and various fandoms that seems at once very cool and very silly. The attraction? I can understand it being fun, and not just the dressing up part. I'd imagine the making of costumes is quite an entertaining hobby, but I can't imagine doing it myself.
For one thing, I don't have the build for it. The only person I look like is Adrian Edmonson (it's the lack of hair that does it), and there's only so far I would get by Cosplaying Eddie from Bottom.
In my line of work I've been privy to countless images of anime and comics fans in elaborate costumes with replica props, being photographed in dynamic poses and being great adverts for cosplay in general. Then again, there are all of the others that have seared my eyes with their terror- people so very wrong for Cosplaying that I want to grind my eyes with limestone chunks if only to get the image of these becostumed terrors from my mind.
Actually, there is one instance of cosplay as an adult that I must confess to. I swear it was an accident. When Doctor Who came back in 2005, I was surprised and elated to discover that my idol, The Doctor, was dressed exactly as I was at the time.
This made me where the V-neck shirts, black jeans and boots and leather jacket even more than I already did. I was cutting edge for once in my life (well, as cutting edge as dressing like a Time Lord can make you), and in a fit of fanboy hysteria, I bought a replica sonic screwdriver to carry around in my jacket pocket.
I tried to persuade people that it was practical, as it was a torch, but their 'Yes mate, of COURSE it's useful' sort of comments brought it home to me. I had become one of those people who was dressing up as a fictional character, and you know what? I think that's when I started to understand a bit of the attraction of Cosplay.
It's fun. It's harmless (as long as you're not one of those terrifying guys dressing as Pikachu). It is also remarkably sad and nerdy, but hey, that's the whole point of fandom, isn't it? Who am I to judge?
To be honest with you, I envy you Cosplayers. You are infinitely more talented with your crafting abilities than I'll ever be, and while I may jeer and point and smirk, I'm really rather impressed.
Now get out of that Cloud Strife costume and go and make some friends, you sad creature ;)