Thursday, 20 July 2017

Future Gazing

Looking to 2030 - part 1

Future Gazing rarely results in an accurate prediction of the future, but sometimes results in some predictions being fairly close to developments that do occur within the predicted time frames. Some companies, and Governments pay experts a significant sum of money to do nothing other than make predictions of what the future is going to look like. This enables them to direct research (so in some senses can become self enabling) and try to gauge what products will sell the best in the future, gaining a jump on their rivals.

It is fairly easy to look at today's trends and simply extrapolate them, especially in the short to medium term, but this will miss any disruptive changes that might occur. Predicting when and what a 'disruptive' change might be is far far harder. This is why when we look back at future predictions made in the past, they all look rather 'quaint' and 'of the period' - for instance predictions made in the 1920s of life in the 21st Century tend to extrapolate the fashions and technology of the 1920s, so aircraft are just bigger versions of the bi-plane etc. Like this image of a future New York from 1925.


Sometimes though, predictions can be pretty much spot on, as with this image of 'education via television' from the 1930s accurately predicting the Open University televised courses of the 1970s 


Though this shows the TV technology of the 1930s, not what would actually be available in the 1970s.

So this look at life in the UK in 2030 is just a bit of fun rather than anything that is likely to be particularly accurate, though it will be fun to look back at this in 13 years time.

Life in the UK in 2030

There are a number of potentially highly disruptive technologies already working in the lab, or about to be demonstrated in tests, it is not unreasonable to assume that some of these at least will have made it to market by 2030. Some, like the 'smart phone' may be so successful that uptake is rapid and that by 2030 they are in common use, others may seem like good ideas now, but fail for one reason or another and thus have all but vanished by 2030.

Transport


This is an area where in the next 5-10 years we are likely to see fundamental changes in how we get from A to B which will in turn have a potentially huge knock on effect on the way we live.

Self-Drive cars - Most manufacturers are already producing cars that can park themselves and provide increasing levels of 'driver assist' to the extent that most can already effectively drive themselves, but we are a few years away yet from true self drive cars where we will be a passenger, rather than have any control of the driving. By 2030 though it is reasonable to assume that the self drive cars will have begun to substantially replace non self drive vehicles. It is likely that motorways will be limited to self drive vehicles only, and potentially all 'high speed' roads will become self-drive only by 2030. Car ownership is likely to drop substantially, this will have a huge impact on the planning of new housing and towns. We won't need garages or drive-ways if we don't own cars, nor will we have our roads clogged up with parked vehicles. When we need to use a car, we'll 'hail' one on whatever passes for an 'app' on whatever passes for a connected device in 2030. The nearest available vehicle will then arrive at our door within a few minutes ready to take us wherever we want to go. This means housing areas and town centres will likely become far more pedestrianized and generally nicer places to be, though there will be a need for potentially large 'waiting areas' on the outskirts of towns and smaller ones outside of villages where empty cars can wait to be called, and re-charge whilst doing so.

Long distance travel by 'car' is likely to be much reduced as well. If the upcoming Hyperloop test track proves successful, it is likely that by 2030 there will be Hyperloop lines between most major cities in the UK. They will be cheap and rapid to build compared with traditional railways or roads, and they will prove extremely cheap to run, so fares will be substantially less than for existing travel. It will be possible to travel from London to Manchester in 15 minutes with self-drive pods delivering you from your door to the hyperloop terminal at one end and the terminal to your end destination at the other. Traffic jams will become a thing of the past, and future generations will marvel that we used to spend so much of our lives sat in slow moving traffic. Speeds will increase as the technology is proven, and may even replace long distance air travel eventually, though only on routes over land.


That's it for part one - in further parts we'll look at work, society, leisure and communications.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Women of Cosplay - Katie Cosplays

Katie Cosplays

In the latest in our 'women of strength in cosplay series' we asked Katie to tell us a bit about herself.

"Hello, I'm Katie cosplays, I really love to cosplay numerous different characters from Disney, to DC characters, what I love most about cosplay is the way I can put on a costume like Jessica Rabbit and feel confident and sexy I like the way it feels to put on a costume and become that character, a fun and quirky villain like Harley Quinn, a strong and powerful heroine like Black canary.  Each character I cosplay, I do it because I love that character, I try to create as much likeness to the character as I can, I make some parts of the cosplays myself which makes me feel proud to wear it as I know it’s something that I have created. 

Cosplaying is about having fun, enjoying representing your favourite characters from comics, movies, etc. because when you put on a costume, you can be anyone you want to be."

Katie's cosplay page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Katiecosplays









Friday, 10 June 2016

Women of Cosplay - Sian Wicks Cosplay

Sian Wicks Cosplay

In the latest of our 'Women of Strength in Cosplay' series we caught up with Sian Wicks Cosplay at the MCM London Comic Con.

"My names Sian I'm 18 years old and from Kent. I've only been cosplaying for just over a year but its been an amazing one. Cosplay is a very unique hobby as your body is the canvas and you have the freedom to cosplay whoever and however you want. Everyone in the cosplay community has been so welcoming its like being a part of a huge family ! I have cosplayed a few different characters such as Lady Vader and most recently Jason Voorhees (based on the Kotobukiya figure.) I enjoy these characters as its fun to be the villain plus people like to see the female twist on powerful male characters. I have many cosplay ideas for the future and cannot wait to put them into reality"






Thursday, 2 June 2016

Annual Cosplay Awards

The First Annual Geekzania Cosplay Award


We are delighted to announce our first Annual Cosplay Awards:

Nominations are now open for the following categories:

Adult Cosplayer (over 18)
Youth Cosplayer (under 18) - permission should be gained from a Parent/Guardian to enter.
Cosplay Celebrity (a well known and/or pro cosplayer)
Prop Maker
Costume Maker
Large Con/Event
Small/Medium Con/Event
Fan Group

To nominate someone in any of the categories please send an e-mail to minions@geekzania.com with 'Cosplay Awards' as the subject and say who you are nominating in which category and why you are nominating them.

Nominations will be open until the end of June 2016.

As we don't want this simply to be a contest about who can generate the most votes or who has the most fans, but we also recognise that popularity is a valid measure, we will have both a 'fan' voted award and a 'judged' award so you don't need to have zillions of fans to be in with a chance of winning.

Judging/voting will take place in July with the winners announced at the end of July 2016.

People can be nominated in more than one category, e.g. Adult cosplayer and prop maker but we reserve the right to exclude nominations we don't consider valid or to move a nomination to a more appropriate category. The results, once announced will be final.

Winners will be featured on our website, on our blog and social media and we'll also have some prizes including t-shirts, photo shoots with a large print etc.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Kitti Of Doom

Women of Strength in Cosplay

In the next of our Women of Strength in Cosplay series we feature Kitti Of Doom.

We asked Kitti to tell us about her love of cosplay.

"I started cosplaying when I was about 14, my first cosplay was Shad from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and that was with store bought clothes and a waistcoat that my dad put together last minute. I had heard about a convention and seen cosplay on the internet and I really wanted to try it for myself. Fast forward 8 years and I'm still cosplaying. I love the challenges that come with it; I taught myself to sew, to craft weapons, to make chainmail and embroider. I've learnt so many skills for cosplay and it's half the reason I pick so many difficult costumes to make because I love to challenge myself.

I've always been a fan of Doctor Strange, he's my favourite Marvel Hero and I love the story of Stephen and Clea. Clea is such a strong, powerful woman, even in some verses of Marvel being Sorceress Supreme instead of her husband. She's a character that you don't see very often in Marvel either in the recent comics or in the fandom itself and I chose her both because I love her character and to try and bring a little recognition to this character and I had the added bonus of matching my friend's Doctor Strange cosplay and cosplaying the couple together which is great fun."

Her cosplay page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/KittiofdoomCosplay/?fref=ts







Friday, 22 April 2016

Predators at large

Heaven and Hell Heroes

We recently had a shoot with Heaven and Hell Heroes - here are some of the resulting images









Celery Moon Designs

Cosplay Princess

The next in our 'Women of Strength in Cosplay' series features Lydia otherwise known as Celery Moon Designs

Here is what Lydia had to say about cosplaying and the characters she chose for our shoot.

"I started cosplaying in 2009 although technically I guess I've been doing it a lot longer, I just didn't know what it was called! My first attempt at cosplay was a hastily thrown together Penny costume for a trip to Tokyo Disneyland using my own clothes as guests can dress up during halloween. However, for my first actual convention I didn't actually cosplay. I was completely unaware at the time that cosplay was a thing in the UK.
After that first con, I decided that from now on I would cosplay at events. I wasn't expecting my hobby to spiral so crazily though! I've gone from sewing a waistcoat because I couldn't do sleeves to full blown princess dresses and digitigrade faun legs. Cosplay has allowed me to meet new people and experience amazing things that I wouldn't have before.
The first character I picked to shoot with Geekzania is Navi from Legend of Zelda. This costume originally started as a painted jacket with everything else from ebay. From there I altered an exisiting costume, made by a family member, to finally creating this in it's entirety. This costume represents my journey into cosplay and is my favorite for sentimental reasons. Navi was the first character I embodied and she gave me the confidence to talk to people and even enter masquerades. Anyone who has ever played Legend of Zelda is familar with Navi and it is always incredible fun cosplaying as her. She has this great cheeky spirit and you can get away with lots of things when in character! Navi always gives me such a boost to my confidence.
My second choice was Princess Peach. One of my favourite female characters of all time, I outright refuse to play MarioKart if I can't play as her. I remember Princess Peach being one of the few standout female characters from my childhood and as soon as my skill set increased I knew I had to cosplay her. I wanted to focus on a more realistic version of her rather than the cartoony style so my Peach probably isn't as accurate as she could be, but to me that doesn't matter. Cosplaying Peach is the chance to relive my childhood and although a lot of people write her off as a typical damsel in distress, Peach was a prominent female character in an otherwise male dominated world for me. I was a tomboy as a kid but even I could recognise kicking butt and taking names in a poofy pink ballroom dress was pretty fun.
Rapunzel was my third choice and is probably my favourite modern princess in the Disney family (although Tiana is a close second). I love her feisty and passionate nature and although this version is ballerina themed, her personality still shines through when I am in cosplay. Rapunzel is such a great role model and sends a great message to kids and although she's not the first princess with such a message, her creativity and sense of adventure really resonates with me.
Finally, I chose Elsa as my last cosplay. Frozen is a weird film for me, as I love the music, the characters and the gorgeous design but I'm not a fan of the actual plot! Nevertheless, Elsa is an amazing character and I love her strength and raw power. I love becoming her in cosplay as it's hard not to feel all powerful and bad-ass when dressed as her."


Navi From Legends of Zelda


Princess Peach

Rapunzel



Elsa