Kelowna woman’s giant Minecraft costume nets her cosplay contest prize | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna woman’s giant Minecraft costume nets her cosplay contest prize

Amy Thiessen's Dirty Enderman costume got second place in an Extra Life United Cosplay contest.
Image Credit: Imgur/ScrtSolstice
May 08, 2021 - 6:30 AM

A Kelowna woman who spent hours meticulously painting and wiring a seven-foot tall Minecraft costume has been rewarded for her efforts in an Extra Life United Cosplay contest.

Extra Life United is a virtual charity gaming tournament where gamers compete to win donations for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Amy Thiessen won second place in the 2021 Extra Life United Professional Cosplay tournament, held April 24-25, where she was awarded $3,000 USD for the B.C. The competition saw 27 participants spread across two categories: novice and professional. Cosplay, shortened from costume play, is an activity where people dress up as characters from shows, movies and video games.

Thiessen went all out for her Dirty Enderman costume, using 2,236 painted foam squares, cardboard and light-up LED lights for its eyes.

Cosplay is not something new to Thiessen. She cosplayed for years before it got too expensive but has never entered a cosplay costume before, she said.

She has to wear heels to fit properly in the costume because she’s only five-foot-four, she said.

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“It’s pretty big, it’s great. I’ve never done a build like that before but Minecraft is something I’m familiar with. I used to work for Xbox for a little while, so I know the game,” she said, adding she and her husband recently moved to Kelowna from the Lower Mainland and had a ton of cardboard boxes kicking around. She grew up in the Okanagan city.

If competitors based their creations on one of the games that were a part of this year’s tournaments, they got bonus points so she decided to create a costume based on art by Jordi Inglada Miras.

It took her roughly five days to complete and she mapped out the costume beforehand, following a YouTube tutorial to help her create it.

“I’ve never worked with wiring before, so wiring those LEDs for the eyes was new, but you know, it works,” Thiessen said.

Winners were announced by Tim Gunn of Project Runway, April 30.

The pandemic also made her miss the cosplay world since conventions have been put on hold so that also factored in her decision to participate.

“This kind of acceptance of nerdy culture has only gotten better over the years,” she said, adding her younger sibling would love to use her costume at a future convention.

Thiessen also streams under ScrtSolstice on Twitch for Extra Life year round. Any money donated from subscriptions or donations will go towards charity.

This is her sixth year taking part in Extra Life for B.C. Children's Hospital. She has raised $11,444.74 USD so far including her latest award and hopes to raise $5,000 for this year's marathon stream events coming up in November.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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