Seasoned cosplayers, don't slaughter me-I'm very new to cosplaying with only a few ensembles good enough to post on the Internet. …Actually, who am I kidding. If these guys can post their costumes on the Internet, I should be fine.
From what I understand, the term "crossplay" refers to cosplayers who go to great lengths to conceal certain body parts in order to cross dress as a character of the opposite sex. This could mean wrapping Ace bandages around breasts, or going all Ray Finkle to hide *ahem* male parts. However, "gender-bending" cosplay is different, and refers to almost a complete redesign of a fictional character to make them appear as if they always belonged to the opposite sex. We're talking a new hairstyle, costume, makeup-everything. In other words, Rule 63.
I love reimagining all aspects of video games, so gender-bending cosplay really fascinates me. I don't just say, "Hey. That's a pretty sick female Kratos." I mean, I do say that, but shortly after I say, "Wouldn't that be crazy if Kratos really was female from the start? Slaughtering her husband and children like that… what an angry broad with a pansy husband." I begin to think of what the actual game would be like: Would this ‘Goddess of War' game feature naked male prostitutes instead of female? Would she kill Hermes for literally no reason except to get his super cute shoes? Would she hate Gaia even more because of those stupid "Mother Nature" Tampax commercials?
Games like the original Metroid have proven that a woman can do a man's job without the player even caring or knowing the difference. Same with games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, where playing through the game as either a woman or a man alters the story only slightly. But what about games that would undergo a complete story/gameplay makeover if a sex switch occurred?
Personally, I would love to play a "Princess of Persia" game (see cosplay below), or have the entire cast of Team Fortress 2 suddenly experience an anatomy swap. Heck, it already seems Assassin's Creed might be taking that risk with a female assassin this fall. As a female myself, I can vouch for the fact that we look great in white hoodies and are very graceful when plummeting into hay.