Dragon Con is a conference that’s held annually in Atlanta, GA – which attracts fans of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and other elements of fan culture.

Fans dress up as their favourite characters for the event and every year there’s a video of the best cosplay outfits on show.

Too often we can fixate on the technology version of alternate realities that get served up as augmented or virtual reality. But underneath the increasing demand for these technologies is a growing culture of fantasy escapism that plays out in multiple ways outside of the technology advances that draw the headlines.

It’s easy to get lured into thinking that the only way you can participate in this trend is to develop an app or put on a VR headset, but in reality; collaborative, real-world alternate reality fantasy can take on many forms – much of which is far more social than plugging yourself into a machine.

Yes – the technology versions are interesting, but the cultural trend here is far more engaging and potentially relevant.