More than 1,000 contestants will take part in a cosplay competition, part of the four-day 2013 ChinaJoy Cosplay carnival, which is considered the most professional in the country.
Cosplay, short for "costume play", is an activity in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea from a work of fiction.
The carnival, being staged in Shanghai, began with the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference on Thursday.
Ruo Ye, 24, who runs a shop selling female clothing and wigs on China's largest e-commerce website Taobao, is an avid cosplay fan. She said she will take part in the contest dressed as a character in the online game The Graverobbers' Chronicles.
Ruo, wearing a purple blouse, white miniskirt, white knitted lace tights, and waving a green fan, said, "I am a maid. My costume is not expensive, costing only 200 yuan ($32.6)."
Asked why she likes cosplay, she said, "Maybe I've gone a little bit insane."
Ye Li, a 20-year-old university student majoring in marketing, traveled from her hometown of Wuxi in Jiangsu province on Wednesday night to attend the ChinaJoy opening ceremony. She decided to come dressed as an ancient warrior in the game Swordsman III.
"I spent 50 yuan on the ticket, but the tailor-made costume cost me 1,000 yuan," she said.
Ye sells costumes on Taobao that she makes by hand. "It is not that difficult making the costumes and I can earn some money to come to ChinaJoy."
The China Gaming Industry Report released on Wednesday said sales revenue in the games market reached 33.89 billion yuan ($5.52 billion) in the first six months of this year, up 36.4 percent year-on-year.
Sales revenue from games made solely by Chinese developers reached 24.34 billion yuan in the same period.
"Online games will become a springboard for Chinese games to explore the overseas market," said Chen Dewen, president of Changyou.com, a NASDAQ-listed Chinese online games developer and operator.
But Sun Shoushan, deputy head of the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said the Chinese games market lacks creativity and high-quality products, with a large number of copycats in the market.
Wang Ye, 21, from Nanjing in Jiangsu province, is majoring in digital media design at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Seen from a distance, she resembled a prince sporting a tuxedo and a small red crown.
"I am playing Beelzebub in the Japanese comedy manga Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san. I sometimes play male characters - it's great fun," she said.
Wang said the costume cost her 400 yuan. "My parents never frown on me dressing this way. The cash comes from my pocket money".
Li Yanfeng, 21, a university student from Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, arrived at the Shanghai New International Expo Center early in the morning.
He was dressed as a well- known Japanese cartoon character in a blue-and-white striped vest, straw hat, with a plaster on his nose and wearing thick eyeliner.
But Li is not thinking of making cosplay his career, describing it as "something like show business".
"If you want to be famous in this industry, you have to pay for photographers and circulate your pictures online to draw attention. With some fame, you will be invited as a judge for cosplay competitions, or to shoot videos. But it requires too much time and money," he said.