Seldom do we praise gaming’s Christian Diors and Giambattista Vallis, its Pradas and its Stella McCartneys. We don’t often talk about the fashion icons of gaming, but we should—because the right gamer ensemble can show the world that these tastemaking giants of our favourite passe-temps are never far from our hearts—or our wallets. Truly, a well-crafted combination of brands, logos and tech accessories declares to one’s peers in no uncertain terms, “I am here. I am now. I am game.”
This spring season is all about two words: wearable tech.
Sporting a crisp, cool Google Glass paired with a sharp, slim-fit cotton weave Armani dress shirt and neoprene pleated pants is both breezy and confident. Let the world know that the sun shines down on you, oh fashion- and tech-forward one. But clever touches, like leaving that collar unbuttoned and that hair moussed and smartly tousled also tells admirers that you’re not all business.
When checking your emails for important monetization opportunities, the matte-chrome finish and futuristic angularity of Google Glass gives you an air of power-driven authority to suit your fast-paced, high-speed lifestyle. Power down, though, by spreading #brand awareness on social media or engaging with local community demographics by recording photos and video to post for your loving Instagram followers.
And don’t forget that in fashion, accessories are everything! It’s one thing to adorn your head with cyborgian style, but keep your eyes peeled for Google’s upcoming “Android Wear,” a smartwatch which not only promises to facilitate networking, but which also gives your look a certain completeness, or “motif,” singularity-style.
Haters might call you conspicuously status-obsessed, prodigal and obnoxiously representative of everything that’s wrong with both tech fetishism and neoliberal expansion, but we say, “Get with the times, Luddites!” Others might argue that wearing computerized headgear in public makes you look like a dick. But we know that no price is too steep when it comes to investing in the future of smart and understated, Deus Ex style. You never asked for this, but you do deserve it.
Google Glass: $1500 (Introductory price)
Google Watch: An actual human liver
Armani Slim Fit Cotton Weave Shirt: $325
Armani Neoprene Pant: $495
Armani Dark Vintage Wash Jeans: $375
Even if you’re not that into the tech side of things, it’s a universal fact that brand loyalty is a part of any gamer fashionista’s style.
Wearables may not be accessible to average gamers—maybe you, or your wallet, simply can’t pull off the look—but we recommend the average gamer carefully consider accompanying a favorite gaming device with appropriately branded clothing and accessories.
Whether you’re donning your press badge for a convention, earning your 15 minutes with an unboxing video, or just taking your favorite handheld gizmo out for a day on the town, nothing proves that you’re a True Gamer who indeed plays games like a printed, cotton-blend tee sporting a game or developer logo. There’s also the rare-but-daring option that we call “brand-blending”: match that striking Final Fantasy top with a slick Microsoft messenger bag. This fashionista is not committed to just one corporate overlord—she’s willing to synergize her heart!
Much like the merchandizing prowess of fashion powerhouses like Tommy Hilfiger or Chanel, our own videogame giants etch their brand recognition onto our souls forever with clever, subtle logo designs. Some might say that such conspicuous branding supplants individual identity with company identity, turning consumers into unwitting human billboards. But what mortal can deny the slick, icy power of Sony’s Egyptienne fontface, or the sensuous, soft curves of Nintendo’s ovalesque stylization? We say, adorn yourself! Proudly wear your gamer identity on your sleeve—and for that matter, on your pants, shoes, bag, hat and decorative brocade codpiece if possible.
Remember, equilibrium is important. There’s a fine line between looking like you don’t care how you look and making it abundantly clear that you desperately want people to see you as a core gamer. Complete your look with a healthy dose of bed-head, well-worn jeans or cargo pants—but don’t forget to sport that all-important logo! Make it a focal point on a t-shirt, for example, or accessorize with an accent, such as with a backpack patch or lanyard. Make it your own—but always make a statement! Namely, that you wholeheartedly believe that EA is the worst company in the world, but that you still readily purchase all of their shit on day one, preferably at midnight.
Don’t forget: The number-one accessory to completing this look is a handheld. PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS or Gameboy Color—if you’re feeling retro—all offer a panoply of desired effects, so choose your look carefully. Branded tech like these Call of Duty Turtle Beach headsets, or perhaps a Pokémon DS case, are some small touches to add texture and intensity to your cultivated style.
The Commodification Couture look works especially well for ladies because, after all, the hard masculine lines and muted tones of gamer fashion are simply no place for your frilly lace and floral patterns. Adopting this style will show the guys once and for all that you aren’t faking it like the other girls—you’re the genuine article! A loose men’s printed logo tee and Mountain Dew accessory should do the trick of transforming you from Cooking Mama into the dog from Call of Duty, according to the trendsetting gents of gaming fashion. Remember, it’s your job to be the girl who looks accessible enough to pass in the hard-nosed gamer fashion circuit—but where a glamour queen adopts a countenance of poise and confidence, you’re better off being slightly ill-at-ease. You’ll still want to look like a Victoria’s Secret angel from the neck up, letting the boys fantasize about what’s underneath that branded cotton T-shirt. We recommend dusting off that old Wii Fit scale!
355ml Can of Mountain Dew: ~$1
Branded Tee: $25-$40
PS Vita: ~$200
Nintendo 3DS: $150-$200, depending on model
Pokemon DS Case: $20
Gameboy Color: You can’t put a price on memories
Call of Duty Headset by Turtle Beach: $299.95
Whether you’re a lord or a lady of gamer fashion, and whether you’re into the high-speed cyborg-business suit aesthetic of wearable tech or the earthier tones of core gamer style, it’s clear that this season is all about marketing mavens and tenacious technophiles. This spring, loud and proud logos are in, and a well-cultivated look means gadgets, gizmos and most important of all, brands, brands, brands!
Lana Polansky is a Montreal-based writer, game critic, Twine enthusiast and professional scowler. She has written for Kill Screen, Billboard, The Wall Street Journal, Five Out of Ten, Gameranx, Medium Difficulty and Bit Creature.