There has never been a better time to be a gamer than today. Of course, that is mostly due to the fact that modern players have access to more games which are often bigger, more diverse, and much more immersive than at any time in the past. They also have the freedom to play wherever they want, whenever they want, with practically whoever they want.
Want to shoot zombies with your mates while you wait for your train in the morning? No problem. Looking to race supercars around the Le Mans race track against incredibly talented sim drivers whilst using a realistic forcefeedback steering wheel? Strap in. Prefer something a little more sedate? How about a puzzle game on your sofa?
But it’s not just the volume and variety of video games that make being a gamer today better than ever before. It’s also the fact that being a fan of playing this digital content is now considered cool, it’s been accepted as part of mainstream culture, and it’s no longer considered a niche hobby.
As a result of this, we have seen gaming culture become a source of inspiration for those in other areas of life. One big example of this is fashion. We’ve seen fashion trends influence gaming, gaming influence fashion, and entire categories of fashion pop up around specific games.
This has created a symbiotic relationship that benefits and improves both gaming and fashion.
Many hobbies have evolved a specific type of clothing that many of its participants wear. This can be for a few reasons, though the most common are function and creating a sense of community.
For example, if you’re a cyclist, you might also wear the figure-hugging Lyrca outfits that many of these pedal-powered people put on. There are weight and aerodynamic benefits to such attire, but it also helps you to fit in with the others.
We see a similar thing in poker. While people playing online will likely choose whatever is comfortable, be that Bermuda shorts and a baggy T-shirt or the more natural birthday suit, things are different for live events.
Pretty much all outfits are accepted at poker tables, but a distinct look has evolved over the years with players opting for loose-fitting clothing, sunglasses, and scarves. While this might be the perfect outfit for a snowman, it also performs a function for poker players. Many professionals recommend donning such garments to obfuscate your tells, such as twitches, raised pulse, and excessive swallowing.
Similarly, many esports players have a commonly worn set of garments to help make long gaming sessions more comfortable. For example, they might wear baggy T-shirts with compression sleeves, or hoodies. These provide support for the arm muscles and tendons, the areas where injuries are most frequent among esports players, while also offering a degree of padding under the elbows where players will be resting on a desk.
Many of these esports teams also sell their garments to fans, similarly to how a traditional sports team sells its shirts and caps to supporters.
As video game monetisation has evolved, more and more developers have been including microtransactions in their titles. These provide players with the ability to buy in-game items, including weapons, tools, vehicles, and aesthetic customisations.
This has allowed players to buy outfits for their characters, giving them an opportunity to express their personalities in the online worlds where they spend much of their time. Some choose to reflect their offline fashion sense while others prefer to get more creative.
Fashion houses, sportswear brands, and other companies have noticed this and begun to get involved. For example, in 2021, Balenciaga collaborated with Epic Games to create a collection of in-game fashion items for Fortnite. At the same time, many others in the gaming industry, fashion space, and the world of blockchain technology were getting excited about the prospects of combining all three together to create digital fashion products for the metaverse.
While the talk of the metaverse has fizzled out in the years that have followed, these digital clothing collaborations have not. We’ve seen the Gucci Garden pop up in Roblox, whilst, in 2022, we saw Louis Vuitton partner with League of Legends.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.