Video games have been around since the 1950s, since which time they have gone from being a niche hobby to a mainstream pastime with billions of players around the globe. As with any popular activity, there have been some fashion trends associated with gaming that have become popular around the world.
As with films, television shows, and music, gamers can buy merchandise featuring some of the more memorable characters and quotes from the most popular video games. Some games have become so popular that their products have become commonplace in high street stores, and certain gaming imagery has become familiar to anyone with even a passing interest.
Some of the games that have inspired lines of clothing include:
- Mario Kart
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Grand Theft Auto
These clothes are not only designed to bring the games to life but also to help gamers identify one another and share the things they have in common. This used to be much more important when gaming was considered the preserve of so-called ‘computer geeks’, but now there are so many gamers that there are more people than ever wearing branded merch.
For some people, a t-shirt isn’t enough to demonstrate their devotion to their favourite games and there are costumes available to allow players to dress as hundreds of the most popular characters. Any gaming gathering or convention will see hardcore fans turning up dressed as some of the most fantastical characters.
Esports are becoming more popular as a spectator sport, there are more gatherings of gamers every year. Traditional gaming fans will know that the most opulent casinos often have dress codes that contribute significantly to the air of sophistication and the excitement around the tables.
Now that online casinos such as Virgin Games are becoming more prevalent, fans still like to make an effort, but their creativity is the limit when it comes to creating an atmosphere at a gaming event. Fans turn up dressed as everything from their favourite characters, items, and other elements of some of the games.
Because there is so much crossover between the worlds of gaming, movies, and film, some of the biggest names span all three. Some of the most popular games that might inspire fans toward a costume include:
Wearable tech is becoming more and more popular and people are getting used to the idea of integrating technology more seamlessly into their everyday lives. Smartwatches were once a futuristic concept only available in the world of James Bond, but, just a few generations after the digital watch was a modern marvel, we now have stylish watches providing weather updates, message notifications, and details about the wearer’s heart rate.
As the technology used in gaming gets more and more advanced, so too do efforts to integrate it into intuitive controls designed to enhance the gaming experience. There has already been a collaboration between global brand Ray-Ban and Meta, the tech company, who have worked together to bring users Ray-Ban Stories, glasses that can take photos and videos, play music, post to social media, and allow you to make and take calls, all hands-free.
Ray-Ban is such a well-respected global brand, and the fact that they are bringing their inimitable design flair to the world of wearable tech is a testament to the way this trend is heading. By combining high-end fashion design with fully integrated tech in a product that looks and feels great to wear, it seems likely that wearable tech will continue to be integrated into clothing.
The future of fashion and gaming
The next step for this kind of tech is full integration into gaming by allowing wearable tech to provide an interactive element that uses the player’s body rather than controllers. There are already plenty of examples of wearable tech that is begging to be adapted to make it work in a gaming context, including:
- yoga pants that can sense which poses you are doing, track your repetitions and monitor your heart rate to assess the effectiveness of your workout.
- workout clothes that track your heart rate, breathing patterns and other biometric data to give you accurate feedback on the impact of your workout on your body
- swimwear with UV sensors that tells you when you’ve been out in the sun for too long
- socks that act as pedometers and track your pulse as you exercise
With this kind of tech becoming more widely available, it seems inevitable that games designers will begin to incorporate these kinds of developments with their haptic controllers and virtual reality rigs. Anyone that wants to be at the cutting edge of fashion and technological innovation should keep their eye on the world of gaming.