The Oscars, like all awards not handed out by us, are pointless. But the movie awards ceremony does provide the joy of seeing people’s astonishing outfits on the red carpet. If we are to start the equivalent ‘Oscars of gaming’ that many have wished for (including Geoff Keighley, host of the embarrassing Game Awards), that’s what I most want: hot looks. And I’d especially like the red carpet couture to echo the variety, imagination, and oddity of games.
Some good looks on the Oscars red carpet yesterday. Lots of metals and bold colours. A few delightfully playful outfits. Still, not much compared to your average RPG. Surely a video games Oscars could go bigger. While I do not give two figs about a giant awards ceremony for video games, I would very much like to see hot looks be part of one.
It’s not cosplay I’m after, mind. I don’t want to see devs dressed as their characters. But I’d love outfits that are in some way inspired the worlds, characters, fashions, and nature of a game, whether it’s in design, materials, or just vibes.
I want to see a tuxedo with gleaming metal pauldrons. The high-tech padding and panels of racing suits and space suits rebuilt in ball gowns. A tux jazzed up with a lime green leather lapel for your cyberpunk game. The rough hessian of a survival game. The webbing and buckles of military fetishism in a context that’s, like, not cybergoth. A print formed from the many frames of an explosion sprite. Restrictive garments for a punishing game. Colour blocking in a CGA palette. The glow and tendrils of sealife. The sack hat of a sackbro. The mismatched garments of a low-level character who just needs stats. Hell, I’d be over the moon simply to see fabric patterns inspired by motifs and emblems from games. But I will admit I most want to see elaborate dresses and robes.
I am particularly thinking of Iris Van Herpen, a designer whose structured garments with organic shapes and advanced materials leads to catwalk shows looking like a parade of max-level priests and mages in the full raid set.
I think our medium’s hunger to be seen the same way as movies is embarrassing (though I will concede it could help sway governments), but I would accept an ‘Oscars of gaming’ as a necessary evil if it produced hot red carpet looks. If companies are going to spaff money on marketing, they could at least put some of it towards fashion designers. Who knows, maybe the threat of having to wear an outfit inspired by your game could even encourage developers to stop filling them with such hideous looks.