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Really about color, ain’t it?

Posted by Ad on May 12, 2011

Today’s topic was prompted by an upcoming costume party I have to attend. For which I have some trouble coming up with a low-work constume that’s both cool and fits the theme. And that doesn’t require me to shave my beard.

Anyway, this got me thinking about costumes. Clothes. Fashion. Attire. I don’t pay that much attention to it unless it’s exceptional in some way, and with games being fantasy lands full of exceptional outfits, few of them stand out enough, and I often find myself more intrigued by background NPCs than by the main chars. As for exceptional and not, we get characters (usually female) who wears less and less and it’s less and less of an issue in the industry overall. Or it seems to consumers like me.

But putting aside the straps and loincloths that the less dressed characters wear, most characters wear stuff that in our culturally diverse expressive modern/post-modern world wouldn’t be entirely out of place. Sure, body paint, goggles, and a huge-ass sword might not make it into the everyman’s wardrobe, and if they did, there’s probably only one day a  year when those things would be taking out of there. But the clothes themselves might actually work.

While more commonplace in my country than in palces without conscription, uniforms might not be all that suitable everyday wear. Sure, camo colors and the camo pattern has made it into everyday use, and jeans have lost to more loose pants with more pockets. Still, uniforms will probably not become everyday fashion. Nor will the swimsuit-based outfits in games.

So what would we expect to see a generation raised on video games wear? Layers. Parts. Leggings are apparently in, and they lend themselves to a variety of other clothes. I don’t think men, who generally just wear “pants” and some kind of “shirt”, should wear those, tho. Coats, vests, armwear, headgear… just as long as ppl don’t start sporting those ridiculous goggles, I’m all for it.

And colors. Since games started coming in color, color has been important to the design in games. We could go classic with colors referencing the Mario brothers, or more modern referencing Kratos or the Master Chief. Pick any game with characters with distinct design. Here’s a quick spectrum:

Auron, Kratos, Nariko (rule 63 of Kratos?), Zero in red; Gordon Freeman and Chell orange; Wario, Daisy, Penelo, Scorpion and too many chars in FFX in yellow; Link, Luigi and Blanka green; Mega Man, Sonic, Sub-Zero, Chun-Li, and lots of others in blue; Waluigi in purple; Zelda, Peach, Kairi in pink… I won’t list characters in black.

Actually, colors might be the most striking thing about video game design. IRL, we went from bright colors in the 70s to unnatural colors in the 80s followed by more and more black in the 90s and 00s. Now we’re seeing a return of color. I’m thinking it’s partly thanks to video games.

So really, the way video games will impact what we wear is color. We’ve grown up with a gallery of colorful characters, be they pink-haired princesses or sporting red body paint; be they human or hedgehogs or what the heck Bowser is. Surely this will change how we think of what we wear.

I have a red shirt I wear from time to time. I hear surprisingly few redshirt jokes. Apparently, Star Trek is so 1900s.

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One Response to “Really about color, ain’t it?”

  1. Gabbe said

    Interesting thoughts, time will tell if you’re right. There are other factors to be taken into account as well. But surely video games influence our minds in some way

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