Wednesday 6th December 2023
Fashion is a unique industry, and for those who might not fully grasp its importance or its functions and roles in society, it’s shrouded in a lot of mystery. However, two constants run through the industry. Some cyclical elements and components are fads, rising fast and dissipating just as quickly. Retro-gaming fashion incorporates the popularity of retro gaming with those who want to supplement their passion with funky shirts, dresses, hats and other fashion accessories, but why is it going through such a strong resurgence over the last 18 months?
Retro gaming comeback
For retro gaming fashion to flourish, the underpinning market of retro games must also experience a spike in popularity. Smartphones and access to the internet have become so readily available over the last 20 years that those within the retro gaming community are able to connect online easier than ever, and this has worked cohesively with the development of games that double down on this rising trend, helping the overall industry to flourish.
Retro games can have a different definition, depending on the era you grew up in. The original idea of retro gaming includes arcade games like Space Invaders and Tetris from the 1970s and 1980s. For younger generations, it might be the first-generation console games like PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Their synonymous gaming titles like Super Mario and Crash Bandicoot also fit into the bracket of retro gaming, given that they are over 25 years old.
However, for other gamers, classic slot machine casino games fit the bill of retro games. Classic games using symbols like cherries, lemons and lucky number sevens have been pillars of casino floors since the 1950s. Mobile casinos have taken this blueprint and created a whole new world of slot machine games that combine retro designs with new color schemes, music and advancements in graphic design. The colorful world of candy pokie highlights the vivid and high-quality designs that slot machine designers use to cultivate interest from retro gamers, using the best modern design to maximize its reach.
What is retro gaming fashion?
Although retro gaming covers all the gaming types we discussed in the last section, retro gaming fashion predominantly focuses on classic Nintendo feature games and imagery relating to Space Invaders, Tetris and other classic retro arcade games stretching back over a century. From hats, jumpers and dresses to shoes that have symbols from these iconic and unforgettable games, retro gaming fans can highlight to the world how much they love their classic titles.
Old retro games have fetched millions at auctions recently, and it’s this hysteria and mystery that helps to galvanize retro gaming fashion markets. As with any resurgence, it’s rarely just one component that drives the outcome; it is often the combined success of associated markets that helps prop up the industry globally.
However, the resurgence has also stemmed from celebrities wearing these symbols on their shirts, and a clever, orchestrated marketing campaign from retro gaming fashion companies appealing to fashion enthusiasts on social media websites, such as Instagram and TikTok, to reach as many people as possible. Celebrity involvement and strong marketing campaigns are two critical components of any successful business strategy, and this extends beyond the fashion industry.
Look at how celebrities flocked to endorse cryptocurrency during the bull run of 2021. Retro gaming fashion has been fortunate enough to benefit from these variables, too. Most importantly, the market is there, with video gaming becoming arguably the fastest-rising subsidiary market in the entertainment sector. While newer games might grab the headlines and have multimillion-dollar purses, retro games still command a sizeable and respectable audience, with many of the world’s most prominent names earmarking millions of dollars a year for research and design of new, retro-style games.
Fashion is one of the most unpredictable industries there is. The items flying off the shelves today might be yesterday’s news within a few weeks. Likewise, fashion accessories or clothing items that have struggled to sell within the first few weeks or months of their release can suddenly be in high demand if the right celebrity or advertising campaign can connect the brand to the appropriate audience.
The omens look more promising for retro gaming fashion because it goes in and out of style. It’s not a new fashion brand or modern design – it is tried and tested and has been popular at several different times throughout the last three decades. It’s this cyclical quality that means it’s likely to come full circle again at some point once this current, significant resurgence runs its course.