Cultural norms are funny old things. Normally, they’re about adhering to protocol and tradition. Sometimes though, they’re mere perceptions that society has of certain groups. Whether that be skinheads in the 1960s or hippies in the 1970s, these perceptions are plentiful, and they’re often incorrect.
Take gamers for instance. I don’t need to talk you through the perception because South Park summed it up brilliantly in the episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft.” In that episode, Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman dedicate their lives to defeating a homicidal gamer and saving the World of Warcraft.
It’s the way that gamers were displayed that really struck me. Overweight, covered in acne and too lazy to leave the computer screen, gamers were painted in a less than flattering light. You can’t blame South Park though. Like Family Guy and The Simpsons, it simply mirrors what society wants you to believe, accurate or not.
Insert Coin has a simple mission: “To make gamer gear you’ll be proud to wear. From tees to hoodies, jackets to accessories – our products represent the games you love with cool, subtle references.”
They market themselves as the “leading name in high quality, 100% official videogame apparel,” and they live by that with every new design. Just take a look at some of the amazing merchandise they have on offer.
These designs are created by an in house team and they’re always limited edition. Covering anything from Destiny to The Division, Uncharted to The Last of Us, each range is unique and the reputation Insert Coin is gaining is well deserved.
Sorry, I’ll stop gushing now.
The thing is, they talk a big game and by delivering on what they promise, they really strengthen the gaming community and challenge the perceptions I talked about earlier. It makes gamers feel included and fashionable and those aren’t feelings that we’re supposed to associate with.
It doesn’t stop there either. All brands needs to have buy-in from their consumer base and the best t-shirts in the world won’t mean anything if they can’t engage. And boy do Insert Coin know how to engage with gamers. In short, it’s because they’re gamers themselves. They enjoy picking up a controller as much as the next person and that comes through with every tweet or reply that they fire out. They’re the same as us and, because we know that, we remain loyal to them.
There’s one final piece to this jigsaw, though. Let’s face it, we live in a world of celebrity culture. We take it in from almost every media source and the Kardashians or Beyoncé are rammed down our throats at every given turn.
Gaming has it’s celebrities like every other part of society. Whether that be via Twitch, Youtube or any media outlet, they’re still celebrities and they’re people we watch on a weekly or even daily basis. And they’re the final piece of this puzzle because celebrities provide validity. Like it or loathe it, if a celebrity is wearing a certain item of clothing, it’ll always mean that other people want it. The difference between the celebrities in our world is that they’re grounded. They like playing games and they interact with their community from the same level rather than from the “celebrity universe.”
The thing is, a lot of these guys are wearing clothing from Insert Coin. That shouldn’t mean too much to anyone but by seeing these designs in the videos we watch, we can see just how much of a fan base Insert Coin has. And there’s nothing better than hype to get people bought into a brand.
Being the proud owner of countless Insert Coin t-shirts, I’m happy to say that the hype and the reputation is extremely well deserved. They’re my favorite items of clothing and even my non-gaming fiancé loves a few of them too.
And that’s where our community is. We’re no longer considered as uncool and Insert Coin is helping us to fight back against those long-held misperceptions.
Be sure to check out some of their stuff at https://www.insertcoinclothing.com/!