Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, the guy that I’m dating sent me a video from Twitter about a new clothing brand, Cloak, that was marketed especially “for gamers.” I was instantly confused yet amused. Cloak was created by Mark Fischbach and Seán McLoughlin, two gaming personalities who are known as Markiplier and Jacksepticeye online. What a nonsensical idea — why do gamers need their own clothing brand?
“There has never really been a brand out there for people like us, who game all day,” McLoughlin said in the announcement video. “There’s companies out there like Nike, who cater towards athletes. There’s companies like Patagonia who are more for people who want to go outdoors. There’s people like Lululemon who cater towards people who do yoga and things like that, but I don’t really do any of those things.”
McLoughlin goes on to say that he never felt like there was a brand out there that fit him in the same way. I thought this was just hilarious until I clicked the site and saw that every single item was sold out in literally three days.
Okay, now you’ve really lost me. Why do people who play games need their own clothing? Athletic wear exists because there are specific fabrics and designs that make it easier for people to work out or keep warm in nature. You don’t need anything specific to sit at your computer or on your couch — I would know because that’s literally all I do. You can wear whatever you want when you’re gaming or you can be like me and wear nothing even though you are playing in the common area of your apartment and your roommates hate you — hey, Marisa and Aaron! Literally half the reason no one wants to go outside is because you have to wear clothes.
Look I get it —I buy some dumb shit, too. My weakness as a gay man is buying cute shit that I’ll never use. Two weeks ago I spent like 40 bucks on a big plushy of Umbreon, a queer legend, sleeping. It’s adorable, I love my child, but I know it’s still dumb. That being said, at least my dumb Pokémon plushy serves a purpose that I can’t get anywhere else. These clothes are just black, grey, reportedly comfortable and have the word “Cloak” on them. I guarantee that you can find equally comfortable clothes at any number of retailers.
OK, straight men. I usually tune you out when you talk, but I’m all ears. I’m trying to understand what would compel someone to spend money on something like this. Cloak isn’t even the only clothing brand targeting gamers. Another company, Ateyo, has the tagline “Look good. Game better,” and frequently uses professional gamers and streamers in their advertising.
Don't ever forget about the classic Ateyo Zip-up. Here's a reminder from everyone's favorite @jakeow!
— ATEYO (@ateyo_) October 25, 2018
Ateyo as a brand has slightly more personality, so I get the appeal of that, I’m just confused by the concept of branded basics. Why not just get sweatpants? I feel like my mom trying to understand Snapchat.
The only explanation I can make sense of is that people just want to feel included or cool and no matter how dumb something is, the proper advertising will get you on board. So maybe that is the disconnect. It’s not that I don’t understand the product (which I don’t) but it’s about being the appropriate audience for the advertising (which I’m not).
One of the most blatant examples of this is when Ateyo did a parody cover of Lil Pump’s “ESSKEETIT” with a professional Overwatch player. I don’t watch that video and want to be associated with that brand; I look at that video and want to throw my computer out the window.
This content feels like it was made for fans of Logan Paul, and perhaps it was, so I am not the one. Which is fine; I don’t need to be the demographic for every advertisement — God knows queer folks are not the demographic for gaming anyway. Straight men, you’re allowed to buy whatever you want, just try to keep it off my timeline.