The gamification of fashion: our digital wardrobes & NFTs

If someone asked you if you owned any digital assets, you would probably say no. But think again! Is the skin you bought for your avatar in your favourite video game not a digital asset? What if your avatar had bought new, cool sneakers or a Gucci t-shirt? What would happen to these things, we might call them ‘assets’, when we stop playing that specific game? You can’t seem to easily bring it with you to other platforms or games.

Today our ‘digital assets’ are not really transferable, and they can’t be sold or exchanged as we attach – until now that is - little monetary value to our digital stuff. And much of the digital ‘things’ we buy in-game are not what we would wear in real life. But this is changing. And fast.

As the gaming industry is growing to a size where it is now rivalling the movie industry, it was only a matter of time until bigger brands bought into the game (literally). Today, in-game purchases are almost 75% of gaming revenue and this is a trend set to accelerate. Economic power is shifting from game developers to the gamers.

Luxury brands are busy following their customers into the games, leading to what some industry experts call the gamification of fashion. Louis Vuitton, for example, is collaborating with League of Legends, with special looks designed for players and avatars.

Gucci, other than launching Gucci Arcade and Gucci Sneaker Garage – where you can design your own digital sneakers and bring them digitally with you into various games - also designed its Gucci Off the Grid collection and launched it into the Sims 4 community. The off-game (or ‘real life’) designs were made from totally sustainable materials and their digital versions allowed for ‘green’ credits in the game.

Digital design has a nice little sustainability edge to it anyway. With 3D avatars now commonplace, most designers would use only digital designs as a first step into the creation of a new collection. 3D digital design is fast and has great sustainability credits as fabric samples, cut outs and prototypes do not have to be flown around the world and a design will be produced only when the digital design is approved.

But where do NFTs come in? Imagine buying a relatively expensive virtual pair of Prada sunglasses and a much coveted Off White hoodie for your digital self! How can you own these items and build your digital wardrobe? Your purchase can be secured via a digital passport, which is in effect a non-fungible token, proving this item is yours. If ownership is clear, investing in digital fashion and digital luxury becomes a very different ballgame.

And – on the real-life side – if you were to buy a little Fendi bag, it could be that soon you will be given the digital version of it too, to use in-game, as part of this purchase. A further fusion of both realities.

With videogames becoming ‘third places’ away from home and work and all of us spending more time in these virtual worlds, virtual reality and reality may approach each other faster than we think. And our digital wardrobes may be very well larger than our real-life wardrobes by 2030. And an added bonus is that our digital wardrobes do not suffer wear and tear, can’t be stained and free up a lot of wardrobe space.

And your NFTs of all these wardrobe items? They will be safely sitting in your digital piggybank, for you to hold, trade or exchange. It couldn’t be easier.

Further links