Long has this industry been known for the copious amounts of swag made available for press and enthusiasts alike. Much of it is neat fan service -- an action figure, a limited-edition poster, a letter opener made to look like weapon -- but more often than not, it’s completely useless. The package I received today, courtesy of GameStop to promote its upcoming StarCraft II midnight launch events, falls into that latter category.
GameStop sent along three shirts, sized as such: Large, XL, and 2XL. They’re dark blue shirts; the front is covered with the StarCraft II logo and the game’s release date, while the back is filled entirely with some cyber-imagery and the words “Nuclear Launch Detected.” The sleeve of the t-shirt features the GameStop logo, beneath it the words “Power to the Players.” Obviously, the shirt is designed to be promotional, and it covers all of its bases. But here’s the issue: I cannot and will not ever wear these shirts in public.
Something that those responsible for these promo shirts need to understand is that not every gamer is of a, shall we say, portly stature. That seems to be lost on those in marketing, who appear to order apparel based on dated stereotypes of videogame nerds whose weight and size are directly linked to the level of his or her World of Warcraft character. In fact, based on my experience, you’re just as likely to find the typical gamer to be of the skinny hipster variety, their jeans tighter than the graphics on level three. But more to the point, the “average” gamer is just that -- average. And when you look at the range of different folks who are playing games these days, it’s becoming less and less likely than a 2XL is going to fit their needs.
Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not condemning those who will indeed fit in a 2XL; do your thing. But beyond that, GameStop seems to have gone out of its way to keep people from wearing these shirts by making them as unpleasant-looking and lifeless as possible. This isn’t uncommon. You need to promote the game, and the art team worked hard on the logo or game box art, so it’s gotta look great on a shirt, right? No. Just... no.
If you’ve read this far and are still thinking, “What is this unappreciative dickhole going on about? I want some StarCraft II T-shirts,” please stand down. Sure, I could give these away in a contest on the site, and one of you fine folks might even wear one of them outside of your house. But what kind of person would I be if I were to allow that to happen? That would be irresponsible of me.
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