Vanity: A New Age for Digital Sin

Artificial stages filled with artificial minds, and virtual worlds with only virtual consequences; is it any wonder that videogames are an attractive destination for sinners like me?

The original gaming glutton

Honestly, all the great sins are readily available. Feel like over-eating, but don’t want the calories? Load up The Maw and eat a planet or two. Feel like exercising your greed? Simply, knock over a bank in GTA. And don’t even start me on wrath! From all the guns, guns, guns, to jumping up and down on somebody’s head just because “Your Princess Is In Another Castle”, no vice is better catered for than wrath. Whether we’re lusting after the next big title or taking pride in our GamerScore, to being jealous of a newly released console, our virtual pastime has them all! Hell, I’ve even skived off work in Shenmue, and what could be more slothful than that?

But, you know what, maybe there is one exception. Perhaps our gaming debauchery is not yet complete, for of all gaming’s ‘deadly’ sins, has vanity been neglected? Well, vanity’s day could be here at last. MicroSoft’s Kinect is about to hit store shelves and now, like never before, our games will be able to see us, and with many of them, the heroic lead avatar will even be us! For starters, we’ll be photographed for “action shots” in Kinect Adventures. Then Dance Central will show us dancing like we just don’t care during Freestyle sections. And Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is set to track our realtime silhouette as we sweat through exercise routines. I think the consequences could be both far-reaching and unexpected.

Collecting all those bikinis is just plain greedy

You see,  ‘wish-fulfilment’ has long been a part of videogames, and because of that, the heroes and heroines we see on our screens tend to fit a mould. We might get to be the latest in steroid fuelled Space Marines, or go Tomb Raiding in those oh-so-tight shorts, but we’re always well used to being represented on screen as perfect (if exaggerated) physical specimens. Are we this perfect in real life? And are we ready to see so much of ourselves on screen?

Well, of course we are, we’re all gorgeous… just, not all the time. Right?

There are those (admittedly rare) occasions when you might not be looking your best. Hangovers, for example. The last thing I want to see after a heavy night out, is my beer-soaked, bedraggled ass, shaking its thing to “Funkytown” on Dance Central. And don’t we all get to indulge in the occasional ‘dress-down day’? Well, what if my shoes don’t match my belt?! My Xbox would be mortified! More importantly, this could be an end to the era of playing in your pants (or out of them, in my case). If, like me, you’ve ever managed to accidentally press the ‘Invite to Party Chat’ button, that could lead to some really embarrassing video-chats (it would be accidental, though, honest)!

Soon this could be you!

There’s only one solution. We need a new attitude as gamers. We must embrace the vanity! Consider this a call to action for all gamers looking to pick up Kinect. It’s a chance to get ahead of the competition! There’s never been a better time to book that appointment with the hair stylist (the expensive one who uses the scissors, not just the cheap one who uses the trimmer). We can all start that diet and dust off that old gym membership. When we ask, “Kinect, Kinect, sitting on the floor, who is the fairest of them all?”, the answer will be us!

Cosplayers will be way ahead of the pack, but there’s still time. When the inevitable Kinect: Tomb Raider Edition is announced and I pour myself into those shorts, I expect to look every bit as good as the virtual Lara ever did (I should probably start growing my hair now). There could even be Achievements for gamers dressed appropriately for the games they’re in, or extra ammo allowances or something. I wonder how strict games will be on issues like dress code. Will a second World War uniform be forgiven in a game set in World War One, for example? Or would that be a complete no-no? What would we have to wear to play Bayonetta? Hey, you might laugh now, but I think dressing as Napoleon might really help my RTS skills! After all, Kinect is coming. Now there are appearances to think of.







3 responses to “Vanity: A New Age for Digital Sin”

  1. Mark P avatar

    Awesome blog! Hopefully Kinect won’t judge us on our dress sense before it lets us play games as my fashion sense is terrible (going by what people who actually care about fashion would most likely say, anyway). Imagine getting fashion tips from a camera!

  2. Simon avatar

    Can’t wait to see you in those shorts Darach.

  3. Ninja avatar

    Would this testament to all your gaming sins also be welcome back? 😉

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