Video game merch is rarely cool. You’d be hard-pressed to find wearable merch worthy of any place other than the gym, or household items you could display in a mid-century modern living room. It’s also rarely inspired or unique—my cabinet is full of slightly chipped Call of Duty coffee mugs, my storage bin overflowing with cheap shirts, my couch beers are almost always swaddled in a branded koozie.
The swag gamers get is loudly garish, wildly patterned, or just plain ugly, with an apparent hatred for subtlety. Much like how top gaming execs have historically dressed at The Game Awards, gaming merch so often feels like a cheap cash-in—an image of Pikachu ironed on to a roughly spun T-shirt or a collage of Super Mario characters crowded together on a canvas pair of Vans. It’s giving Hot Topic.
But lately, as the game community expands and elevates more diverse voices (including those of us who like fashion), we’ve seen an uptick in some seriously cool gamer merch. There’s inspiration in these items, whether it’s a gorgeous vinyl, an actually nice pair of kicks, or a chic gamer chair. Here’s the coolest pieces of video game merch we’ve seen this year.