The First Party Polo

Ever give a gift to someone out of the blue? The sentence “hey, man, I got this for you” when uttered some time other than the Designated Gift-giving Holidays elicits a strange response from the recipient, a bitter cocktail of shame and terror. Fortunately, we have the holiday season, a socially-acceptable chance to act on those altruistic urges.

Buying for a gamer can be… let’s just say “frustrating”. The Geek Nation is known for having oddly specific tastes, and trying to pick up a game, accessory, or other such notion is fraught with the sort of Christmas peril usually reserved for Eastern European folklore. So, what to do? Our friends at Penny Arcade have a solution.

Some four years ago a posted an open letter to the suburban-trend-machine Hot Topic, asking, nay insisting they reconsider their marketing strategy as relates to gamers. A series of brilliant points were made about the fact that gamers aren’t all kids and that many want something more subtle, but their nascent genius died on the inter-vine, apparently.

From the open letter:

Here is what I would like to see from you: a series of unassuming polo shirts with corporate logos embroidered on the right breast, but the logos are from the evil corporations from various videogames. For starters, whip a few for Shinra Incorporated, Datadyne, and the Umbrella Corporation.

Too subtle, perhaps, but the concept holds. Stop giving us puerile junk. What is needed is some sort of gamer polo shirt. You know, for grown-ups.

Enter the First Party v1.0 Launch Polo. Nice sharp shirt. Understated gamer logo.

At last! We can wear our colors with pride, not gaudy ostentation. A shirt for that day when your office holiday party and buddy Jonesy’s LAN party are scheduled back-to-back.

You see polos with tennis rackets, golf clubs, skis, sports franchise logos, heck, even an actual polo player from time to time. And finally now we see something for the more sophisticated lover of the virtual lifestyle.

Now, the in-one’s-face style of gamer swag has its place, certainly. In fact, it can be rather rad. But it is nice to have an option. Sports fans have enjoyed this luxury for some time, and I can only hope the First Party shirts are a harbinger of better days.

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