We’ve spoken with laptop makers, gamers, and historians to get a better understanding of the gamer aesthetic. we wanted to know how we got this gamer are to begin with, and what is going to happen to it as gaming becomes more mainstream.
The history might surprise you. Most of us know someone who identifies as a gamer, and we know that that identity is only partially about the act of playing video games. It’s a lifestyle more than a simple expression of a hobby, and those who embrace it wrap their arms lovingly around.
You can trace the origins back to ad campaigns for the Sega Genesis in the early 90s. The company wasn’t selling consoles as well as rival Nintendo wanted to set itself apart. Where Nintendo was family-friendly and wholesome, Sega started to market the Genesis as a dangerous alternative fit for cool young guys who scoffed at authority and could handle blood and guts in their games.
Alienware was one of the first PC makers to market specifically to that new gamer identity. Alienware made a name for itself in the late 90s creating powerful gaming PCs, but at first, they still looked like every other beige box designed to be innocuous and non-threatening. In 2003 Alienware created a new design language for its PCs. These new laptops and towers were festooned in colorful plastic, with accent lights and aggressively alien designs.
The shift is happening whether gamers like it or not, as gaming continues to grow more and more hardware makers are going to try to appeal to the broader market.