Dressing down for the pandemic world but dressing up for the digital world - some of my favorite video games give me opportunities to go all out in flashy outfits when I barely make an effort anymore in real life.

“I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” - Coco Chanel

How we dress and present ourselves is a reflection of our values, interests, and identity, but in lieu of going to an office space or a night on the town, pandemic outfits have transitioned from collared shirts to Crocs. Since the pandemic started, I've been dressing down for the most part, but there are some instances where I've been dressing up.

In the virtual world of video games, though, style still matters. Almost every night, my cousins, Craig (fellow Yo! contributor), and I spend about 30 minutes chatting about outfits while playing Dota 2. Several times a night, you can hear one of us shout, “Wow! Check out that guy’s outfit,” and just last night, I received a compliment on my outfit that immediately boosted my confidence for the next 30 minutes. We lost our game, but at least I lost in my fashionable $0.53 Viper skin.

In most, if not all, video games, characters are dressed in basics that you could almost find at UNIQLO, but as you come across checkpoints and other players, you will feel an itch to customize your character/avatar with various outfits, hairstyles, and more. These skins, as they're often referred to, are strictly for cosmetic reasons and do not improve or affect your gameplay, just like how wearing Jordans will not help you score more points.

It is estimated that virtual items spending will generate $50 billion in consumer spending by 2022 that includes loot boxes (similar to treasure chests filled with items) and skins gambling (using these skins, like tokens, to bet on outcomes of other games), creating a booming economy but also introducing problems like children gambling.

Just like any commodity, skins are valued based on rarity in video games, with thousands of skins in each game ranging from Uncommon, Common, Rare, and Legendary. One of my favorite comments and reactions among my gaming party is when we come across a player with rare skins that either meant they played or spent hundreds (possibly thousands) of hours or dollars. Really, though, ````````````````````````````````````````we are as jealous as the person wanting to go on a joy ride in a Lamborghini.

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In a true visualist fashion, here are some of my favorites skins with quotes from style icons.

Dota2 Crystal Maiden Arcana

"I want people to see the dress, but focus on the woman." - Vera Wang

Fortnite Leviathan Skin

"You know, I love modeling. I'd like to do this forever. When I'm 30, I hope I'm still modeling." —Derek Zoolander

Rockett League White Hat

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." - Coco Chanel

Gordon Freeman Headcrab Variant

"Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them." - Marc Jacobs

Mortal Combat Gold Demon Scorpion

"What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language." - Miuccia Prada

PUBG Olive Branch Pan

"Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life." - Bill Cunningham

Runescape's Blue Party Hat!

"Florals for spring? Groundbreaking." - Miranda Priestly

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