Character design and costuming are always popular aspects of MMOs. Many players may model their characters at least partly after themselves, but others may go to the opposite extreme and choose a physical build, gender, or costume that markedly contrasts with their real persona. After all, gaming offers us a means of escape, and why not choose to parade around in something a little crazy? What MMO costume would you wear in-game, but never in public? Which outfits or armor sets would never ever see the light of day?
This question will have different answers for everyone. As a cosplayer, I'll wear a lot of strange costumes in public that other people may not. However, I won't wear them around my neighborhood unless it's Halloween. Here are some reasons why you may choose not to wear these outfits outside a computer.
This is the category of attire that probably comes to mind when you first read the headline. Would you run around in your birthday suit, like at the beginning of Rust? The possibility of arrest and embarrassment will likely keep most players from trying this one. Other games give you the option to wear only underwear or a bathing suit. Or choose from a variety of skimpy, skin-revealing outfits, generally found more frequently on female characters.
There's something to be said for self-confidence and being able to wear what you want, but everyone has their own comfort level. With enough adhesive, you may be able to get the clothing from Tera to stay in place. I don't know about you, but I'm not brave enough to risk that costume malfunction in public. In game, you're anonymous if you choose to be. So why not wear that chainmail bikini?
Impractical, Oh So Impractical
While that archer MMO costume with the sleeveless vest and leggings may look awesome, is it really the best attire for trekking through the mountains of Skyrim? Try this anywhere outside of gaming and you'll freeze to death. Or that heavy armor, complete with helmet, cloak, and tall boots - how are you going to feel walking around your neighborhood during the summer in that outfit? I don't think I've found a game that features heat stroke yet, but if you try to pull this one off in the summer, you may become well-acquainted with it.
A lot of fantasy MMOs feature horses or other mounts. If you plan to jump on a horse at your local stable, remember that your character's cool look will not necessarily translate to practical riding attire. Horses will roll in things - poison ivy, poison oak, mud, and manure. Wear some long pants before you ride. Boots, gloves, and a helmet are also pretty standard. When you're online, you're not risking a terrible rash, blisters, or a head injury. It's much easier to throw caution to the wind when you head out for a ride on a tiger or lizard.
Horses are notoriously skittish about noises or objects also. If you try to climb onto a horse while wearing a long flowing cloak or strange headdress, the horse may very well jump ten feet sideways. Unless the horse is accustomed to such strange accessories, you will probably want to leave the costume at home.
What else could go wrong when you take that MMO costume and think about wearing it in public? It shouldn't be too hard to make yourself a pair of wings or a cloak. These are great fun until you try to walk through a crowd or a doorway. Those wings will inevitably collide with every fragile object nearby. And, if you don't trip over the cloak yourself, you'll probably trip all of your friends.
Do Your Laundry
Once you find that perfect armor set and dye it to your style, how often do you change your clothing in an MMO? There isn't a game yet that requires you to do laundry. In an MMO, you can run about the countryside and never fear about offending others with your unlaundered stench. In real life, you'd better have a few changes of clothing.
About Those 6-Inch Heels
As great as those 6" heels may look online, how long can you walk in them? Comfort has a place in what you wear, and many MMO costumes would not be tolerable for adventuring. Sorry, I'm not going to hike across the known world without appropriate footwear.
The same could be said for the armor on many characters. If you thought you were going to be in a fight, would you really wear the armor with the fancy cut outs over vital organs? In real life, it would be a rather unwise decision. In game though... form over function, right?
Don't Get Arrested (Or Worse)!
Okay, so even though you could wear that outfit, what are the repercussions if you actually put it on and strut about town? For some silly MMO costumes, you may just get a collection of strange looks. For other ones, watch out that you don't attract the wrong kind of attention.
Even if your attire isn't outright illegal, having the police called out is not a great way to show your love of MMOs. This is doubly true if you try to accessorize with costume weapons out of a first-person shooter. You may be able to do this at your local Comic-Con, but otherwise, just no. Please don't do this.
Someday, you may come across a costume choice that is so bizarre it just defies explanation. I mean, how does someone come up with this? I'm not even sure I'd sport this look in-game:
You Wish You Could
The last type of MMO costume that you'll never wear in public is the one that is so technically complicated that you just can't pull it off. It may be too large, too heavy, or could require defying the laws of physics. As much as you would love to wear a particular costume, you will never be able to levitate or shoot lightning from your eyeballs. If the game lets you, why not indulge online?
What is your favorite clothing or costume selection from an MMO? Would you ever wear it to a costume party? Would you wear it to run errands? Have you actually done this? Let us know in the comments below!