When I first spotted these minimalist and vintage gaming t-shirts from Espada Limited, I began waxing nostalgic.
Other than the one sporting the declarative challenge of “I PWN Noobs,” the shirts capture the best part of gaming: the moment of beginning. Not just the beginnings of gaming in terms of classic old school video games, like Pong and Pac-Man, but the feelings of starting to play…
It’s just you, the screen, the controller — anything is possible. If you’re like me, you lose a lot, so the start is the most hopeful point! Those moments of beginning, that’s what keeps you coming back — not just having another life, another chance to play, but also in terms of buying more games and gaming systems. These Espada gaming shirts capture that feeling of loving to play.
Sports fans have their team shirts; gaming fans have similar pageantry too. But the Espada gaming tees, for men and women, are more unifying. For rather than identifying by “team” (game or gaming system), these tees celebrate the spirit of gaming itself.
Plus, I love the iconic look in white printed on black shirts; such elegant nostalgia!
The shirts were designed by 24-year-old Mike Plater, and I decided to ask him some questions.
What inspired the shirts and their design?
I follow the tech and gaming scene pretty closely and it would have been pretty hard to miss the rise of massive-budget games, hardcore gaming competitions, pro leagues and everything in between. With all of “the more” that we gamers were receiving, I wanted to remember again what it felt like with less — which should not be seen as a negative, since for many of us, it was our beginning, our start, and more importantly a base that we could all relate to.
How did you select the games and gaming systems?
Selection process was and still is quite easy. I think of the symbols that represent the beginning of gaming for me or icons that I know the gaming community can rally behind since we all share them in common.
So you’re a gamer then; not just some guy who wanted to cash in on gaming.
Yes, I’m a gamer; to my girlfriend’s dismay. My favorite classic game would have to be the 1989 Prince of Persia, though a slightly newer classic that I find myself on often is Super Smash Bros 64.
I don’t think a lot of gamers consider their games a “collection” in the same way, say, a collector of vintage toys does… Video games are meant to be played with, right? Do you collect anything else?
In the past I used to collect comic books, my best from that collection would have to be a first issue of Sub-Mariner. Nowadays, my girlfriend and I collect sho tglasses from everywhere we visit. It helps remind us of the places we’ve been and [to] get the party started at the same time.
Also I collect a very specific music of the mash-up genre. I follow about 50 DJs and love curating their latest tracks for my friends, and following when they’re in town for concert. Some of my favorite up-and-comers would be Kap Slap, 3LAU, Mitch Mash, and 5 and a Dime.
As the creator of the t-shirts, how do you feel about people collecting the shirts, keeping them pristine and clean by storing them in the original packaging, as opposed to wearing them?
I would be honored if others forgo wearing the shirts and rather treated them as art. The shirt is just a medium, it’s the message and connection that’s important. Distributing the designs on some nice matte card stock posters is also a possibility in the future.
This is just the beginning for Espada. People want to have a real connection with the things they buy, not just another meaningless tee. I’m hoping my shirts elicit feelings — not only of becoming a gamer but also one of a sense of community. We all share these symbols and icons together and it’s really just us as a group who “get it”.
To satisfy both the gamer and the collector in you, you’ll probably want to get at least two shirts: One to wear with gaming pride, and one to keep as a collectible. Because who are you kidding? You’ll wash and wear a shirt out over time, and that simply won’t be collectible conditions. You can save on the shirts with a discount code here.