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Is Fashion Gaming The Next Marketing Frontier?

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At first thought, fashion and video gaming seem to be a more awkward couple than Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy. But many big players in the fashion industry have decided that interactive gaming is the next step for their digital strategies, Women's Wear Daily reports.

“Gamification in fashion presents an enormous opportunity to communicate with and deeply engage loyal consumers,” James Gardner, founder and chief executive officer of Createthe Group, told WWD. “Fashion is itself a game, after all.” First of all, we love that "gamification" is a word now. And with games like Farmville garnering 38 million "likes" on Facebook, it seems pretty logical that the fashion world wants a piece of that pie.

Most fashion companies have already entered the digital sphere with websites, editorial content, mobile commerce and social media outreach, so this new engagement tactic is a way that brands are hoping to increase loyalty.“When you reward a customer based on the success of their actions, the value and the perception from that consumer increases, thereby maintaining brand image,” Macala Wright, digital marketing consultant, founder and ceo of Why This Way and editor in chief of FashionablyMarketing.me, told WWD.

DKNY, known for its active social media presence, has partnered with Fashion Week Live for their Facebook game where players can launch their very own fashion career, racking up points to win digital DKNY clothes (no, not real ones), virtual apartment upgrades and respect from their peers ("just like in real life"). The game is set to launch Monday.

Many other brands have also pooled their digital efforts to launch games or more interactive sites for their customer bases, including Nike, Norma Kamali and Aldo. According to the Entertainment Software Association, adult women make up 47% of the game-playing population and represent a greater portion than boys age 17 or younger. And this demographic is only growing.

We don't plan on jumping on the bandwagon just yet, especially since brands have been trying to cash in on gaming for the past few years without much success (Project Runway's Ninetendo Wii game comes to mind). But we never like to say never. Do you think fashion video games are finally going to be a thing?

Click over to Women's Wear Daily for more information.

Take a look at some designer collaborations to see how other fashion companies have diversified their brands.

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