[Ok, I got my word-nerd fit out of the way. Phew! Onto today's topic. It's good- I've been saving up.]
Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world- Marilyn Monroe
I visit quite a few 40K blogs on a regular basis. No less than 5 of them have advertisements enabled, with several of them showing huge Christian Loubotin ads on the sidebars. Yet, when I speak to male gamer types, not a single one can reference who Loubotin is.
I'll be honest, until about 6 or so months ago, neither could I. I do know that I was pretty alone in that regard- most women I know adore shoes and shopping for them. Until I started playing Eile, I had absolutely no interest in couture shoes.
Eile, however, has a massive shoe addiction- the prettier and pricier, the better. (I love this kind of fluff- it's not a Vice or a flaw- it's just an aspect of her personality that makes her more interesting.) I don't know a darn thing about expensive shoes at the time, so I had to learn.
I have a mind for fashion (I am an admitted Project Runway addict), and I jones something serious for a good purse; so moving into shoes wasn't that big of a stretch. I did a little research, and presto, I am now coveting in a very serious way a pair or twenty of those lovely Loubotins.
What's the big deal? They are shoes- intended to protect feet. This comment was made repeatedly to me by a male friend when my daughter and I were going on about these fabulous shoes. This comment exemplifies the point of my post most clearly.
If you know any ladies, and have any interest in talking to them; it does not hurt to know something about the things that interest them. These same women learn about football (or sports in general), cars, and other strange subjects of the male clan. Show a little initiative, and return the favor.
I'll coach you through the basics to get you started.
Most often, the shoes a girl wears are strictly functional. It's when dressing up comes into play that fancy shoes matter. If the female in your life dresses up for work; her shoes matter every day.
As a rule, fancy shoes are intended to be an accessory to a well considered statement.
If a chick is wearing fancy shoes, it is almost always because she wants to feel pretty. High heels change the way she walks and make her legs and butt look great. She knows this, and is using a pretty common trick to get noticed.
If the girl in your life owns a pair of these red-soled beauties; she paid a LOT of money for them and believes she is worth something. (Nikephoros, check out the prices on these - not cheap, buddy.) Believe it- she's worth something. Treat her that way.
Next are some pictorial examples for your further enlightenment:
This pair offers the wallflower a chance to shine, the quiet woman an opportunity to speak volumes, and the ordinary girl to show off her wild side without risking going to jail. This pair is perfect with the LBD but can just as easily be work with classic dark jeans, or for the truly daring, a wedding dress.
(From left to right - Stella McCartney, Christian Louboutin, Delman's. The French designer's suede boots run $2400 at Neiman Marcus.) This look has to be carefully considered and accomplished- but if done well, this will leave an indelible mark on anyone watching the woman wearing them.
How does any of this relate to gaming?
For the most part, fashion is an overlooked aspect and element of a game. GMs often fall on stereotypes and neglect a simple piece of flavor text that can add depth and intrigue to the session. Players, especially when playing across gender, forget the basics like what a character's personal style is like or what designer might be in season at the moment.
Using fashion crosses every genre of gaming- in old school D&D (whether the original or retro-clone), in Paranoia, in Shadowrun, in Deadlands, in Buffy, in Dark Heresy or in Star Wars- a single element can offer a whimsical glimpse into an otherwise bland piece of flavor text; or gives the player a chance to flesh out a character that might otherwise be dull and missing that "spark".
It doesn't have to be shoes- it could be a hat, a bag, a custom designed dress from a country across the continent during a massive war-torn campaign, or even a well tailored coat; all of these items describe something more than just "traveler's cloak".
Fashionable (or sometimes, simply expensive) items offer fabulous roleplay opportunities. "You ruined my dress!" is probably a greater source of indignation than "What you said wasn't very nice".
For the 40K crowd, it's a simpler conversation, but has two elements.
1- If Monetizing your blog is beneficial to you, check out the links Google picks for you. Know what it is you're linking to-both for product knowledge and understanding whether you are gaining any revenue; because I can't for the life of me see how these ads are reaching their target market.
2- Your little plastic dollies are not cheap. If you get the metal guys, or that fancy resin stuff from Forgeworld; consider for a moment how far a pair of designer shoes might go towards a peaceful (or more fun) homelife.
If she's not into shoes; consider a handbag, a designer dress, a new saddle, jewelry or whatever else strikes your lady's fancy. This careful application of goodies should directly relate back to one of my main points-
Take the time to know what it is that interests your female friend, and be able to at least speak a little of the "language". I promise, it will go a LONG way.
Now onto using shoes in a game:
Eile was in a very bad situation last night. She wanted to get away badly and was willing to ditch her best pair of shoes to make her escape. (For her, a TRULY desperate move.) It didn't work, and she would up having to use her fabulous heels as a weapon against a much stronger opponent. They were all she had available to her at the time.
I gave serious thought to a broken pair of Louboutins on the floor of the Hedge Row, and how that would efect Eile.
Those ads? They're working on me.