I was playing Anthem over the weekend with my friends, and they commented on how I made my Colossus look. With an oversized round torso and a brightly-colored paint job, my Colossus looks like a torpedo decided to become a police officer. I thought it fit rather well with Anthem’s strange, sci-fi fashion of mismatched armor and strange headgear. I remember saying something like, “I like how uncool the clothes look in this game, and I want my armor to match. I like looking uncool.”
In fantasy and science fiction, I find myself less and less impressed by how “cool” things are made to look. Sleek spaceships and stylish clothing are all well and good, but our collective opinion of what is considered cool changes over time. The superhero genre (a blend of both aforementioned genres, in my opinion) is the greatest example and victim of this trend. The attempt to look cool is a time stamp, and superhero costumes have very different designs from decade-to-decade.
But uncool is timeless.
As I get older I find myself more and more drawn to the weird, unusual, and “uncool” designs of wild science fiction and fantasy. Where there is no attempt to court current trends or public opinion. Where the influence of modern design is cast aside in favor of strange hats, impossibly-shaped spaceships, and clothes that make little sense. Sure, an aerodynamic spaceship design may look like a sports car and it may display you know a bit of engineering, but it doesn’t spark my imagination. An upright spaceship with weird wings or one that’s just plain spherical is far more inspirational to me.
I say go weird. Go crazy. Go as uncool as possible. What we consider cool comes and goes with the passage of time, and what we once flaunted as stylish one day becomes a relic of the past. The strange and the bizarre have no expiration date.