From Bayonetta to Princess Peach and beyond, video games have provided plenty of inspiration for drag artists.
Beyond mere cosplay, drag artists can take the already extreme femininity of video game characters and turn it into art. Let’s not forget drag kings too, who can take the stereotypical masc gung-ho butch gaming protagonists and distort them to an extreme.
There are plenty of artists out there inspired by video games. Check out drag streamer Deere dressed as trans icon Poison from Street Fighter (or this Jambette from Animal Crossing serve).
Erika Klash, meanwhile, turns any video game character into drag, from Pokémon to Bomberman.
And we’ve seen gaming characters on the Drag Race runway too, with both the UK’s Asttina Mandella and the Netherland’s Abby OMG serving Mortal Kombat’s Mileena realness.
Speaking of Drag Race, Ru Paul’s show has become ubiquitous in mainstream culture and a new free-to-play mobile game has just been announced. With all the lewks, shade and drama, it’s perfect material.
But what if we had a drag game outside of Drag Race? What exactly would it look like…?
Mortal Kombat: Shadeality edition
Fighting games are already filled with hyper feminine characters, even if they’re mostly designed for the male gaze – unrealistic jiggly boob physics especially.
Drag caricatures are surely only one step away then. Can you win the pageant title by literally snatching wigs and fighting your way to the crown? Perhaps it’s even a Street Fighter style global tournament representing the best drag styles from around the world?
With such a variety of drag styles for drag artists of all genders, there’s surely a look and fighting style for everyone: are you more of a bitch slap or a split and death drop kinda queen? Do you stunt pretty, or is your move set full of pretty stunts?
If you really want to surprise your opponent, twirl and pull a reveal for a shift in moves. Is that gown getting in the way of your high kicks? Whip it off, girl, and reveal the sickening outfit underneath, magical girl (or boy) style.
And then there are the finishers. Mortal Kombat is known for its gruesomely violent fatalities – what if they instead were the ultimate shady reads? “Girl, look how orange you look!” *explode*
“Drag is not a contact sport.” Not any more.
Three iconic video games that deserve a drag makeover, including Drag(on) Quest
Drag is often a journey of self-expression, artistry and fantasy. So what if it actually was a fantasy RPG?
Like the classics Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, a drag RPG would see your drag character on a quest to lead their drag house to stardom through turn-based battles that take the form of lip syncs and reading.
First you’d need to design your own custom character, which would of course need the most advanced character creation set free of gender restrictions and with detailed pronoun options. If we’re going to role-play, we need the chance to truly be whoever we want to be. Gaining experience through your quest would allow you to level up your fashion, make-up skills and wit.
In true RPG style, there would need to be a job or class system, here defining styles of drag. Comedy queens, shady queens, look queens (or kings of course), or lip sync assassins – they all have their own forms of weapons and magic, be it heels, lipsticks, or throwing shade.
The best part of any Final Fantasy, though, are the summons and here we could call upon the greatest drag artists for aid in battle. Just imagine as the camera pulls back from the battlefield and a colossal Sasha Velour peers over the Earth before removing her wig, giant rose petals raining down on your opponents.
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen an RPG about the LGBT+ community, but it’s about time we had another.
Drag Race (literally)
It’s not just Mario, any cartoon mascot worth their salt has been in a kart racing game. A Drag Race race just makes total sense.
It begins in the werk room, adorning your kart with glitter, sequins or whatever drag paraphernalia you’re into as an artist (all secured with a generous splattering of hot glue of course).
Then it’s time to race through fabulous over the top worlds. Throw shade to distract your opponents and leave them in the dust gagging on your eleganza. Beat their mug with a powder puff, smack them with a stiletto heel, thworp them with a fan, or let them slip up on crystal beads Showgirls style. You can still defend yourself with an overblown tongue pop.
Of course, there would need to be an equivalent to the dreaded blue shell. Perhaps an extended wig snatch? Is there anything more embarrassing?
Racers, start your engines. And may the best drag queen win!