“Dress up” or also known as “Fashion” games have become popular among girls around the world and across different cultures. They have become a substitute for playing traditional dolls especially among young female audiences and the reminiscence for the older.
These dress up games probably originated from paper dolls that existed since the invention of paper. The earliest traceable emergence of paper dolls were from Japan dating back to A.D. 900 the least. However, they weren’t used as toys but rather for rituals. These paper dolls were crafted to be 3-dimensional and are not flat like the paper dolls many of us know today. In modem times, paper dolls have sprung up from magazines to comics and often a welcome addition for readers. Barbie may have attributed for the decline in popularity of paper dolls with their chain of merchandise. Ironically, their dolls that people recognize today derive from paper dolls themselves.
In the middle to late nineties, several websites began creating these games which are often browser-based in which a player can drag and drop different clothes onto a digital image of a doll. Since then, more robust variances have been created with improved user interfaces and multi-media features to employ the computing power of today’s personal computers. The games usually require no installation and can be enjoyed using the “Flash” platform by Macromedia.
Majority of the game creators reside in Asian countries and are often inspired by “cartoony” big-eyed characters found in Japanese anime; which have shown to appeal to vast audiences worldwide. Others strive for a more realistic feel where their creation reflects on today’s fashion which is a great reference source for fashion designers and followers. The concept of paper dolls have not died down but rather being a transit to another media and apparently is making a come-back.