Visual recognition is a critical element in our daily lives yet how many of us ever give pause to consider what we're actually looking at it. Very few I would wager. We are trained at an early age to recognize shapes and symbols and this process is further refined and developed as we grow older until it's just a natural every day part of our life. It's how we can glance at a sign or a picture and instinctively know to do (or not do) something that could cause us pain or even death. I've lived in several states now, and in every state I've been in, in order to get a driver's license you have to pass the road sign recognition test with a perfect score. That's how important visual recognition can be. Sometimes I wonder whose job it is to come up with the clever images to represent certain routine tasks or actions; and perhaps even more, I wonder who comes up with the humorous interpretations of these symbols.

It didn't take long for crafty businessmen and women to realize the importance of visual recognition and the impact symbolism would have on successful marketing strategies. Our favorite sports teams have logos; our favorite automobiles have logos; our favorite food and beverages have logos; pretty much everything in our life is represented by some sort of symbol or logo or image, and when we see it, we immediately think of whatever it is that item represents. With our ever growing dependency on computers and technology, visual recognition is becoming even more prevalent. We recognize certain icons in the blink of an eye. We don't even have to read to navigate some websites - all we have to do is follow the symbols. Think about your Internet browser or word processor application, or pretty much any other software and how you perform certain actions. Chances are it's by clicking some icon or button that represents the action - that's why it's called a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Now, just to test this theory out before I get on with the real point of the blog, I am going to show a handful of symbols, icons and logos to demonstrate visual recognition. My guess is you will very likely be able to identify nearly all of them with relative ease.








Our video games are not all that different with the exception being some characters, be it based on popularity and/or audience reception, often assume the duties as the corporate logo or symbol...a digitally incarnate mascot if you will. These characters are world renown and universally recognized; sometimes whether you're a gamer or not you recognize these characters. I posted a blog not all that long ago that talked about commercialization and how video games are are being used to market non-video game products. This is largely achieved by using recognizable names and faces.

Once again, just to test this theory, let me throw out a few familiar faces...faces I'm so confident you will know I'm not even going to label them or tell you who they are because you'll just know. And by the way I'm still not to the main point of this blog, but hang on I'm at least getting closer.







Some video game companies, not all but some, have logos that are equally recognizable. I have to admit I'm not as good with all of the corporate video game logos. But there are definitely a few that I know, and you probably will to. How many of these do you recognize? Probably all of them, without hesitation.





Now the reason I'm talking about visual recognition has to do with something I mentioned in a blog a few days ago where I hinted about a Kickstarter project I am considering. Given the importance of a visually recognizable logo or symbol, I'm looking for community input on a particular symbol to (By "us" - I mean us as gamers...not "us" as part of the GIO community.)

It causes me to wonder why gamers don't have a universally recognized logo or symbol. Oh, sure...anytime we see a controller image we naturally think of video games or video gamer, but there isn't one defined, established symbol. Besides, most of the controllers we see typically represent one of the big 3 (Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo) but not all three collectively. Now, maybe it's because of my military background and me being used to ranks, badges and other uniform devices to distinguish between other uniformed personnel, but I think we could stand to have a "gamer" logo or symbol. Other organizations do. The Boy Scouts do. Biker gangs do. Breast Cancer Awareness Groups do.

Religious and Spiritual folks have their symbols.

The Empire and the Rebel Alliance have their own symbols.

What I'm looking for and asking your help with...if you were going to create a universal logo or symbol to represent the gamer, what would it look like? I've asked some of our resident graphic design experts to take a stab at it, but I'm equally curious what the community's thoughts and input on it might be.

Who knows, you might just see it again.