Ah, the many scents of a gamer. Basement mildew. Dorito dust. A sticky joystick stuck in between two couch cushions stained with months-old Mountain Dew Code Red. Now you, too, can smell like this.
Gamespot reports that Microsoft is working with Lynx to create a new fragrance line called Lynx Xbox that includes body spray, deodorant, and shower gel. The products are only being marketed in New Zealand and Australia, which may explain why the name “Lynx” isn’t familiar to you. What’s Lynx called in the U.S. market? Strap in for this one, reader, because it’s exactly what you feared: Axe body spray, baby. Because gamers, if anything, are predictable as hell.
The fragrance description reported by Gamespot actually doesn’t sound that bad: “Lynx Xbox is a fresh scent of pulsing green citrus, featuring top notes of kaffir lime and winter lemon, aromatic herbal middle notes of mint and sage, and woody bottom notes of patchouli and clearwood.” It is said to contain natural essential oils.
A statement from the Australia/New Zealand Xbox camp goes on to say that gamers can “power up” by covering themselves with the Xbox stink before leaving the house in the morning. This concept raises several questions: Will other gamers be able to detect your scent? Can you wear Xbox deodorant while playing PS4 games? Is this the scent of a “gamer,” or is it the scent of the Xbox console itself?
When it comes down to it, like most brand campaigns, the idea of an Xbox-inspired body wash feels tired as hell. The medium of gaming is already riddled with problems, from sexism, to xenophobia, to Nazi-adjacent YouTubers who have been heralded by the community as beloved mentors for kids. Microsoft, in fact, has been leading the charge as of late in the area of advancing the medium to make it a more inclusive, safe environment for players of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. And this week, Axe announced a forward-thinking inclusivity campaign, supporting the work of the Anti-Violence Project in “creating a world where LGBTQ+ people are safe, respected, and live free from violence.”
A product like Xbox deodorant feels wholly counterintuitive to that progress, once again dousing the rich community of video games in a literal smog of male-catering Axe body spray that borrows marketing from what feels like the early Y2K era. Gaming is never going to rise above shitty stereotypes with products like this.
We already had to deal with the embarrassment of Mountain Dew’s dumbass “Game Fuel” soda. Gamers, don’t spray yourself with the Xbox deodorant.