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Video game mechanics have been slow to gain cache in the fashion industry, but that’s changing as shoppers compete for social capital and brands are eager to incentivize loyalty.

Four-year-old shopping app Dote is billed as “Gen Z’s dream mall,” and its similarities with the mall heyday of the late 1990s are striking: Shoppers discuss favorite tank tops and scrunchies while favoring a hyper-real aesthetic that is more “The Real World” than “The Real Housewives.” To tease its first exclusive clothing line — which became available late Tuesday afternoon and sold out in three hours — Dote even created a website with a design inspired by MySpace and AOL Instant Messenger.

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