Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Getting a gaming tattoo? Here are four things to keep in mind

1:00 PM on 05.04.2014 // Gray Times

Promoted from our Community Blogs!

[Dtoid community blogger Gray Time shares his experiences with gaming tattoos. Heed this man's word! Want to see your own blog appear on our front page? Go write something! --Mr Andy Dixon]

Okay, first a disclaimer: I have some shocking tattoos. Take this example:

That's "The Ugly One" from Homestar Runner's "Teen Girl Squad"... from the Internet.

So really I'm in no position to judge anyone over their choice of ink. But in my ten years of getting tattooed I have two sleeves, full back and chest and have begun on my legs. So while we all make mistakes (not me; Teen Girl Squad is the best!) I have learned a lot about the craft and wanted to pass on some advice for those who are considering a new tattoo. This is especially worthy advice when considering a gaming tattoo, as gaming, like music and film, will provoke a mixture of responses from those in the know as well as those who have no idea what you've marked your body with. I've had great reactions from London gangsters all the way to being mocked by 14-year-olds.

So I implore those considering work to heed my advice, not as judgement but as words of warning and things to consider. Trust me: it's worth knowing.

There is no such thing as a cheap good tattoo

Sorry folks! You're gonna be dropping some serious chedda on this piece of artwork. Some get lucky and get tattooed by an artist whose star is on the rise and you get a good rate, and some know the artist well, so "mates rates" might apply. But for the other 99%, we're going to spend a lot of money. Think about it: this is going to be on your skin forever, and speaking from personal experience it will cost three times as much as the cheap version to have that shoddy mess fixed by a real artist.

A good artist will work through the piece with you, offering additional ideas or concepts. A good artist will NEVER judge, but a good artist will warn you if you're about to do something stupid. You're not just paying for 'ink in skin" time; you're paying for consultation, advice, artist time, and materials. So it is much better to have it planned out. Da Vinci could draw freehand, but we have no idea how he was at a Mario mushroom with a tattoo gun, so embrace and enjoy the planning process. Remember it won't be cheap, but 100% worth it.

Think about the natural curves of your body

Alright, stop giggling at the back, it is a valid thing to consider. Each of us has a different body shape, and if you incorporate the curve of your hip/bicep/ankle/bum into the piece it will add distinction and action to the piece. It will add emphasis to the artwork, but also it will emphasize aspects of your own body if done correctly.

Also, this save you from the "cookie cutter" look. Or worse, the complete dominance of your body. Would you rather the next person who sees you naked to think "damn, all I saw were Pikmin!" or "they had a sweet Pikmin tattoo... I want a closer look!" Where rather than a graceful price of artwork you've adored yourself with, you run the risk of looking like you've been branded with a corporate logo. Which brings me to my next point...

Avoid logos; subtlety for the win

I understand the allure of logos so much. You adore something and there is this awesome pre-made symbol of it that you can adorn yourself with with minimum fuss. But be careful. Logos with the name of the game in should be ruled out first; the obviousness of it will increase your regret factor by 10. Furthermore, it means the questions you will be asked (and you will) will be far more direct. Gaming, like movies, is a visual art from, so you have a wealth to pick from. You can show your love for Mega Man with the blue bomber's energy tank or his jump posse. Having MEGA MAN written on you will take away from the artwork, and thus the tattoo (and you may also have you love making skills thrown into question).

There is nothing better than to have someone spot the subtlety of your tattoo. I have Murray the Evil Demonic Skull [Yes! -Andy] hidden on my arm, and when someone spots it the glee for them and me is beyond words. If it's too obvious, you may run the risk of feeling alienated or uncomfortable. This can surprise you, as having a tattoo (particularly a large one) will be a deciding factor in how people identify you and remember you. I've been known as "Halloween Chris" for ten years, and I'm still not 100% okay with it. Do you want to be "Dishonored Girl", "Final Fantasy Floyd", or "Choose Your Character Guy" as I'm sure the fella above is now known? Maybe you're cool with that, but a tattoo is a far quicker and easier label than any haircut or shirt you will ever have. Keep it in mind.

Size matters

It really really does. Something that is naturally small will make more sense remaining small. Whereas if you want something complicated and highly detailed it will take up significantly more space, or at least it should. Your artist will help out with this and do consider what they suggest. Remember that a good tattoo isn't just about the focus point: it's the shading on Cloud's sword; it's the detail in Bowser's scales; the light coming from the Triforce. So make allowances for shading, background, and additional detail. Also don't try and stuff too much into one piece; a solid single character will look better (and age better) than several smooshed together.


I hope my humble advice has given you something to consider when getting a tattoo. They are a beautiful form of artwork and I love mine. Remember above all, though: it's your body, so do whatever makes you happiest. I offer you this advice as I wish I had read it when I was considering my first tattoo.

Note: No disrespect is intended to those whose tattoos are shown above!

Gray Times,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I finally caved in to those sweet deals, got Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, Downwell and Super House of Dead Ninjas :)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I hope that Prototype runs better on my dad's old laptop than it does on my AMD gaming rig. Some badly coded games run like ass on AMD cards.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Please spare me from issues in the process of publishing my blog! Especially since I modified CSS to unnecessarily pseudo-crop an image, and make it so some images float next to text, and make it look decent on mobile. I'm a frickin' nerd, love it.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -