Show Us Your Gamer Tats!
Of gamers in the world, there are many different types. Some play games casually; some play games more than anything else that they do, including sleep; some call themselves hardcore and some, such as the ones in this article, take their passion to entirely new levels of dedication.
If you were to ask me what the defining identifier of a ‘geek’ is, I would simply say, “Obsession.” Like that, there exists a sub-culture of gamers who are obsessed with gaming and proud of it, to the point that they will do some crazy things to show their passion to the world. Not hide behind a façade of socially accepted convention.
Examples of this range from gaming apparel — which I endearingly call ‘virginal assurance’ — to badges on bags or clothes to posters on walls to a shrine full of games that friends would envy to figurines and collectibles. I am guilty of all of these except for the latter, which I am working on. Sometimes, though, we make a… more permanent move. Sometimes we go and get our bodies inked, all in the name of our beloved pastime.
A few weeks ago, I was playing around with designs for a tattoo idea I have, and I realised that I’ve never actually seen an article about gaming tattoos in South Africa. In fact, I don’t actually know of that many people (nobody in Durban, certainly) who boast gaming tattoos in the first place. And so I figured I would attend to this, and draw some attention, no pun intended, to the devoted gamers among us. Yes, I’m also going to use this feature to show off my own tattoos. I never said I was modest…
I started out by getting our resident Community Manager, Sherwin, to ask on social networks if any gamers are proud owners of tattoos, who wouldn’t mind sharing images of their creations as well as some back story on how they came to be. I then asked some friends of my own to chip in. This feature then, forms the collection of what I got back from the community. If you would also like to submit your tattoos, then feel free to email them to Sherwin and I might well make a second article on this, effectively preserving your permanent mark, digitally, forever. Or at least until the internet dies a slow, agonizing, painful death at the hands of My Little Pony.
This Darksiders-inspired tattoo belongs to Jason, also known as PossesedclownZA on Twitter, who simply states that he is a huge fan of the Darksiders series (he has to be, since he’s got a Darksiders-inspired Twitter background as well) and thinks that Death looks epic.
Unfortunately that’s all the commentary he offered on his tattoo but given the epicery of the image, I think it’s fair to say that the picture speaks for itself and he said only what he needed to. Awesome, right?
Now imagine how long that must have taken, how painful it must have been, and how much it must have cost to complete.
Dedicated gamer alert.
Here’s one from a community member whose name so ideally fits the game he’s opted to have inked onto him. His name is Sebastian Stroud (cousin of Anya, perhaps?) also known as FLS Sovereign, and he’s got a Gear of War tattoo. Here’s his story, in his words:
“So I had this one done about 2 years ago when I was in Grade 12. I thought I’d get the Gears of War logo as my first tattoo because I really love it that much. When I played it for the first time I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on my television, the graphics, gameplay and just about everything were phenomenal! It was also my very first Xbox game and is still my favorite video game series to this day. I am part of FLS Legion (FLS Sovereign), the team that won the first official Xbox South Africa sponsored Gears of War Judgment tournament so the Gears tattoo reminds me that I’m finally an official Gears champion :)”
As if that’s something anyone can forget. Awesome tattoo, dude.
Next up is someone everyone knows, or should know, Glenn Alexander, also known as GlennZA on Twitter, who has an Xbox logo on his arm. He opted to share an audio clip as well as the following story of its origin, together with those of other tattoos:
“I received my first tattoo back in 1995. It is my Chinese Zodiac sign, The Fire Dragon which is up on my back on right shoulder blade. Then in November 2011 I won a radio competition on Good Hope FM which included having a tattoo done LIVE on air in studio. When I heard I had won the competition I immediately knew I would be having the Xbox logo done on my left arm. Why the Xbox logo? Well I’ve been a gamer for over 3 decades now and gaming is a massive part of my life. It is in actual fact a passion / hobby that I’ve now managed to turn into a career and lifestyle. In December 2010 I was appointed as one of two Xbox 360 South African Ambassadors so having the logo on my arm for all to see is simply just an extension of my adoration for the brand. Having the Xbox logo in plain sight is a great ice-breaker or conversation starter which naturally revolves around gaming. I don’t plan on getting any more tattoos anytime soon, however the 2upGamers logo is now calling my name :D”
And we look forward to seeing it on you, Glenn. For you shall then be known as Mister 2Up, which would be a commentary on both your gaming-event hosting and your performance as a male… wait, what?!
First, the Assassin’s Creed logo. This one is part of a larger design which will span most of my upper back by the time it’s complete. I initially went in to get my other tattoo done but since I could afford it at the time and had the design with me, I decided to begin on my back tattoo, which is something of a ‘bird of prey’ design inspired by Assassin’s Creed.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the series so it felt almost natural, to have a logo on me somewhere. Why not as part of a larger, more intricate design? After all, nothing is true, everything is permitted.
The second image is that of my first tattoo, which in fairness was only started about an hour before my second tattoo, but it was my originally planned tattoo and one that I’ve been looking forward to getting, for ages now. It’s no secret to the world that I am a BioWare fanboy of sorts. Granted at first it started out as a joke but the truth is, I really love the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises. Specifically, I love doing the right thing in these games and being a genuinely benevolent hero, because it makes me feel happy and fulfilling and [gets nauseatingly gay for a while] Krogans… so of course I went and got a Paragon symbol on my left arm.
In the Mass Effect series, the Paragon symbolises all things pure and good, always doing the right thing without harming others. In terms of Chaos, this would be the exact opposite, Order. It’s on my left forearm because, of course, a paragon interrupt in any of the Mass Effect games is done by pulling the Left Trigger. So naturally…
I have considered getting a Renegade tattoo on my right arm, not because I ever pick the Renegade decisions but rather because there must be balance (Star Wars reference here) and right now, it’s still something I’m mulling over. Apart from that, I have three other tattoos planned, which I will share in due time.
And that does it for the first part of these articles, featuring gaming tattoos from dedicated gamers who take obsession with a passion to entirely new levels. If you have your own gaming tattoos then feel free to share them with us, or email our Community Manager together with a short back story of what inspired it, and we’ll be sure to add you to the next instalment of this feature.
For the rest of you, let us know what you think about gaming tattoos in the comments. Would you ever get one? Are you perhaps planning to?