Video games are really a type of art. An artistry of pixels and colours painted onto a canvas of LED, Plasmas and once upon a time the mighty CRT screen. Tattoos are also masterpieces of the creative mind which are inked indefinitely onto people skins as a permanent and mobile masterpiece (depending on the quality of course).
So what happens when the two forms of “art” collide?
Tattooing is a form of individualised expression and gaming much like many hobbies, is a way that some people like to indulge their free time (and more) so it feels like the two should go hand in hand. Much like the gentleman with the tattoo on his calf depicting the crest of his chosen football club, to the person who has their favourite/inspirational song lyrics permanently etched along their forearm.
Now I am personally a fan of tattoos which are perhaps a little different; a little unique. Having spent nearly a £1000 on permanent, painful inking it’s safe to say that I have the tattoo bug! I’ve spent hours and hours scouring the internet for inspiration and even more time designing and developing pieces so that they feel individualised to me; symbolising something personal to me.
My interest with video games follows a similar pathway with my gaming habits representing who I am. I spend hours of free time delving in to a variety of games on my console of choice (PS4) and find myself enamoured with researching my next gaming purchase to a finite level.
So on a grander scale you could say that video games and tattoos are but one and the same (a stretch I know). The affinity that we as gamers have with our digital “worlds” is second to none. The level of emotional attachment to these pieces of creative magic can only really be contrived by those who share that same love and compassion. So why in my heart of hearts do I feel like it would be wrong to stroll into my favourite tattoo artist and request that Alex at Bullet Ink in Hertford (slight plug) pins the Assassin’s Creed logo to my chest or get the letters ‘PS4 Fanboy!’ emblazoned across my knuckles. I don’t think I would ever consider getting a tattoo of anything related to a video game; whether it is a logo, character or anything remotely associated. Why is that?
Don’t get me wrong, a quick internet search of video games tattoos throws up some fantastic pieces of work; from colourful montages of gaming universes to the button combo for Hadduken (made me chuckle). But here’s where I think society’s influence gives me a bit of a kicking. Within my friendship group I am probably one of maybe 2/3 who really plays games on a regular basis. Within my extended friendship group that probably doesn’t reach much higher than 4/5 at a maximum. Now I wouldn’t say the remaining individuals frown upon gaming but I would probably chalk them up to perhaps just not having the time or the age old saying of “growing out of it”.
So now let’s take tattoos. It’s the same sort of scenario. Yes tattoos are becoming (and have been for a considerable time) more “mainstream”. If you cast a net on your nearest high street the odds are that you will nab at least 2 people who have been marked by needle and ink; but there is still this underlying perception of tattoos which I believe will take a few more years before they are wholly accepted in society. For example at my current place of employment, it is in my contract that all tattoos need to be covered at all times. It could just be the nature of my job and influence on young people (guess the job!) but I can imagine that this may be “common practice” among a variety of jobs across the country and even the world. So I find myself in a position where my love for games is perhaps not looked upon too fondly and my fascination with skin art is still not wholly accepted as common place.
Is it down to societies influence? A type of brainwashing of the mainstream, a willingness to fit in which makes me feel like a video game tattoo would be blasphemy? Or is that that maybe- just maybe, I don’t love games enough to consider having something associated with them permanently on my body.
So in a roundabout way I think the question I’m posing is: Video Game Tattoos- Press Start to Continue or Exit and Shutdown?
Have you got any video game ink? Would you ever get any video game ink? Let me know @MeteCritic with the #VideoGameTats
Until next time squad….Keep it on the OOL