Let’s Talk About Video Game Tattoos!

Sup bros.  You like dem games.  I like dem games.  Sometimes we like them so much that we make poor life decisions and get a video game-related tattoo. This can start you down a dark, dark path.  One day you’re all like “fuck yeah I wanna get Gordon Freeman’s crowbar tattooed on my rockin’ abs!” and then, before you know it, you’re covered in poorly planned out patches of random video game logos, characters, and references.  The energy drinks start flowing like wine.  You take egregious advantage of Domino’s online ordering. You wake up one day and you look like a rape-ier version of Notch…but, ya know, not a millionaire.

Like everything in life, there are both classy and un-classy ways to do tattoos.  Here’s a few tips on how not to do it:


If it’s a tattoo that a character has in-game, you’re doing it wrong.

I really liked Dishonored.  Apparently, this kid REALLY liked it.  Now I’m going to make a few assumptions here, but I think they’re sound.  Dude seems to have the hand/forearm of a younger dude (via almost no arm hair and plump, cherubish hands with no “proletariat wear and tear” on them).  No other tattoos are peeking their way into frame so, sure, he may have other tattoos, but by no means does he have a ton of them.  So let’s just assume that this tattoo (which is the image burned onto the hand of the protagonist of Dishonored) is one of the, at maximum, 5 tattoos this bro has.  That means that this bro has jumped right to Hand Tattoo.  Hand tattoos usually happen via two thought processes: 1. Well, my body is covered and it’s always just been creeping out toward my hands so, fuck it, I’ve officially been a Tattoo Guy for years now.  or 2. I don’t want to make over $40k a year, ever.

Sick room decorations! It really looks like you r rly in2 gaming via “No, mom! I’m 21! I’ll clean up my room when I want! No! OK god fine! I’ll do it after this match! Sorry guys, my mom’s a bitch.  Yeah, we SHOULD get an apartment; just the 6 of us.”

This is why you should never just get an in-game tattoo verbatim.  They’re probably going to be in an unconventional spot (like the Unemployable Hand) because that leans toward the dramatic.  They’re also going to probably be a tribal design via game designers not really being the coolest chaps on the block and therefore not really have their fingers on the pulse of “good tattoos.”


Don’t go with your original idea/find a tattoo artist who is, ya know, talented.

A lot of gamers come from that weird “I have ‘counter-culture’ interests yet I’m Republican/sheltered” demographic so, chances are, their video game tattoo is going to be their first tattoo (and maybe their last via not being tr00 to tattoo culture).  Many of us don’t luck out and find the artist that you trust to do most, if not all, of your work.  That’s why many Tattoo People have their “first tattoo” that they either have covered up or keep out of nostalgia.  If you just go to the place down the street, chances are the artist shouldn’t really even be called an “artist.” So these poor nerd kids are thinking “I want a tattoo, so I’m going to go to my local tattoo dispensary” and they get slightly above prison tattoo quality.  Also, I’m not a betting man, but I’d bet that the placement discussion is going to consist solely of “just put it in the middle of my bicep.”

Or the middle of your hairy back. Oh…oh god– oh god I can’t stop cumming! Why does this do it for me?!

Shop around.  Talk to friends/acquaintances of yours who have tattoos that you think look good.  Think about where you want something fucking permanent might go best on your body for the rest of your fucking life.  Also, you need to realize what you want might not translate to human flesh as a medium well, so be open to revisions.


Don’t get a Gears of War tattoo, apparently.

Holy fuck.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a good Gears of War tattoo.  It doesn’t help that their logo, when scrawled into your flesh, looks like road rash.  Also, sub category: DON’T GET LOGOS!  What the fuck are you, an eccentric rapper?  Anyway, if it isn’t a rotting pustule of a logo, it’s probably one of the characters represented in a way that  makes them look like they were stabbed with one of the blue tubes from the end of Blade.

Woo! Cole Train! Tattoo on what looks like the side of a chestburster egg! Woo! Also, is he standing on a dead Kathy Bates wearing a sweater?

The Unreal Engine is one of the more fancy game engines out there.  It has the abilitly to render some truly beautiful, detailed graphics.  How many polygons can your skin push?  What’s the resolution of your pasty, fat arms?  Imagine that, some high def monster didn’t translate well to your eczema-ridden existence tarp.  Just don’t.

While I’m not an expert at “tattoo shit,” I am self-aware and realistic.  If you think people don’t make snap judgements about you from your tattoos, you’re an idiot.  What it comes down to is you need to decide if that matters to you and then if that mattering to you matters enough to change your career/life path, if you follow me.  You need to be ready to explain to potential romantic interests what your tattoos mean: “Yeah this is Kratos, he’s a real toughie.  Like me! Ow, mace!”  Or potential employers: “Oh, this epic dude poking out from my collar?  Glad you asked.  This is King Arthas after his transformation into the nefarious Lich King.  If you would like I could disrobe to show you how gallantly he wields Frostmourne! I’m hired?! Thanks!” -No One Fucking Ever in the History of Anything.

Or you could be totally fucking sweet like this girl.


Official Jorbam Fun Club here.

Tweeting about mundane dogshit here.

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145 Responses to Let’s Talk About Video Game Tattoos!

  1. roger_camden says:

    On what body part is that Gears of War tattoo even located?
    It’s just like a mottled lump of skin.

  2. “A lot of gamers come from that weird “I have ‘counter-culture’ interests yet I’m Republican/sheltered” demographic so, chances are, their video game tattoo is going to be their first tattoo (and maybe their last via not being tr00 to tattoo culture).”

    This perfectly describes a friend of mine whose only tattoo is a Magic: The Gathering tattoo on his arm.

    • Walker says:

      weirdest demographic ever. See “people who were raised in the suburbs but are nerds”.

      • xheartburnX says:

        These are the same people who really like Metalacolypse.

      • VyceVictus says:

        Lol I don’t get it. Why roll D20 when you can roll dice for loot on the corner. I thought safe homes and expendable inome = fertile ground for war hammer dioramas and owning multiple game platforms?
        (Sorry if I spoiled the joke by asking to explain, I am just curious)

  3. Warfuck McSlatejaw says:

    Holy shit that chick just drove this whole thing home.

  4. Outbackcore says:

    Loving your stuff jorbam

    I have one so this spoke to me, it pretty much nailed everything you need to know/avoid about them.

    “I don’t want to make over $40k a year, ever”
    This^^^^ I have mine on the back of my thigh because of this (even though it’s out of place)

    I don’t regret mine (yet) and I plan on getting more (a Dark Souls one, if I can think of anything)

    “Or you could be totally fucking sweet like this girl” got my hopes up so much :(

  5. xyz...abc says:

    I enjoyed this very much.

    I almost got Wind Waker/Zelda, Out of this world, and Ultima tattoos. I still love those games but I am REEAAAALLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY glad I didn’t. Makes me glad I was too broke to get them when I would have.

    • xyz...abc says:

      Also, this is off topic, but I am mad jelly of these guys that get rich making video games (or just get the opportunity to). Notch, Richard Garriott (from back in the day), Cliffy B (don’t like his games though), Fumito Ueda. Damn these guys to HELL!!!! Garriott launched himself into space off of $$$ he made from games. WTF am I doing!!!!!!

      • Kris says:

        Video game development is not a fun job by any means. Easily one of the most painstaking careers you can get into.

        • Sergeant D says:

          it honestly sounds like one of the most punishing, stressful, life-shortening industries in the western world

        • jorbam says:

          I think it depends where you work. Haha it’s actually the industry I’d like to end up in but I’m realistic in that it’s probably going to suck for a lot of years and not be like the commecials at 2am where the dudes are “finishing up the gameplay on level 5″ by using a controller on a couch.

          I’ve heard horror stories about Zynga and there are studios that get shuttered and incompetent management etc etc. but I think that happens in any industry. I know a dude who works for Sony and he’s overall very happy with his job. I know a dude whose brother works for Irrational and while it sounded super fucking stressful via crunch time, it sounds like an awesome place to work.

          But I guess for every person like Notch or every studio like an Irrational or Gearbox or Bethesda, you have thousands of poor assholes slaving away on dogshit Facebook games and licensed movie games.

  6. Chillin' says:

    I just can’t look at these pics. It’s the pinnacle of human stupidity. HOW CAN YOU LIKE A FUCKING VIDEO GAME THAT MUCH?

    Maybe I’m biased because I only ever play Paper Mario (akshuly srs) but jesus man, what makes them think it will be remotely relevant 20 years from now???

    Also, I could not date a chick with a video game tattoo. That is just such a massive turn-off. Ew.

    • this guy has the comments says:

      It’s not just you, I’m the kind of faggot that likes video games so much I used to make (shitty) games myself, but the thought of video game related tattoos makes me want to kick the chair.

    • tr00 herper says:

      Im a pretty big gamer but I just can’t fathom gamer tats to be honest. It’s not like music, where people emotionally respond to it. You may think there’s art involved but Vidia games are purely for entertainment.

      • VyceVictus says:

        Not to be art fggt, but vidya is relatively new and I’m confident it will grow. Shadow of Colossus legit fucked me up when I killed my first monster, and I hear loads of people have been catching mad feels playing the Walking Dead episodes, got niggas crying and shit for real. Those are exceptions to the rule for now, but I think there’s a lot mor in store down the line, just like great movies can do.

        • Latinoheat!!! says:

          in be4 someone gets a breaking bad/SAMCRO/walking dead tattoo!!

          those shows are my lyfe!!!

        • Jayson says:

          I will admit to having some feels at various points playing the Mass Effect games.

        • jorbam says:

          The video games are/aren’t art debate is something that makes my forehead veins explode. And I know that we’re BFFs 4 lyfe because you’re on the right track: it’s all about context. Different games set out with different agendas. Some exist solely to entertain. Some exist solely to elicit a reaction. Some lie somewhere in the middle. Video games are art in that they require a bunch of people who are artists in their field to make them, but not all games are beret-wearing, absinthe-sipping examinations of the human condition.

          There was a thing a few years back where a bunch of nerds had a yellversation with Roger Ebert over whether games could be art. Of course Ebert was in full troll mode and said, unconditionally, that they couldn’t so of course the internet just lost their mind. Why do they give a fuck what Ebert thinks? Also, calm the fuck down and be rational. Art is subjective. Plain and simple. We each get something different out of everything we consume. Fuckers need to relax and play their games.

          Fuck, I just wrote another post in the comments. Sorry :(

          • BackdoorMason says:

            I think you missed Ebert’s point. He wasn’t being a troll, he was pointing out that if one says video games are art, then so is Monopoly, Yahtzee, baseball, curling, etc. A game isn’t art because there are conditions, rules, and pre-determined outcomes based on those conditions and rules. Just because lots of artists are involved in making something does not mean that the end product is art. A team of artists designed your toaster.

    • roger_camden says:

      I just can’t look at these pics. It’s the pinnacle of human stupidity. HOW CAN YOU LIKE A FUCKING BAND THAT MUCH?

      Maybe I’m biased because I only ever listen to classical (akshuly srs) but jesus man, what makes them think it will be remotely relevant 20 years from now???

      Also, I could not date a chick with a band tattoo. That is just such a massive turn-off. Ew.

  7. C.Ninja says:

    Know a dude with the Gears of war logo on his chest.

    Not even once.

  8. C.Ninja says:

    Also, you got my hopes up for that girl brah.

    Ew nerdcore.

    Curse you jorbam.

    • jorbam says:

      I’m sorry.

      Her name is MC Router (or was, as apparently the nerdcore game was too much for her). Let’s put more than 5 seconds into our name, shall we?

      MC Dualshock Play and Charge Cable
      MC Dashboard Update
      MC Horse Armor
      MC Modern Military Cover-Based 3rd Person Shooter

      There, I just helped 4 dudes with neckbeards and 1337 LoL skills or 4 chicks trying to get a bunch of twitter followers get over that first hurdle.

      There. I just I think that nerdcore is right on the level with ICP-esque horrorcore: white people turning out staggeringly inferior hip hop.

      • VyceVictus says:

        Yo, you down with MC Modern Military Cover-Based 3rd Person Shooter too??!!! That dude spits fire, but mad niggas be tryna bite his style cus he been around for a minute. Most other faggot conscious rappers be all “he’s so generic and cliche”, and that his “sellout rhymes” is “saturatin the market” and wahteverwhatever. But that aint his fault knowmsayin, thas all those dickriders not really preciatin his art and shit. But yo I give props for him sticking to doin one thing well that’s what his fans want anyway. Why haters gotta hate, he just tryin eat nahmean? I fucks wit him.

      • C.Ninja says:

        I wouldn’t route her.


      • roger_camden says:

        MC Roguelike
        MC Shmup
        MC Farm Simulator 2012

  9. MasterSlave says:

    Always thought there was massive potential for a scorpion vs subzero tattoo. Like a big firey background on one side and icey on the other. Come to think of it I pretty much think all tattoos should be sleaves/pieces, I hate pictures just randomly placed on skin like a fucking sticker on a car or something. Maybe in the 70s, no excuse today

  10. Faded__GLORY says:

    I personally have an Elder Scrolls tattoo on my left calf
    It’s the Daedric symbol for the gate of Oblivion
    It’s the big upside down U looking thing on the cover of the game TES:IV Oblivion
    And honestly FUCK IT

  11. beholdthesharktopus says:

    For some reason I feel like a tattoo of a character from Metal Gear Solid would look half-decent if done by a good artist. Like if it used the style of the booklet artwork, the really obscure comic-style drawings.

  12. eurotrash says:

    bish looks noying as fuck

  13. Anonymous says:

    I met the guy who has this a couple of times.
    Don’t really know him, but he always posts inane shit about anonymous and My Little Pony on facebook. Often talks about how his next tat is going to be a pony or some shit, makes my throw up in my mouth a little.

    • Zoloft says:

      bronies are the single most irritating thing in this world

      • Dani King says:

        bronies are the single most irritating thing in this world [2]
        MLP seems to be the newest trend for newfags in my area. :(

        • steve says:

          can we get a sywh write up on this? i’ve been seeing this shit popping up and i no understand.

          • Zoloft says:


          • VyceVictus says:

            Fuck No. You’re better off not knowing. Remember when you first thought “whats a blue waffle? Lemme google that…” Just do that.

          • Autodidact says:

            For the love of Based God, there should never ever be a write-up of bronies on SYWH. It will turn this website into a wretched hive of /b/tards and phaggots. Honestly brah you’re better off not knowing.

          • jorbam says:

            Jorbam mini write up on bronies:

            Bronies can’t achieve erection unless they’re within earshot of a girl frantically trying to escape her bindings in a labyrinthine basement with poor lighting. They subsist on a mixture of mayonnaise and individual slices of American cheese.

            They also like a cartoon.

  14. Sergeant D says:

    I almost got a Playstation logo on my elbow when i was like 20. Kind of wish I did– that is certainly no dumber than the dozens of other shitty, retarded tattoos I have.

  15. Dani King says:

    Guilty of two Kingdom Hearts tattoos. I’m a fucking faggot.

  16. Lazerwulv says:

    My little bro only has two tattoos but one is a triforce on his hand. Sad4him.

  17. jake says:

    file under “ironic and trying to be comical tattoos” instead of video game tattoos, but i always thought it’d be hilarious to get dig dug on my ass, with the little pump leading into the crack.

  18. Name says:

    i have nothing funny to add, just wanna say that i rly enjoyed the post

  19. ryan says:

    Anyone with any kind of tattoo is a sufferer of special snowflake syndrome.

    Can’t wait for you guys to show them off at your local club that is full of 16 year olds.

  20. Save Parker says:

    “eczema-ridden existence tarp”


  21. Dc says:

    I have the emblem for Kingdom Hearts on my calf. No regrets.

  22. lolwutpt2 says:

    my buddy has a “punch out” tattoo. he said mike tyson posing next to it was one of the funniest experiences of his life and he regrets nothing.

    • TLDR says:

      I liked Bioshock 2, but not nearly enough to get a tattoo of it

    • cougar party says:

      seriously, wtf happened with Bioshock 2? The first one was A+. Second one was the same gameplay with a terrible story.

    • jorbam says:

      I may or may not have a half sleeve Bioshock tattoo…

      This confounds me as, while it is a very good tattoo, why Bioshock 2?! It was fun enough but dat story was just retconned into the end of a game that was pretty well and truly tied up. To each his own.

      • TLDR says:

        IDK, I just looked at it as more levels of Bioshock 1, which it pretty much was. I had fun playing it like that.

        In my book, more of the same = good if the original thing was good

  23. Latinoheat!!! says:

    tatts… wut can i say on this topic…. people get em quickly w/ no thought on the future… people get scared when they see those 18st/MS head to toe tatted gang members.. don’t be scared of the tatted up like a biker gang cholos n chit… those are the SBS idiot criminals, be scared of the less tatted one/ quiet one that looks like he shouldn’t belong in the said posse/crew of those unreputable individuals….

    n o yea….

    cholo font/ O.E tatts 4 lyfe ese!!!

    wood get an east los santos tatt/13

    • Zoloft says:

      there’s a couple of kids I know who are part of the neta, and they only have a couple of tats each, it’s almost impossible to know if someone is part of a gang here in milan

      • Latinoheat!!! says:

        i respect la neta /cosa nostra via the godfather part 1 n 2 (not 3 cuz that shit sucked more ballz than a midget hooker!)

        but yea… can’t w8 for the slicked back mobstero look for gang members over here to come back…. looking like bald cancer kids does make you stand out but i just equate it as another SSS/Spesh Bean Syndrome aspie

        • (curvedEdgeCrusty) says:

          ded @ ‘Spesh Bean Syndrome’

        • Zoloft says:

          suited up mobsters don’t exist anymore, they all look like ordinary people now, ‘xept they’ll hunt down every single member of your family if you just give them a wrong look
          Also, they kill children now, which makes them even less respectable

    • Autodidact says:

      As a SoCal brah I can confirm of how pants-shittingly terrifying MS13 browns are. don’t never go to Westlake/MacA Park ever.

    • beholdthesharktopus says:

      I understand they’re opting to cut back on the tattoos to make them harder to trace. When gangs drop their gang signs and whatnot in order to more efficiently commit crimes, that shit’s scary.

  24. Infinate Flesh says:

    Both pyramid head and Granfalloon from castlevania are part of my sleeve, no fucks.

    Also considering getting Shen from LOL somewhere.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Good call on hand tats. Same could be applied to face tats as well. Also ppl should not get straight edge face tats b/c when you break edge you just look like a fuckhead.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I kinda enjoy some of MC Router’s music (via fggtitude) but those tattoos are sad :(

  27. tom666 says:

    I want a dead space tattoo I wont lie

  28. Chris Brown says:

    I took offense to the part of the link where it said that fat chick who probably never exercises in her life could probably kick my ass. And if on the rare occurrence she does exercise it is one of those pitiful situations where said chick gets really red and grossly sweaty from 5 minutes of cardio and some push ups from her knees.

  29. mijogoestojuniorcollege says:

    when i was straight edge i thought about getting a tattoo of two megaton hammers in the shape of an X. sometimes when i feel down about my life decisions i just think to myself: “well at least you didn’t get that fucking gay stupid tattoo” and it makes me feel better

    • xyz...abc says:

      Lol I have been doing this lately as well. I have been going through a ‘i regret my past’ phase so I keep reminding myself of things like: At least I am no longer sXe or vegan and at least I never got any tattoos (video game, comic book, sXe, vegan, atheist) while I was suffering from SSS.

      • mijogoestojuniorcollege says:

        seriously. its a pretty good feeling that my dumb “trying to fit in” phases have no evidence other than hilarious stories and the occasional picture.

        • xyz...abc says:


          This is definitely a good feeling although I did start stretching my ears but stopped before they got really big so I have two small scars from that. No one ever notices though.

          It is funny that I was willing to scar my body and completely change/restrict my diet to fit in with a bunch of people that didn’t even really like me. Oh well.

      • TLDR says:

        I have a full sleeve of atheist tattoos

        I mostly laugh at how I thought the meaning of tattoos was important, Luckily, they were done by Adam Barton so they at least look good

        • VyceVictus says:

          I have a full sleeve of atheist tattoos

          So, that should be like….a bare arm?

        • jorbam says:

          Being able to not take yourself so seriously is one of the most important perks you can equip. It can be dangerously easy to get caught up in the “I mean the fuck out of this! Etch it into my skiiiiin!” mentality. Good to see you came out on the “eh, they’re there. they look good” side.

          I’m bouncing around a “how to be an athiest and not be a fucking cunt about it” post in my head right now.

          • Jonnyfilth says:

            “Hi, I don’t beleive in religion. Now let’s talk about something fun instead. The End.”

            ^ Done and done bro, schedule that shit in the post queue plz.

            • TLDR says:

              Yes, but for those of us with angry atheist syndrome, its just not that simple. If it was, we would just do it :)

              Trying to get to that point tho, its a work in progress

            • Jonnyfilth says:

              It really is that simple. Arguing with every random 17 year old Christian kid you meet is literally never ever ever going to A) change your life for the better, B) convince said kid to agree with you or C) make any significant change in removing religion from government policies/influence etc. aka it is literally the most pointless endeavour on earth and makes you seem like a butthurt loser who couldn’t have fun if he tried.

            • Jonnyfilth says:

              PS: Not specifically referring to you as a butthurt loser, just generalising about angry atheist syndrome

            • TLDR says:

              No offense taken at all, and yes from the outside it APPEARS that it is that simple because I have not gotten into a single argument over religion in a long time and probably won’t get into very many in the future. Shutting the fuck up from your end makes it look like the problem is totally solved.

              It’s the INTERNAL turmoil, the not saying anything but struggling to relate to people I view as irrational that is difficult to overcome. Trying to really understand others so that I can not be totally isolated from them, etc

              You feel me bro? Its not about YOU, its about ME

          • TLDR says:

            Would read and post ridiculously longwinded comments as usual, or perhaps even more than usual

  30. TLDR says:

    I feel a lot of this advice applies to tattoos in general, not just video games. A+ post

    I’m actually glad most people just go down the street to their local shitty tattooer, if everyone who got tattooed did their research and actually booked good artists the wait lists would be insanely long

    • jorbam says:

      Yeah, this was really another “I will lovingly make fun of myself along with the others who have went a little bit (or a lot) further down the white foolishness rabbit hole.”

  31. Anonymous says:

    mirin my tri-force tat. Feels-batman. On the other hand no one really knows what it is and just looks like any other tattoo. Still glad i never got a star wars one. I could smell the pussy repellent all the way from past bad life decisions.

  32. TLDR says:

    I have 2 friends with Star Wars tattoos who get mad pussy. Not like a few girls, like I’m pretty sure one of them is in the triple digits and a ton of them are hot as fuk too.

    TBH as a male you can get away with pretty dumb life decisions/tattoos etc and still get laid if you are a fun, outgoing social person.

    • VyceVictus says:

      Ron Jeremy is legendary and gets mad pussy.
      He still has to live with being Ron Jeremy.

      • TLDR says:

        True, but my post was actually a response to Anon above, who claimed that star wars tattoos are pussy repellent.

        And also, one of those dudes is a total scumbag and I’m sure hates himself on some level, but the other is pretty well adjusted overall and that makes me happy.

  33. kay says:

    what about getting a tat inspired by a game? one symbol, or using it as a jumping point to a more complex work?

  34. Anonymous says:

    I did a dishonored tattoo like that and I am wondering if its the one I did. He had a bunch of other game shit all up his arms in black. Might not have been the same guy cause the dude in the game has the same tattoo or some shit. The guy I tattooed did have a chubby arm and that little bit lapping over the knuckle.

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