If there’s a sector of pop culture that knows how to celebrate a hobby, it’s gamers. Just check out their fan fiction. Or soundtrack covers. But now that video games are finally mainstream, the modern gamer isn’t necessarily easy to spot. That dude a few cubes over could be one of the best COD snipers on the east coast and you wouldn’t even know it. That 30-something mother of two you saw on the subway might be able to kick your ass in Mario Kart 64. Gaming Introverts, I call these people.
But then you’ve got gamers who take it to the next level, and that level involves body art. Like all tattoos, their premise and execution varies in quality. Good or bad, though, here’s the thing: I judge people a little when I see their tattoos. Not in a bad way, usually, but if you take the time to create permanent fan art on your body, there’s probably a story behind it. And the more elaborate the art, the cooler the story (I assume).
So yeah, tatted gamers, I’ve got my eye on you. And in my general style of unqualified hyperbole, I’m giving you all backstories.
The Career Troll
Remember playing Halo 2 with your college buddies back in 2005? There always seemed to be at least one 12-year-old-sounding kid on the other team with the mouth of Bob Saget and the sniper skills of Mark Wahlberg. Well, that kid grew up, and his prowess in third- and first-person shooters grew right along with him. Yes, NukeAllN00bs94’s penchant for efficient violence in Video Game Land is a character trait he wants to wear on his sleeve (or shoulder, or back). Like, permanently. Also, he goes to the gym now, and owns a sword.
The Meta Gamer
Yep, hipsters can be gamers too. This is totally cool with me, though; it keeps them off the streets and holed up in their parents’ Brooklyn basements where they belong. Hipsters are loath to express genuine affection for anything in the “mainstream,” so their passion might take the form of minimalist tattoos that are incomprehensible to anyone who didn’t pick up that one side quest in Fallout 3‘s “Broken Steel” DLC. If you ask one of them about their Wiccan-esque body art, get ready for the long explanation. You’ll find meta tattoos on unconventional—yet generally visible—parts of the body, because come on, these guys are just waiting for someone to broach the subject as they wait for that double espresso. I mean, how many [regular] people out there actually know what those specific button presses unlock? What an obscure visual reference! I’ve never even heard of—hey, wait a second…
The Closet Gamer
You’ll never know this person is a hardcore gamer unless you’re dating or stalking them, because their tribute tats are generally undetectable to the untrained eye. When you finally spot those pudgy plumbers on the bottom of your girlfriend’s feet, however, their mustachioed faces are probably intricate and well-rendered, which kind of defeats the point of having a tattoo there to begin with. On a side note: the bottom of your feet? Really? My feet aren’t even ticklish and that already sounds just awful.