In the world of geekdom, few things symbolize the counter culture as much as video games. Fitting then that popular characters and video game themes have quickly made their way into favorite geek tattoos. Popular choices run the gamut from the latest hot games, like Halo and Call of Duty, all the way back to the very beginnings of video games – the early arcade games, such as Pac-Man and Millipede. What all these top video game tattoos have in common is that they are able to meld the geek excitement of playing one of these games with some of the highest forms of tattoo art. Here are a few examples of top video game tattoos that will always be in style:
This Zelda tattoo may come from the golden days of gaming, but the stained glass design continues to stay fresh today. The color palette and using the stained glass style add an elegance to this tattoo that rarely exists in the video game genre. Unique and stylish, this example has a permanent place in the higher echelon of video game tattoos.
It may be simple, but there is no doubt that it is instantly recognizable to geeks the world over. Perhaps the most well known cheat code in the history of gaming, the design and clean lines of this tattoo will have an immediate appeal with anybody that grew up in the early NES days. The two fighters in the middle come from the nearly forgotten classic, Ikari Warriors, and gain extra points for such an obscure reference.
Bridging the arcade and Nintendo eras, this Street Fighter tattoo harkens back to a time when fighting games were at the height of their popularity. The thing that makes this tattoo stand out is not the use of the popular game, but rather the way the artist used a real game background and a seemingly 8-bit border to create an extra-geeky appearance.
Going back to the full old-school standup arcade games, this Pac-Man tattoo proves that geekiness is not only limited to the boys. The Mario mushrooms at the bottom add a nice Nintendo touch and any true gamer would love to get a closer look at this classic. Yes, it is relatively simple, but the execution as good and the message of a true love of gaming could not be any clearer.
For a gaming enthusiast, the early days of Nintendo brought gaming to a whole new level and Super Mario Brothers is far and away the most popular topic for video game tattoos. This example shows how the game's bright colors can translate well to a tattoo. The way the artist merged the border into the skin shows real talent and this full-wrap classic certainly has earned a place in the Hall of Fame for video game tattoos.
Even though Nintendo was the most popular gaming system for years, Sega also gets some love from tattooed geeks. This example uses Sonic the Hedgehog as its main character and manages to bring new respect for the company that is no longer part of the console gaming race.
Of course, there's no reason that gamers have to choose between the classic NES and Sega systems for their tattoo. This piece shows that elements from all types of gaming can be incorporated together. The centerpiece is obviously the standard NES controller, but the characters come from all types of games, including Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog as well as arcade classics like Q-Bert and Donkey Kong.
This Mario/Tetris tattoo shows how two games can be seamlessly incorporated together into a single tattoo. Although falling heavily into the Nintendo fanboy camp, this tattoo does show a lot of originality and the three-dimensional aspect is especially geeky. Using this idea, a person could easily expand the Tetris blocks into even more advanced concepts.
From the modern era of gaming, few titles have received such critical acclaim as Halo, the Xbox title that brought multiplayer console gaming into the mainstream. The main character of Master Chief is an iconic symbol in today's gaming and this tattoo certainly does it justice.
Computer gaming may not get the same tattoo attention as console characters, but for the true geek, it's the only way to play. This piece comes from the World of Warcraft environment and is a perfect example of how a gamer can show their love for a specific game. Possibly one of the best video game tattoos ever created, this tattoo will live on even if the game loses its extensive fanbase.