ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

Inspired by one of our Creators' excellent pieces regarding the nostalgic influences behind his impressive Nintendo sleeve, we felt that an article celebrating dedicated game/ink lovers was in order. As someone who hasn't had the greatest relationship with needles in the past, I'm kind of fascinated by people who can sit in a chair for hours on end experiencing nothing but discomfort as ink is forced into their skin.

But you can't argue with results.

Badass Gaming Tattoos We Have So Much Respect For

While some out there have endured all of this only to have the mangled features that Mario?...permanently engraved onto their face, others have worked with talented artists to create artistic and entirely badass tattoos that celebrate their love for gaming and its icons. Let's focus on them, shall we?

1. RYU


Wow, talk about tattoos being an extension of your personality! This one was created by Schwab, you should check out his instagram, and you gotta admire the talent. Particularly when it's paired with how others attempted to replicate it...

2. Super Mario Abdomen

Created by Dan Gietzel of Rockstar Tattoo & Co., this gamer wanted to make their love for Super Mario clear to EVERYONE. I mean, this piece is insane and must have been soo painful. The attention to detail is remarkable. I also love how it looks like Yoshi is about to eat their bellybutton.

3. Sleeve of Dreams

I am genuinely impressed. This seems like an old propaganda advert trying to get people to join the mushroom resistance. They need more hearts! You can check out the source over yonder.

4. Nintendo Fan Level: 11

I can't even. I'm imagining so much pain, so many hours, so much dedication and all of the Nintendo love. Andrea Ottlewski at Slave to the Needle in Seattle, Washington is the creator and, oh boy, do we have some respect for this gent.

5. Serving of Dhalsim

In the same vein as Ryu's punch, here we have an exceptional tattoo done by Peruvian tattoo artist Alain Head Art depicting Dhalsim's elastic kick. Sadly it does not grant the owner any of his abilities. Aside from looking badass.

6. Childhood, As Told by Two Arms

Sonic, Zelda, Mario, Pokémon; it's all here. This tattoo comes from the talented Laura Kennedy over in Scotland. And it only took "22 hours of pain, pleasure, and banter," according to the happy owner.

7. Look Into My Eyes

I love a bit of Zelda, me. Actually, it's mostly just Majora's Mask that I have a thing for, so I'm naturally gonna want to include this awesome piece showing off Skull Kid by GameXCoreInk.

8. Glow In The Dark Fandom

This god damn Triforce glows in the dark, people! Alex Rhode wrote a lengthy piece about his inspiration for the tat, the process he went through and his love for The Legend of Zelda over here! Check it out.

9. A Budding Beauty

EveTheDemoness's bucket is just too damn beautiful. The way it draws from Nintendo's work and combines it with... I dono... Little Shop of Horrors? is just so impressive. Great artwork.

10. AR You Crazy?!

Nintendo's AR cards trigger the augmented reality functions of the 3DS. They normally just look like this:

But with a little bit of camera magic they can bring Miis to life. This guy thought it'd make a killer tattoo, and he's not wrong. Check out a video of it in ation below:


11. Mystical Master Chief

The star of the Halo franchise never looked so damn good. This was actually drawn onto the arm of a budding game designer who admired Master Chief and Bungie's accomplishments. It's brought to you by Timothy B Boor.

12. Stalking Your Leg

I love Okami, you love Okami, the guy who got this tattoo loves Okami. It's a gamer thing. But I reckon this Okami tattoo is better than your absent Okami tattoo, right? I don't think I've said it enough: Okami.

13. Time to Trigger Chrono's Chrono Trigger

I'm a big fan of minimalist tattoo designs, so this one is right up my alley. A lot of us geeks have an online moniker or pseudonym of some sort. Kellen’s has been “Chrono” for decades, and he always wanted some sort of Chrono Trigger tattoo. And now, thanks to Brent Humphreys, who works out of Triple 7 Studio, he has one.

14. Oh! Hey there, friend.

Coming at you from Zmann966, this gaming couple found a portal to one another's kidneys, I mean hearts! Cute idea, no?

15. Miyamoto & the Maus

At a gaming convention, hit music sensation Deadmau5 approached someone he has a great deal of respect for, Shigeru Miyamoto. He requested the Japanese developer sign his forearm with a sharpie, and the co-creator of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Mario was only too happy to oblige. The mau5 then went away and had the signature traced over by a tattoo artist so that the moment could be immortalized on his epidermis. Awesome.

16. Yoshi & Cuteness Always Go Together

Look at Yoshi, being all cute. Potentially my favorite character from Mario's universe, this tattoo perfectly captures the little guy's appeal. Head on over here to let the owner know what you think.

17. God of Tattoos

HOLY S&%$!!!!!! Look at the size of this human's back! Is this actually Kratos? Did this tattoo take eons to complete?! Was he screaming of pain and suffering while it was being done? I'm...I'm in awe. This is incredible. Get over here and show all the appreciation you can, cause dayum!

18. Who Can You Find?

This dude's arm is saturated with gaming icons. I can spot Link, a space invader, Mega Man, Sackboy, Snake, Lakitu, Shepard, various Super Mario's incredible! Charles Wheeler's right arm is now dedicated to gaming culture.

He decided to get a major tattoo a few years ago. "I had wanted to do a sleeve but could not figure out an idea," he told Kotaku. "Then I said, 'Why not a gaming sleeve?'" 30 years old at the time, the Florida man has been in love with video games since the Sega Master System with games like Alex Kidd and Psycho Fox serving as his introduction.

This sleeve took a remarkable two years to complete and was conducted by a friend of his from Key Largo Illustrations. This may be the best gaming tattoo out there. Have some close ups:

Though I'd be reluctant to go under the needle to get a tattoo of my own, after seeing these remarkable designs I feel like my first one needs to be game-related and should happen fairly soon. What do you think?

Have any gaming tattoos you'd like to show off?

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