The PC Gamer US team assembled in New York this week for a long meeting and, allegedly, beers (the UK team, meanwhile, drank slightly cheap wine a day later in response). During this event, it was revealed that three members of the team have gaming-related tattoos, which has led to this edition of the PCG Q&A. The question is: if you had to get a gaming-related tattoo, what would it be?
You’ll find our answers below, but as ever, we’re more interested in reading yours in the comments at the bottom of the page. Let us know which character, symbol or whatever else you’d choose to have live on your skin forever.
James Davenport: Has a Portal 2 tattoo
Surprise. I have a gaming-related tattoo. At 20, a good friend of mine got dumped and said, ‘Let’s get tattoos.’ I said OK, and off the tail of Portal 2’s release figured I’d capture what a funny well-written game meant to me, an aspiring writer. I was also drunk because it was summer in Missoula and that’s what you do: drink, float the river, and make bad choices. I picked the Aperture logo without text for the design, something simple that doesn’t scream videogames. My pal got something on her foot that wore off in a few weeks. Mine’s still there, still mistaken for an affinity for photography, but it’s fine overall. Glad I wasn’t into comics at the time, I’ll say. Now, when a photography bro shouts ‘Canon or Nikon?’ from across the river, I’ll just shout the first that come to mind back. Play along and forget it’s there, out of sight on my shoulder until my partner reminds me I should get it touched up.
As for more hypothetical gaming tattoos, I think it’d be easy to pull something from Dark Souls and play it off as some medieval-era woodcut design you see on hipster black metal heads like myself from coast to coast. Something occult made of thin black lines. This shit, but Dark Souls. I’ll fit right in at the Deafheaven show.
Joe Donnelly: Dark Souls
I have three gaming-related tats: a 1-Up mushroom from Mario, health hearts from Zelda, and a design loosely drawn from Fallout: New Vegas.
The first two are admittedly pretty shit, but I like the third. The design originally included a T-Rex and a skull and crossbones. For me, the dino represents the statue from NV’s Novac, and the mask depicts the nuclear apocalypse. My tattoo artist added the colourful mushroom clouds for effect, which I think are pretty cool.
In future, I’d like something gothic tied to Dark Souls.
Jody Macgregor: Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher series of roleplaying games, but in a bathtub
Tub Geralt, obv.
Actually, no, I wouldn’t want a tattoo of Geralt. I feel a bit weird about the idea of getting a consumer product I have enjoyed permanently attached to my skin—I’m conflicted about owning Fallout socks, for god’s sake—but I do like when people get tattoos of things they’ve been involved in making. Like how most of the actors from The Avengers have matching tattoos, or the cast of The Lord of the Rings with their Elvish numbers. That shit is heartwarming. So I’d either have to join a game design studio, make a videogame, and then get a tat of that, or convince everyone at PC Gamer to get matching ink of something we’ve all had a hand in making. You know, something iconic. Oh shit, it’s Tub Geralt, isn’t it?
Chris Livingston: Already has one (kind of)
I have a tattoo on my shoulder of Max from Sam & Max—though it’s based on an image from the hardcover comic collection and not the Sam & Max games. I do love the original Sam & Max Hit the Road game, though I never really got into the 3D sequels much. And, generally, I regret the tattoo and would probably never get another one. If I had to, and it had to be game tattoo, I guess I could do Sam on my other shoulder, so I’d have the complete Freelance Police. And then I could regret both of them.
Phil Savage: My Hitman review scores
I don’t have a tattoo—the closest I’ve got is watching my brother tattoo his own knee for about half an hour of what appeared to be constant excruciating pain. Still, if I did ever decide to put myself through that, I’d want my tattoo to be something personal. Something that spoke to some form of great trial overcome. Mine, I think, would be a list of numbers—seven percentage scores from the time I thought it’d be a good idea to review every Hitman episode (plus the full game), thus condemning myself to writing about the same thing over and over again for basically a year. If I’m going to permanently brand my body, it might as well be with a reminder against ever doing that again.
Andy Chalk: A Keeper glyph from Thief
I had thoughts of getting an Eridani Light Horse tattoo back in the days when I was heavily into Mechwarrior 2 and the Netmech Registry. It’s as close as I’ve come to ever getting a tat—but then the Registry fizzled, Activision lost the Mechwarrior license, there was the whole Unseen thing that I was mad about for 20 years, and that pretty much kiboshed the whole idea.
It’s not something I’ve considered in years, but if Samuel came over and put a gun to my head I’d probably go with a Keeper glyph from Thief. Simple, discreet, I could maybe string a few of them together, and nobody has any idea what they mean, so I could act all nonchalant when people ask about them, in that very specific way that says there’s actually something very cool and mysterious going on here but I can’t tell you about it because you’re just not on my level.
Yeah, I’m sure that’d work out just like I imagine it.
Samuel Roberts: Dragon Age 2 and its 94% score
I’m from a family where there’s a real generational conflict on tattoos: my mum thinks they’re totally unacceptable, and would probably remove me from her will if I came home with one, which is strange considering how liberal she is about almost everything else. That said, I’m not sure I could ever get a pop culture tattoo because my tastes change so frequently. If I’d gotten one of the Devil May Cry logo when I was 18, for example, I would be so embarrassed about it now, in a similar fashion to Chris’s response above (though his choice was much cooler in my opinion).
I kind of want something from Deus Ex, but I don’t want to accidentally get an Illuminati tattoo or something, because I just know a photo of it would get upvoted a billion times on Reddit and I’d be laughed at until the end of time.
In that case, I’ll stay on-brand, and get the words ‘Dragon Age 2: 94%’ drawn on my skin for the rest of my days.
Andy Kelly: Max Payne’s face
I could pick something meaningful. A game that meant a lot to me, or was a formative experience. Or something from a game I associate with a fond memory. But what I really want is a full back piece of Max Payne’s gurning face. You know, the Sam Lake version from the original game. That iconic grimace, etched forever into my skin, covering my entire back. Think of how cool I’d look in a swimming pool or a sauna.
Wes Fenlon: Bubsy
Editor’s note: Wes just sent the word ‘Bubsy’ in an email with no other context and that was how PC Gamer’s week ended. Please tell us your responses.