I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday, and I picked a “flash art” out of the book at the tattoo shop by my house; it was a tiger’s head with some “cool” tribal art around it. I knew going into wanting my first tattoo that I wanted it to be a tiger. I always loved tigers growing up as a kid, and it seemed fitting to ink my body with my favorite animal.

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I felt an affinity to tigers because of not only their ferociousness, but they can be known to be friendly, and love to be left alone.

I obviously regret the basic tiger head art I picked out instead of something customized, but I was 18, naïve, and excited. So my next few tattoos after that were fully customized, and then I decided to ink my arms with video game-themed art. So which video games could I choose?

I could go the basic, and recognizable route; Mario, Pac Man, or even Street Fighter. No, I wanted my tattoos to mean something, and I set out early in my life that each tattoo on my body would have a story to it. I wasn’t going to ink myself just because something looked cool (I learned after my first one!). So when I set out to get a video game tattoo, or four, I was determined to choose games that meant something to me, and shaped who I am.

The first, and most obvious looking tattoo you see here is my Legend of Zelda triforce symbol. The design was blended with the Master Sword, and the Hylian Shield into one. Since I had the tattoo for a while and the ink faded a bit, I had my tattoo artist design it with a three dimensional design, along with a stone-look with gray shade. The Legend of Zelda series to me, growing up, meant going out there and doing something that needed to be done. Many times in our lives we find ourselves needing to act, but being woefully unprepared for it. Link, in most every Legend of Zelda title, was always woefully unprepared. However, that never stopped him from acting, and doing what was right to save Hyrule, Koholint Island, or anywhere else he found himself in. In the end, it was all worth it. I admired that in his character, and every time I look at the tattoo I think that to myself. Since I work in health care, I felt overwhelmed many MANY times in my career. But to the veterans I serve, I need to act, and I cannot be unbridled with fear when I do.

On the other side of my arm is a Mega Man tattoo. I went with the Mega Man X design because I thought, esthetically it looked better than the OG Mega Man helmet. While everyone grew up playing Mario games, I was playing Mega Man. the trials and tribulations of playing Mega Man games (if you know, you know…) taught me patience and prudence. Nothing ever gained was earned easily, and the sense of intrinsic reward and accomplishment I gained after beating the bosses, and beating Dr. Wily in the end was well worth it. Mega Man taught me to take deep breaths and to keep pushing forward, regardless of the challenge, with a calm and prudent demeanor.

Lower down is the Inquisition symbol from Dragon Age: Inquisition. To spare the extremely long explanation of the game’s story, the Inquisition Order in the game stood for inclusivity and a “many minds, one goal” approach. Dragon Age: Inquisition dealt with all types of races, religions, sects, orders, nobility, lower and upper classes, and many more differences. The game paints to light how we are different, and because of that, it’s hard to work together. I firmly believe in my heart that humans of all differing religions and beliefs CANNOT work together for a common goal, even though they may be similar. They are so blinded by ideologies and traditions that they cannot see what’s in front of them. The Inquisition, to me, stands for striving to achieve the goal with many. The differences are what makes us strong, and give us the ability to see things in different lights, and in different angles. If we, as humans in our reality, had an ounce of courage and inclusivity that the Inquisition had, maybe we could make great things happen. Beyond that, it will always be a mark on my arm to ALWAYS be inclusive, and to ALWAYS listen to others, no matter what ideologies they may stand for.

Last but not least is the SPECTRE symbol from Mass Effect. SPECTRE stands for Special Tactics and Reconnaissance). In the sci-fi video game series Mass Effect, you play the role as Commander Shepard, who is a member of an elite group of special forces agents that work to keep peace in the galaxy. Commander Shepard’s role in the game series is that of selflessness and helpfulness. She has a mission to fulfill, and while on her path she is MORE than willing to help those in dire need (so long as you wish to play that way, the series does give you a choice). I always saw myself as having her character’s attributes; one that puts the needs of others well before her own. It can be a detriment however, as we see her mental decline wear on her many times in Mass Effect 3. Nonetheless, I aspire to be one that puts the needs of others over my own, much like her character.

I could have chosen hundreds of different video games to tattoo on my body, but these four made the most sense to me. Video games mean more to me than just a good time, in many cases. They teach me to do what’s right regardless of fear. They teach me to be patient and prudent. They remind me that even though we may all be different, there is much we can learn from each other, and we MUST work together. Lastly, they teach me that the world (or galaxy) is bigger than me, and that helping others can bring about the most satisfaction in life.

How do you feel about gaming tattoos? Do you have any? Let us know in the comments section or on our Discord!

Image Source : Jack

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