15 Famous Video Game Tattoos (And What They Actually Mean)

Anyone with Jin Kazama's shoulder tat - do you know what it really represents?

What does a tattoo mean to you? An attempt to summarise your life philosophy (that's prone to changing in a couple of years), a tribute to something beautiful, or a permanent reminder of what a drunken fool you were that one time your friends bought a tattoo gun on eBay? While in life, tattoos range from the profound to the banal, in video games, they're almost always infused with meaning; little stamps of signification that often get taken for granted or misunderstood until we choose to explore their backstories. They can be codes representing a character's elusive origins, tribal markings of some game-based otherworld, or even break the fourth wall - reaching out to give little nods to reality. Existing in a medium where the only limit to an object's function is the developers' imagination, tattoos in games have the poetic license to be a little bit more than just ink blots under the skin. The occasionally tribal and supernatural roles they play make those of real life look decidedly mundane, but rarely do we give them a second thought. This list is that second thought, so let us know in the comments if you've ever taken the plunge and gotten any signature character markings on your own flesh, and if you're planning to, just make sure you know what they mean first.
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Gamer, Researcher of strange things. I'm a writer-editor hybrid whose writings on video games, technology and movies can be found across the internet. I've even ventured into the realm of current affairs on occasion but, unable to face reality, have retreated into expatiating on things on screens instead.