Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Q: Aren't You Too Old for PokéMon?

Character © Nintendo/Rare, Art © Sarah Hendricks

A: While it tends to be marketed to a younger demographic, there is actually a sizable group of PokéMon fans in the 20-something range. They are the individuals who began playing the games- or watching the show, or reading the comics- back in '95 when they were released, and simply continued to do so through the present. When a generation grows up with a franchise as a constant it becomes timeless, not unlike Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh.

So no bitch, I am not too old for PokéMon.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tattoos & Video Game Culture

About 13 years ago, my best friend and I were playing through The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time together. It was the first game I ever really got into and played all the way through (although it certainly wouldn't be the last), and it was amazing. At 12 years old, when we first defeated Ganon, we were so excited we had accomplished such a feat (together, mind you) that we jumped up and down and hugged.

I've already done a post on how video games have influenced me (really gotta follow up on that), and one on today's tattoo culture. For good measure, let's combine the two for an exploration of the overflow of tattoos based on video games.

Many people (non-gamers, feh) find it difficult to understand the logic behind getting an image from a video game emblazoned in permanent ink on your body. "It's just a stupid game" is one common response, and there's always the classic "Er... that's... cool". Yep, way to not be obviously awkward.

But tattoos are just an outlet for our love. These games, these worlds, and characters... when you're enveloped in a game something incredible happens. You go on an adventure. You save a princess (unless you visit the wrong castle). It's akin to the thrill of getting sucked into a great book or movie. Only with video games you're capable of doing so interactively with a friend or family member, strengthening your bond as a result.

... Unless you're playing Mario Kart. Never play Mario Kart with someone you love.

Best of all, you don't even need to have played a game with someone to get in on that sweet, free-love action. Make one mention of it being "dangerous to go alone" or "all your base are belong to us" to the right person, and you are instant friends.

So, video games can bring people together in a very unique way. And with long-running series like Mortal Kombat, Pokémon, and everything Shigeru Miyamoto touches it's no surprise that, when someone grows up playing a game series, it can be as much a part of their life as anything else. It's what inspires people to go into the field in the first place.

Now- finally- let's check out some sweet ass video game inspired tats that you haven't had shoved down your throat all over the internet:

"I got Squirtle Squad Squirtle because I will forever be Pokémon faithful. He's my favorite little guy."
Power-ups from Mario 3

Bullet Bill

"Dead mans hand holding Nintendo Zapper."

Blood-Sin from Vagrant Story

My little sister and I got Legend of Zelda series brotats, here's hers and her story:

"I grew up watching my older sisters play Legend of Zelda all the time. I used to follow them everywhere and it always annoyed them, but when they were playing LoZ I could sit and watch and they wouldn't mind. Growing up, none of us really lost our love for the LoZ series and I feel like it will always be something my sisters and I can go back to. LoZ was also one of the first fantasy 'worlds' that I could get immersed in."

And mine, naturally with the most long-winded explanation c;  :

My Zelda tattoo (just an outline for now) is based on a sketch I did of the Wind Fish from The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening. Obviously one of the main reasons I wanted a Zelda tattoo was because it had always meant a lot to myself and my sibling, and many friends along the way. I chose Links Awakening because it was always one of my favorites, one I played  countless times right through the end boss (I'm notorious for not quite finishing games. Like ever). I was also always attracted to the extra quirky characters and the existential undertones in the game.

Feel free to comment and share any pics or stories, I'm interested in the different perspectives people have on this subject.

Tats pictured belong to:
  • Squirtle belongs to Brittney
  • Mario power-ups, Bullet Bill, and Nintendo Zapper are Jason from Designs by Voorhees
  • Vagrant Story tat belongs to Sam
  • Zelda chest piece is my lovely little sister Olivia of sister blog Ctrl Alt Petite
  • Wind Fish is of course, yours truly.

Most of these, including my own, were done at Harris Ink right here in J-ville. Awesome atmosphere and awesome artists, check them out for your next ink.