02 February 2022
In the UK, the gaming industry is worth over £5.3bn with over 50% of the population choosing gaming as a form of entertainment. Globally it’s worth $175.8bn USD. With the industry being so large, many of us want to show our support and engage in a community of like-minded gamers. Some are even going the extra mile by tattooing their favourite character on themselves.
At Protect Your Bubble, we scoured Instagram for gaming tattoo posts. Here are the most common games: Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, The Witcher, and Final Fantasy.
The Most Popular Franchises for Gaming Tattoo Enthusiasts
Unsurprisingly, Pokemon has the most posts for gaming tattoos. It’s also one of the most popular game franchises of all time with over 388 million sales worldwide. However, what is surprising is the sheer number of posts with the identified hashtags, with more than 250,000 posts, over three times the number of posts the Legend of Zelda managed to amass at 75,000.
The top character, again unsurprisingly, was Pikachu with 26,059 posts, almost 20,000 more than Bulbasaur in second place at just over 6,300 posts. Lastly, we have Gengar in a close third at 6,300.
The Legend of Zelda is the second oldest game on our list and has over 123 million sales. The most popular tattoo is, of course, Link with 8,897 posts. This is followed by Navi, with 1,775 posts, who wasn’t in any of the games until “The Ocarina of Time” was released 12 years after the original in 1998. Navi’s simplistic design makes an appealing choice for a cost-effective but eye-catching tattoo. Finally, Midna makes up the top three, who only appeared in two of the games yet still managed to get 484 posts.
Our third most popular gaming tattoo is from the game with the most sales overall at over 758 million is, drum roll please, Super Mario! The top characters are Mario with 21,947 posts, Toad with 8,512 posts, and Yoshi with 4,112 posts. These characters are all extremely popular and have a cute easily recognisable character design.
Coming in fourth is The Witcher with just over 12,500 posts. The Witcher was released in 2007 and has the least sales in our top 5 with only 51 million, less than half of The Legend of Zelda.
For tattoos per sale then, The Witcher comes out on top, showing us, they may have the most die-hard fans. The most popular tattooed character is Geralt of Rivia with 420 posts, closely followed by Ciri of Cintra with 273 posts, and finally Yennefer of Vengerberg 156. The franchise has grown in popularity since Netflix debuted a spin-off show in 2019, starring Henry Cavill as Geralt.
Making up the top 5, our final game to get tattooed is Final Fantasy with 164 million sales and 11,990 posts. The most popular character is Vivi Ornitier with 1,211 posts. Vivi has long been a cult favourite due to his loveable persona. Next is Yuna with 303 posts, followed by Cloud Strife, one of the most recognizable characters from the game, with 220 posts.
The number of posts was collected from Instagram for hashtags that included both the game title and tattoo, e.g. #finalfantasytattoo.
Hashtags were also identified for more colloquial versions of the game franchise, e.g. #fftattoo. The number of posts for both spellings of the games was then totaled.
After all the posts were collected for each game franchise, we cross-referenced the most popular characters in each of the top 5 games to identify how many times fans had tattooed them on themselves.
Overall, our list shows just how important our favourite gaming characters are in our lives. The Witcher is one of the most surprising entries with the game having some of the most die-hard fans.
Preferred tattoo characters tend to be cartoonish in style with cute loveable characters. Again, Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher is the exception to the rule with the game praised for its realistic graphics and the character admired by some for his mercenary
approach to life.