What Does the Bioshock Tattoo Mean

What Does the Bioshock Tattoo Mean?

Chain tattoos are found in BioShock. This imagery is often seen as a dark or negative image to get because it represents defeat or oppression.

Some people get chain tattoos because it symbolizes freedom, especially when one of the links is broken.

Since the typical BioShock tattoo gets placed on the wrist, it can be painful. Deciding to get ink can also be incredibly exciting.

What Does the BioShock Tattoo Mean?

When playing the video game BioShock, the character Jack has chained tattoos on his wrists. This imagery represents his DNA metaphorically because he is a slave to it. As the game progresses, his genetic code is continuously rewritten whenever he splices. People get the three chain links to represent their fandom.

Bioshock entered the video game marketplace in 2007. It’s an FPS title playable on Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows platforms.

It quickly rose in popularity because of the action and incorporated storyline. Jack has some remarkable back story components that make the character feel relatable to the casual gamer or full-timer.

After a couple of years, BioShock was released for Mac systems and the PlayStation 3. Its evolution continued to the PS4 and the Xbox One. By 2016, it was one of the most popular platforms for gamers, even though titles like Halo and Destiny were competing for attention.

This popularity would eventually lead to additional titles being released in the saga.

Everything in the video game takes place in the 1960s. You’re in control of Jack, who is on an airplane that crashes in the ocean. As the gameplay progresses, you’ll end up in an underwater city called Rapture.

Other survivors are in this lost world. Jack finds himself fighting off monster hordes strapped with genetic materials called ADAM that grant superpowers. Anyone with it can have pyrogenic and telekinetic powers.

You must control the character within the game by using this compound to make progress.

When you start playing the character, you’ll see a specific tattoo on his wrist. Many fans have duplicated this look to represent how much they appreciate the work that has gone into the title.

It’s comprised of three chain links that represent personal DNA.

Many people include the phrase, “A Man Chooses, A Slave Obeys.” these words represent the game as a whole symbolically. That’s why people who aren’t familiar with bio shock might not understand what it means.

Someone with the bio shock tattoo is essentially saying that you can live within the bounds of a government system as a slave or stand your ground to choose your own fate.

Individual Variations of the Bioshock Tattoo

Several visual elements within BioShock contribute to some fantastic tattoo ideas. Although the three chain links are among the most popular choices, you can find several examples online of other game elements that get put into this artwork.

  • Some people who want a larger tattoo on their calf or shoulder will use artwork of the underground city. In this example, the phrase “No gods or kings, only man” is typically added in some fashion.
  • Another option is to show an upraised fist instead of the three chain links with the choice versus slave phrasing. You can see this work applied almost anywhere, including the chest, back, and neck.
  • A third popular phrase from the video game is, “Would you kindly?” it’s often seen with some of the other symbols from the title, including keys, blueprints, and other findables.

One of my personal favorites is a tattoo of a birdcage kept within a mirror’s frame. This ink looks fantastic by itself if you’re not keen on having text tattooed on your body.

If I were to get this tattoo today, I’d incorporate the following phrase: “We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.”

Big Daddy Tattoos from BioShock Make an Impression

Big Daddy is a BioShock character found in all the titles. Although they look like a robot prepared for a deep-sea diving adventure, the back story explains that there is a heavily spliced human in there who had their bodies grafted directly into heavy armor.

The Big Daddies out there come armed with a heavy drill, rocket launcher, rivet gun, or an ion laser.

I’ve also loved the connection between the Little Sisters and the Big Daddies in BioShock. They give them several pet names in the title, with Mr. Bubbles being the best one. If a Big Daddy gets killed, the Little Sister stops what it is doing to mourn.

Although killing a Big Daddy doesn’t seem right, there’s no other way to get the ADAM compound to make progress. The only advantage of avoiding one is that you won’t have to deal with ammo issues or health kits.

When you get to BioShock 2, you get to control a prototype Big Daddy as part of the game.

You can also see a Big Daddy as a third-party playable character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Tattoo?

Several factors go into the process of getting a tattoo. Depending on the size and complexity of the work desired, it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 40 hours to achieve the BioShock tattoo you want.

Here are some quick reference points to consider if you’re trying to get a tattoo done within a specific schedule.

Tattoo Size:Time to Expect for Completion:
Small TattoosMost small tattoos can be completed by an experienced artist within an hour. If you have intricate details that be incorporated, it could take up to three hours to create.
Palm-Sized TattoosMost ink of this size is typically finished by a professional in three hours or less.
Hand-Sized TattoosThis tattoo option can take up to five hours to finish, which is why it might be recommended to have two separate sessions. Your choice depends on how much discomfort you can handle and the appointment calendar of the business.
Full SleeveIf you want a whole sleeve, the work often takes between 6 to 10 hours to complete. Most artists won’t have the project finished in a single session unless you’ve agreed upon a one-day application before the appointment.
Full Back or ChestWhen you want an extensive piece for your chest or back, it can take up to 40 hours to finish.

Those times should be considered a rough guide for your BioShock tattoo. Several factors go into the process, not just the size or complexity of the work.

What Is the Cost of a BioShock Tattoo?

The cost of a BioShock tattoo depends on how much time and materials are needed to complete the design you want.

Every artist charges a different price. You’ll typically pay more to work with the best artists in your community, but that investment is often worth making. You’re more likely to get the result you want.

The average tattoo for a size of 2×2 inches is typically $100 or less. Some items might be around $30. When you step up to a 3×3-inch tattoo, you can expect to pay about $200 for the work. Anything that’s 4×4 or above will likely be $250 or more.

You can pay a bit less for tattoos from an artist who is just getting started. They want to establish a portfolio, which means you can get some incredible work done for up to half off. Since you’re also taking more of a risk with this option, it’s up to you to decide if you’re okay working with an inexperienced provider.

Most tattoo shops offer a free estimate based on the work you want to have done. If you get quotes from three or four providers in your community, it’ll give you a better idea of what to expect for your final design.

You can expect to pay between $120 to $250 per hour to hire a tattoo artist. If you want to work with a high-end provider, it could end up being $800 or more.

Is It Worth Trying to Get a Video Game Tattoo?

People have gotten video game tattoos since this gaming option became available. BioShock tattoos come from a line that starts with originals like Mario and Link from Zelda. The best tattoo to select is one that you’ll appreciate while staying within the skill set of your preferred artist.

Before getting a BioShock tattoo or something similar, it is crucial to find an artist to perform the work you want. Getting bad ink is often worse than having none at all.

Today, the best artists out there spent three or four years working as an apprentice at a registered and licensed tattoo shop, studio, or parlor. That means they put in the work and paid their dues, learning trade secrets in exchange for taking care of the shop.

Anyone can buy tattoo equipment and call themselves an artist. It is the person’s portfolio that helps them stand out from the rest of the pack. You don’t want to be working with a scratcher on something this important.

Don’t settle for excuses. If you can’t see previous examples of their work, you should look somewhere else. Reputable artists let you inspect the equipment, sanitation practices, and anything else in the facility that could be potentially dangerous.

Word-of-mouth advertising is often the best. When you hear praise, take note of it because negative experiences are shared more often. Then take the time to meet the individual to see if you’re comfortable with them doing the work.


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