A Man Chooses, A Slave Obeys: Bioshock Tattoos

A Man Chooses, A Slave Obeys: Bioshock Tattoos

Here’s an underwater dystopia of horrifying tattoos from one of the best video games ever made — the BioShock trilogy.

If you like body art strung out on drugs made from sea slugs, then these BioShock tattoos will float your slaughterhouse of a boat. The BioShock series is one of 2K’s most enthralling and disturbing contributions to the world of video games. Since the first-person shooter’s debut for PC and Xbox 360 in August 2007, Ken Levine’s biopunk brainchild has become a hit sensation, spawning two equally successful sequels — BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite. Aside from causing countless sleepless nights, the trilogy has inspired hardcore fans to get body art made in its twisted image. Here are some blood-smattered pieces to sink your meathooks into.

A traditional lighthouse that takes after the on from BioShock by James Mullin (IG—jamesmullintattoos). #2K #BioShock #James Mullin #lighthouse #traditional #videogametattoos

For those who haven’t experienced the gameplay of the original BioShock, the story follows a man named Jack, who stumbles across the underwater city of Rapture — a 1960s version of Atlantis filled with psychotic, superpowered junkies. Throughout this dark odyssey, players are presented with some of the most gruesome sights imaginable, including brutal murder scenes, the harvesting of bodily fluids, vengeful apparitions, and more. This gory imagery is equally unsettling as body art.


Like the plasmids used to turn your avatar’s hands into Tesla coils and flamethrowers, tattooists use different styles to genetically enhance their depictions of characters from the BioShock series. Splicers and other enemies look particularly freakish when rendered in color realism, and the lighthouse that leads you into Rapture makes for a foreboding traditional tattoo. 


While gamers sport tributes to nearly every frightening figure from the trilogy, two abominations have been transformed into tattoos more than the rest: the iconic Big Daddies and their creepy pint-sized companions, Little Sisters. These murderous duos are some of the most fearsome foes in the franchise, boss fights included. They roam the ruined metropolis, extracting ADAM (the addictive substance largely responsible for Rapture’s downfall) from corpses. If provoked, Big Daddies bludgeon their victims to death, spraying guts from their gyrating drill-arms. You can’t unsee these gory scenes, so you may as well turn them into tattoos.

To replay the BioShock series vicariously through more body art, make sure to explore these geeky tattooists' Instagrams. You just might run into more Big Daddies, Little Sisters, and Splicers along the way. If you want to get an disturbing tattoo to remind you that there’s always a lighthouse, a man, and a city, do so kindly, and get one of these artists to design it for you.

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