Cyberpunk – and its Relationship with Tattoos

Cyberpunk – and its Relationship with Tattoos

We interrupt the festive blog extravaganza and Christmas flurry of posts to dive a little deeper into what has been the big event of all things gaming at the moment. Yes, of course we are talking about Cyberpunk 2077, the much-anitcipated RPG that may have turned many a non-console aficionado into backseat gamers with the announcement of Keanu Reeves’ participation at the keynote of E3 in 2019.

The crowd, and subsequently the internet, pretty much lost it when the Matrix and John Wick star appeared on stage. Initially intended to launch on May 16th this year, as so many other 2020 plans, it got, well, delayed. 

Where does the title come from?

CD Projekt RED
Credit: CD Projekt RED

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction. It focuses on a combination of carbon-based life forms with high tech features, such as bionic augmentation and artificial intelligence.

Probably the most recognisable work of the genre is William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy and its initial book Neuromancer. With references to punk and hacker culture, its rolls through a dystopian setting at break-neck speed. 

General features are global mega-corporations, cybernetically enhanced mercenaries and a technologically endowed and advanced underworld. 

You choose your ink, just think about it carefully

Cyberpunk CD Projekt RED
Credit: CD Projekt RED

Many people have gotten sci-fi cyberpunk inspired tattoos throughout the years, however, that is not the only relationship between the game and tattos.

While the game itself released with some, ehm, glitches, fans have been praising the broad appearance customisation options.

These include the more usual features such as skin tone, hairstyles, and scars, but also piercings, tattoos and cyber augmentations. However, much less appreciated is the fact that you spend very little time in third person, and thus do not get to see your well-crafted character much beyond looking at your own hands.

Nor are people too happy with the lack of possibility to adjust most of their main character’s appearance later on in the game. When it comes to hairstyle, we get it, but tattoos are supposed to be permanent, right? Although, fifty years from now, instantaneous lasering will most likely be a thing. And it would be cool to get quest-specific pieces. Anyway, make sure you spend some time on them in the initial stages. We will get back to you on the designs once the PlayStation 5 arrives.

Mystery box choice tattoo

Biochemical tattoo
Artist unknown

One of the choices you will have to make during gameplay also involves a tattoo. Without introducing any spoilers on what will happen depending on which one you get. Its not like your average experience in a tattoo shop, as you don’t get to see it beforehand. Your choices are “Billy Goat” or “the other.” How is that for a mystery box? 


Another aspect of cyberpunk that has trickled into body art is the tattooing style of biomechanical. Often freehanded, this particular genre of tattooing is meant to adapt and flow to the recipients body. It displays and mimics machinery and tech, often made to look as if it were hidden within and peaking out from under the skin. When done right, the effects can be entirely surreal. 


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