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Rock Band and Sailor Jerry!

11/12/2007

Tattoo U: Hands-On Rock Band's Tattoo Creator

Rock's always associated with two things: fornication and illicit substances. MTV's music-based game Rock Band skips those two familiar vices in favor of another one big with the music scene - tattoos.

The rhythm-and-rock game that lets four players groove along to recognizable songs using virtual guitars, a drum set and a microphone, also includes a robust "Rocker Creator" that lets wannabes create a male or female character, then customize their face, hair, skin color, physique, attitude, clothes, makeup, face paint ... and tattoos.

Harmonix Producer Jason Kendall, who says he has "no more room to get another tattoo," says he fronted the idea of putting tattoos into the game. After the rest of the development crew signed on, he called his tattoo artist friends to see if they'd contribute.

"A lot of my old friends are tattoo artists, and I've been into tattoos for, like, 20 years," he says. "So I got in touch with my friends, and I was able to ... pull in seven real shops. Some of them are really big names in the tattoo world and you can go and get tattoos at [them right now]."

To access the 120-some-odd tattoos from big-name tattoo studios/artists like Sailor Jerry -- the OG of tattooing -- and New York Adorned, you must customize a mock rocker in the game's Rocker Creator. Select a name, hometown, face, body type, and attitude, hit save, and on the next screen click on Ink & Scissors to tat the left arm, right arm or chest.

"Unfortunately we're only able to support chest and arms right now. I'm hoping for Rock Band II we can do full body suits. Who knows?" says Kendall.

After scrolling through and selecting from the roughly 120 tattoo designs, click modify to move, flip, rotate, scale, color and warp the tattoo. We chose Sailor Jerry's classic Skull Snake tattoo and moved it onto our female rocker named "Liberox." (Note for dudes: if you place a tat on a female rocker's chest, you get to see her in her bra! Nothing beats a cheap thrill.)

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