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Industry's look on tattoos etc.

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I'm currently studying to become a games developer/programmer and have a tattoo sleeve but due to it being around an inch above my wrist I can easily cover it up (long sleeved shirt etc.) if need be. also was thinking of having a flesh tunnel in one of my ears (around 5mm - not like it matters) what are the views upon these things in the games industry (employment wise) anyone who has been in the industry and knows about the policy.
All answers are greatly appreciated
Thanks. Edited by james1231

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It will most likely make you less desirable for some people and/or studios, compared to an unadorned human. Get the wrong interviewer and you might be racking up some negative points due to their personal opinions and ideals, even subconciously.

In general though, this industry tends to be quite used to strange-looking misfits. Just look at the people in an average art department and you'll see lots of strange stuff.

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Thanks for the reply Zao, I see where you're coming from with the wrong interviewer, i'm aware that there are 'flesh coloured plugs' which obviously take most of the distraction from them away if that would help when working/interview stages.

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I can only really repeat what was said above, but with some examples.
In my previous company a coworker had some of his tattoos removed to avoid trouble getting/maintaining a job.
On the other hand in my current workplace there are several people covered in tattoos, one guy with a bright-red mo-hawk and spiked collars, and a woman who wears neither bras nor shirts.
This basically just exemplifies what was already said about it being fairly random and entirely dependent on the company/interviewer.


L. Spiro

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I'm currently studying to become a games developer/programmer and have a tattoo sleeve but due to it being around an inch above my wrist I can easily cover it up (long sleeved shirt etc.) if need be. also was thinking of having a flesh tunnel in one of my ears (around 5mm - not like it matters) what are the views upon these things in the games industry (employment wise) anyone who has been in the industry and knows about the policy.
All answers are greatly appreciated
Thanks.


Depends on the company, but most game developers are pretty open-minded. As long as you don't flash gang tattoos and dress up in wife-beaters, you are fine.

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If this really worries you, prove your look is completely irrelevant.

If you're a programmer, start right now into Open Source, contribute actively. Get yourself noticed. Instead of going to interviews, make the interviewers come to you because you're good at what you do. Let them see your knowledge on architecture, rendering, game engine concepts, etc; exceeds that of an employee who graduated 5 years ago.

If you're an artist, start right now in building a portfolio, being in relevant sites (i.e. cgsociety, game-artist.net), participate in contests (i.e. Dominance War) etc. etc. Same rules apply as programmer. I'm a programmer, so of course I can give more examples.
Instead of going to interviews, make the interviewers come to you because you're good at what you do. Let them see you're not only really good, creative artist; but you're also familiar with the game dev. workflow: creating Havok collision bodies, modelling low poly, creating occlusion geometry, exporting process, that you know how important is to keep UVs & smoothing groups consistent across the triangle (so vertices don't get duplicated), etc etc

Cheers.

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Every art team I've seen has had at least one guy with tattoos visible in a t-shirt, in my experience in the webdesign, animation and games industry. Sure, there might be some stuffy people who think tattoos make an applicant worth less, but in my opinion they aren't very good human resource people then. Human resources should be on the lookout for people who will benefit the company, why should they deny someone who has a great portfolio or experience, just because he has a tattoo, earrings, weighs a trillion pounds or has long hair? Edited by Lateralis

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I've always been far too fickle to get a tatoo. I change desktop wallpapers every couple of days.

However, last time we did a round of interviews for a design position every. single. candidate. had either a visible tatoo or peircing. I had no discrimination one way or the other, if anything, I was feeling left out :)

We've a designer here right now with the most awesome sleeves I think I've ever seen IRL.
Just to echo what's been said above; it's a creative industry and creative people are, by and large, not normal - and that's why I love them and this industry :)

LPD

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The games companies I've worked for have been the most laid back places with regards to dress-code/appearance. As long as you're ok with personal hygiene you can look like as much of a freak as you like.

I've worked with lots of tattooed people (including sleeves and whole chest/back pieces), and those earlobe expanders are really quite common these days.
There's also the occasional spiked mohawk, and goth fashion and excessive facial piercing, which makes a sleeve and ear-plugs look quite straight-edge wink.png
Personally, I've usually got an unkempt half-beard and are wearing daggy jeans and old worn t-shirts, and could probably fit in begging for change on the street corner laugh.png

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About a quarter of the staff where I work has tatoos, openly displayed, and this is far from being the thing you'd notice first... the purple/pink/yellow hair and ridiculous cleavage we get around here would make you look like a decent nerd unless your tatoo says something worse than "I worship the devil... really" (actually seen on someone at work).

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My dad runs a software engineering/ consulting company. It's focused on web application rather than video games, but I hope it's still relevant. This is their staff bios (although they may be outdated) http://www.feature23.com/about/ourteam

I should mention he values how the people work, deliver, and communicate above all else. However, many guys on the team have tattoos. The Chief Strategist, who also deals with potential clients on a regular basis, has tattoo sleeves on both arms. The UI/UX designer has his ears stretched (even in his profile picture on the website) and a couple tattoos as well. Almost all have beards, and some have long or odd hair styles. All are expected to clean themselves and present themselves professionally to clients if the time should come.

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I'm surprised that some of the responses here have actually been saying to worry a bit. From my experience in the industry, the companies I have worked at have always been very open about body art/clothing/hair styles/etc. I was under the assumption that the large majority of the game industry embraced this creative expression. I mean, it is a creative industry filled with creative individuals... how could you not expect people to have tattoos?

Regardless, I've worked at 3 different companies, all fairly high profile studios, and freedom of expression (in this case... tattoos and piercings) has always been welcomed. It didn't really make a difference either way in the hiring process what an applicant looked like or sported, but more so on his personality and skills. Now, of course extremes of expression were still observed, as if someone's body art or style was outrightly offensive or suggestive, then yes, that could definitely hurt your chances. But if your style is overtly suggestive or offensive, I would doubt you have anything to worry about. Edited by the_grimace

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Any game studio that looks down on tattoos isn't somewhere you want to work in the first place. I'd be disappointed if I saw an art department where no one had tattoos/piercings.

The 2 companies I've worked for had no restriction on anything relating to aesthetic expression

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I work at a studio and there are at least two people with full sleves and about 30 to 40 percent that have various tattoos. Unless they are vulgar or offensive tats are quite acceptable Edited by KromMagnus

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this must be studio-dependent my former producer was looking into hiring new team members and he adored applicants with Tattoos , for him it demonstrated an ability to relax which was equally important alongside the ability to work hard . But it most definitely has to do with the studio itself. i have been on a total of 11 game development interviews and what never ceases to amaze me is just how much studios differ . some studios are ore conservative and enjoy a more professional method of development whereas others are less concerned with maintaining a professional attitude but more concerned with the individual skill sets of a potential employee. personally in an interview i would cover up just because you never know where you'll walk into or who you'll meet but by no means would i assume that having a tattoo would be a major deterrent for you working in game studios across the board.

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This topic was answered a month ago - now people keep adding to it because, well, because other people are still adding to it, keeping the topic visible in the forums list. This issue taking attention away from more important considerations like degrees, resumes, portfolios, etc. So I'm closing this. If somebody has something really important to say about tattoos and piercings and how you can get hired with or without them, that person can simply start a new thread, which will not be closed (unless it gets necro'd and takes over the other topics).

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This topic is 1861 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

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