(Originally published on 1UP.com on August 16, 2011)
Like most well loved media, video games often inspire creative individuals to produce their own works of art based on them. A look at most social news web sites or gaming blogs would suggest that these artistic endeavors consist of nothing but baked goods and graffiti, but it is not so. Handmade craft store Etsy.com offers creators a platform with which to sell their game-related wares, and the variety of product contained therein is quite staggering. OK, so most of it is soap, but here’s Matt Clark and Brian Kent to take you beyond the soap, and delve deep into the strange world of gaming crafts.
Description: I’m cool, I’m fun I like to play a lot with my DSI and can’t be with out my Iphone cause I got to keep my facebook up to date I’m made from felt and foam and that’s how I came to life to turn any frown upside down.
Brian: When the officers of NAMBLA got together to design themselves a mascot for the purposes of luring in prey, their effort gave birth to a puppet more frightening than any dried up bird from The Dark Crystal. Now, I’ve placed my hands in a lot of disgusting places, places that hands were not meant to go, and this malformed muppet would still give me pause a moment before insertion. Just imagine the innards of such a gaming creature. Pushing your way past stale Hot Pockets, acidic Mountain Dew, Double Decker Tacos, and Nutter Butters to manipulate the mandible of this frightening creation is the realm of men with far more fortitude than I. If you are feeling lonely, though, we’re sure this thing would fit perfectly over your Fleshlight for at least one night of acceptable losses. “…turn any frown upside down,” while turning any stomach.
And yet, so fascinated were we with this authentic gamer depiction, we knew that we would be remiss to toss him aside like a Facebook friend request from your own mother. So, we have christened him Toby “the” Gamesmaster, official resident and spokespuppet of Etsy.com, and invited him to join us on our journey inside its craft-work bowels. Hopefully, his comments will provide some insight into the creative process and not make you throw up.
Daddy Is my Guitar Hero Baby Onesie
Description: Daddy Is my Guitar Hero Baby Onesie Bodysuit or Toddler TShirt. Give your baby some style! Also makes great baby shower gift!
Matt: He was his hero, until one day Daddy suddenly disappeared. Sure, dad was popular when he first broke out onto the scene, but everyone quickly grew tired of storing all his shit in the hall closet. You can’t blame mom for having wandering eyes, kid; dad was becoming a bit redundant. The old man might have had an easier time if this shirt included more relevant instructions, e.g. “Please feed between raids,” “Change diaper at Call of Doodie,” or “Do not insert Wii-mote.” With helpful tips like these, Daddy, and the gaming community in general, can avoid embarrassing news headlines or CSI reenactments that tarnish our illustrious public image.
Description: Highly Durable. Image is burned on using a process called sublimation. Image is printed and then Pressed against the tile with high pressure and heat to produce a heat and water resistant finish. This tile coaster is great as a gift for an animal lover or for yourself.
Brian: I think I may have discovered the true identity of all of those guys I’ve met on Xbox Live. The horrible teamwork, aloof attitudes, racial bigotry, and constant swearing now make total sense: those people are cats! Getting a cat to do your will is not at all unlike trying to get some teammate to guard the damn checkpoint, stop team-killing you, or quit driving the tank you’re riding in into a tree. Well, at least cats bathe themselves every once and a while.
Description: Up for grabs is a Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid parody rubber duck! These ducks measure 3.5″ tall and really squeak! Please note also that each of these ducks is MADE TO ORDER so as soon as I see that you’ve purchased it, I’ll get to making it. Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid are a property of Konami. He is only used here as a PARODY of the original character as, obviously, he isn’t a duck, but he’s a really funny duck.
Matt: The seller actually offers a little more insight into his skilled trade on the Etsy page. When ordering one of his fine ducks, you may receive a slightly different duck, because he’s “constantly perfecting his duck making.” I like to think that this guy’s sitting in a Buddhist temple somewhere, surrounded by rubber duckies, being coached by a wise master of duck-arts. As cool as that sounds, I’m actually terrified to ask where he gets the hair from. Maybe there should be another disclaimer: “Additional ducks may take an extra month to process; I have nothing left to wax.”
Pipe Cleaner Samus
Description: This is a good one. I even have Samus Aran. She’s from the hit video game Metroid. It is 5-6 inches tall and in god condition. Also available in Metroid Fusion Samus, Zero suit Samus, Gravity Suit Samus, Phazon Suit Samus from the Prime series, and an alternate version of the zero suit Samus(Justin Bailey).
Brian: I’d sure like to have Samus clean my pipes, ifyaknowwhatImean, but in this case, “The Other M” stands for malformed. From her mismatched leg warmers, to her lumpy, fuzzy, awkward breasts and gigantic head, Pipe Cleaner Samus is solely the wet dream of corn-cob pipes or puppets named Toby. If you squint really hard, it kind of looks like a really anti-aliased version of Samus, though. While mostly just operating in the realm of sexy, Pipe Cleaner Samus is also a fully-functional bounty hunter, cleansing the insides of your pipes like she cleanses the universe of Metroids. Seems a perfect fit for my own personal smoking device:
Video Game Inspired Personalized Kids Birthday Shirt
Description: Our personalized video game inspired shirt features your child’s name and age (found after the word “Level”) on our “video screen.” The back of the shirt showcases a video game controller complete with your child’s name and the caption “Birthday Boy.” You can choose any words you’d like to be printed on the back band of the shirt! This is a unique & original way for the guest of honor to stand out even more on his special day!
Matt: I remember being a nerdy videogame kid. It was so awesome going to school, being excited about the local arcade getting a Space Harrier machine, and having other kids pour milk on your head. Ah, those were “the good ol’ days.” Luckily, this insightful Etsy creator has found a way to make your child even more susceptible to ridicule from the wrestling team. Just take a psuedo-Space Invaders screen, add your kid’s name, and he’s immediately being ignored on the day the cheerleader girl is handing out party invitations. As if that wasn’t great enough, you can emblazon his name on the back of the shirt with the popularity-boosting statement, “[INSERT BULLY-MEAT’S NAME], HIGH SCORE! BIRTHDAY BOY” This graphic is conveniently located on the shirt’s back, the same location where he will be kicked and mocked from. There is one line missing from the creator’s description: “Shirt made from high-absorbency chamois. Great for soaking up tears and mouth-blood alike.”
Description: This is an acetate drypoint etching. Instead of using a copper plate, I use a thick piece of acetate and carve into it with a razor blade. The gaming system (not depicted) is Nintendo GameCube.
Brian: I’m not sure if 1UP is even allowed to post such a picture as has been offered up by this artist, so if that is not the case, those with small children or weak stomachs should avoid clicking the following link to this item. If you are currently looking at said picture, I apologize profusely.
According to the description, the game system involved is that most sexy of consoles, a Nintendo GameCube. Forgiving for a moment this woman’s concave thighs and broken pelvis, let’s make a serious attempt to discern exactly what she might have been playing that resulted in such a candid, artistic piece. There’s really only one game that makes me want to take off all of my clothes and put on sunglasses, and that game, of course, is Winnie the Pooh’s Rumbly Tumbly Adventure. As evidenced here, it’s worth mentioning to the ladies that large sunglasses can do wonders to distract from your squid-beak mouth or an apartment floor that sits at a 45 degree angle.
Description: One of three scents inspired by the most powerful of elemental spells in the Final Fantasy series. This is the scent of billowing flames as they surround your foes. Key ingredients to this ‘spell’ include hot cinnamon, a few drops of fiery dragon’s blood, cedarwood and juniper for tinder, and a dash of clove and nutmeg to bring out its true heat. Please check out our Elemental Spells collection, which features Thundaga, Blizzaga, and Firaga. It’s the perfect gift for the old school gamer in your life!
Matt: I can’t wait for the next gaming convention. Now, instead of the fragrant aroma of body odor and Taco Bell flatulence, we can all look forward to the lovely scent of Chocobo dung. “This is the scent of billowing flames as they surround your foes.” Perfect, because if you’re looking to attract potential mates, there’s nothing quite like the fragrance of burning flesh to lure them into your subterranean gaming lair. I’m not sure which version of the perfume this represents, but I think we can all agree that it was pretty much downhill after the seventh batch.
Description: Whether you are a real musician or someone who appreciates real musicians, this piece of wearable art should help you express how tired you are of all the hype surrounding the Guitar Heroes/Rock Band/similar video games. Made out of Shrinky Dinks, this piece of jewelry has both a necklace loop and a pin backing so the wearer has the option of wearing it as a pendant or a brooch.
Brian: Well, KIM’S WORLD O’ FART, if that is your real name, you really got us on this one. Zing! I’m going to write out a list of Real Guitar Heroes and you tell me what they all have in common: Prince, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Jack White, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and The Edge. Incredible finger dexterity? Exposure to music performance at an early age? An amazing amount of drive and dedication to be the best that they can be? Wrong. All pretentious assholes. Also of note, Real Etsy Heroes make a point to clear away any giant black hairs from their product before taking a picture. Do I have to pay extra for the hair that fell off of your Slash wig?
Description: Originally inked by the artist and printed on heavy weight, glossy card stock. Good enough quality to send to a loved one or frame for keeps. Includes one charcoal gray envelope. Your card will be delivered to you in a clear plastic sleeve with stiff backing. Please allow 3-5 days for printing and shipping.
Matt: Baby, I know it’s Valentine’s Day. I know you been sittin’ at home all day, thinkin’ about your love machine slaving away at the GameStop. Yeah…it’s about 2 o’ clock…you know what that means: time to end this four hour shift. That’s right, baby; daddy’s made him a Jackson, a Lincoln, and three Washingtons today. I’mma make it rain all over that Snuggie. So, I’ve been thinkin’, “How do I get an appropriate card to show you how much I want to be all up in them guts?” I found that card, sweet thing. Yeeeeeaaahhh, that’s right, your beauty rivals the graphics of Doom 3. You feel me? ‘Cause you’re dark, frightening, and haven’t been relevant since ‘bout 2005. Why you cryin’ girl? They was all sold out of them “you’re worth more than a sealed copy of Daikatana” cards.
Mini Mario Bath Bomb
Description: Inspired by a custom order, this fun little Mario is sure to make bath time more fun! On a miniature cupcake base, this Mario will fizz as it scents your bath. You pick the scent and base color and Mario will be on his way! Everything but the cupcake wrapper is completely water soluble. Mario measures @1.75″ x 1.75″ Mario comes in a clear treat bag with scent and directions on the bottom.
Brian: Though they’ve missed the obvious bath Bob-omb joke, I like these Mario Bath Bombs because they show Mario in an assortment of emotional states that I can choose from based on my mood. On the left, we have stern, sexy Mario, ready to sweep me off my feet. In the middle, kinky Mario’s mischievous look tells me that I may be in for an adventurous night. Finally, there’s aloof Mario, for those times when I want to take control. Super Mario Bros. bath bomb secret trick (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone!): sometimes I’ll use all three in one night and drift off to my own little minus world. The tiny bubbles tickle my skin, eventually leading to my own personal eruption of fireworks that don’t require waiting for the timer to end in 1, 3, or 6.
Description: He’s coming back! Yes, really! Everyone’s favorite a$$-kickin’, alien killer! This is a set of 4 a$$-kickin’ blank note cards! The cards are ink-jet printed from my hand-drawn art.
Each card measures 4.25″ X 5.5″. They are blank on the inside, and come with matching envelopes. If you would like custom quantity or captions please send me a convo and I will create a custom order for you.
Matt: This seems like a cheap cash-in on a franchise that’s already been through its share of heartbreak. Still, these cards serve an important purpose: showing what Duke looks like after all these years, especially after his third stroke. Sure, his mouth is permanently stuck in a crooked sneer, but as soon as you hear his trademark quips, you’ll know the King is back, baby! “COMME GETSSHHH SHHOMME!! *fart* I LIKE BIG GU– I’m sho lonely”
Custom video game caricature card
Description: This listing is for a custom drawn caricature card in color of one or two people. This 5″x7″ illustrated card comes signed & dated and ready to frame once they’ve read your message! Let your imagination run wild! New background ideas and caricature costume ideas encouraged! Add a special message for free! These make thoughtful birthday, wedding, congratulations, anniversary, thank you & Valentine’s day cards! Just send me photos and your ideas and I’ll get to work!
Brian: While the title of this feature is The Weird World of Etsy Gaming, the fact is that there are really only 12 weird items. When I came across Cameoland’s custom card producing services, I knew that we had to at least try to get her to create a ridiculous card for us. Unfortunately, I was not prepared for the incredibly awesome result of her efforts, integrating nearly every other entry from this list into a tribute of divine proportions. Also, that cat is huge; thank God we are safely ensconced within that bathtub.