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Want a face tattoo? Try Obsessive Ink first

Tattoos are a permanent affair. Lucky for you there's a new site that gives you an almost-reasonable facsimile of what one would look like on your virtual self.

At this point, I've looked at sites that have given me the power to create fake hair, Wii-free Mii avatars, and one that did virtual makeup. Now it's time to try one that does fake tattoos. Is the human body a sacred thing? Yes, but certainly not on the Internet.

Meet Obsessive Ink, the latest site to create a "virtual you" that can be modified with realistic tattoos. It lets you see what you'd look like with a tattoo, given you put in enough effort to make its virtual avatars look like your own face and body.

To help you out, the service can map an image of your face to a 3D head. The same goes for any tattoo art you have handy as a JPEG image. Though worth noting is that the conversion of the tat onto your 3D self costs $1.99 per piece of art. The facial mapping is quite a bit of fun though. You just upload a good, high-resolution shot of your face, map out where the nose, eyes and ears are, and it wraps your virtual flesh around a virtual head. I must have done this a hundred times in video games and other face mapping tools, but it never seems to lose its luster.

As for the ink placement, which is the core of the site's utility, you can put the tattoo anywhere but your avatar's nether regions. It can be quickly scaled and rotated before being mapped to the virtual curvature of your body. This is, in part, where the site begins to break down in its usefulness. Tattoos are, after all, permanent, and going off the look of a virtual body doesn't seem nearly as useful as spending some money on getting a design turned into a temporary (but accurately sized) transfer somewhere like StrayTats. But I guess at $2 per tattoo, you're not breaking the bank in trying with a virtual body instead.

To the site's credit, there is an "advanced mode" for changing various body attributes. This offers quite a bit more control than the handful of playful presets it offers.

CNET has always been close to my heart, but not in permanent ink. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn / CNET

What is certainly the best part of the site is that when you're done, you can share your creation in a dozen different places, including Facebook. It watermarks the shot with the site's logo, but otherwise it's a clean copy of your artistry for all the world to see. In the future, the site could feasibly give you quick way to find a local tattoo parlor to get the real ink done.

If you're itching to give the site a try, but don't want to pay the two bucks for the image conversion, you can use "inklaunch" (without quotation marks) as a promo code. Though this will only work for the first 10,000 visitors so you might have to be quick.