Trend Watch: Video Game Knives
A hot movie knife can still take on a life of its own, but the shift toward video games in entertainment is changing the relationship between knife enthusiasts and screen time. Global video game revenue was estimated at $108.9 billion in 2017. That’s more than the movie and music industries combined.
With numbers like that, it's no wonder that some of the newest, and youngest, collectors to commission custom knives draw inspiration from popular video games.
Here's one example.
Making The Far Cry 4 Video Game Knife
Tim Flack, of Flack Handmade in Capetown, South Africa, recently received a request to recreate the knife featured in Far Cry 4, an action-adventure video game. The knife is inspired by the real-world kukri, although the iconic bend in the middle of the blade isn't as pronounced.
This presented a challenge for Flack. Unlike movie knives, which follow physical specs, there wasn't a template to work from. The knife only exists in the video game, although the Extrema Ratio KH is often cited as the inspiration.
Flack filled this gray area with his own creativity.
“I gave it a more practical look and feel,” Flack said in an e-mail.
It helped that the collector commissioning the knife acknowledged there was wiggle room.
“[The client] wanted the blade to look aged and battle used,” Flack said. “This was a challenge, as it's been drilled into me that fit and finish is everything. So using fine belts I put nicks into the blade after heat treat, and then left it in a 10-percent ferric chloride solution for 20 minutes.”
The rest of the build followed along the same lines.
Making the knife from Farcry4 was so much fun! pic.twitter.com/luSUuQysYT
— Tim Flack (@tim_meh87) February 7, 2018
“The [stink ebony] handle was also, after the bolsters an pommel were peened on, left in ferric for five minutes and then neutralized in soapy water and bicarbonate of soda,” Flack said. “The handle was then saturated in sure glue and buffed, and then scuffed and sanded to age it.
“The ‘engraving' was cut from vinyl and then transferred onto the blade with a nine-volt battery and some salt water on a Q-tip.”
It took three grinds to finish the O1 blade's edge: a full flat that turned into a hollow, and a convex on the tip. The overall length of the completed knife came in at 370mm (14.56 inches).
Worth the Challenge
Flack acknowledged that the knife was a challenge to create, but that it was worth it in the end for both maker and collector.
“I'm really happy with how it came out,” he said.
Collecting Video Game Knives
The collectibility of video game knife reproductions should follow the path already set by movie knives. These are display pieces that appeal to built-in audiences. They should retain value so long as the game is popular.
How that translates into returns decades down the road is yet to be seen, since video game sequels are regular. Far Cry 5 is slated for release in March.
However, there's no doubt that this segment of knife collecting is here to stay.
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