Sunday, November 2, 2008

8-Bit Halloween Special

I have to say I'm glad that Halloween is over. I'm usually a huge fan, but this year brought a strange convergence - the end of our first quarter at school with grades due, a spirit rally, a playoff-implicated football game, several kid events, not to mention a time change and a somewhat important election on Tuesday. I feel like Mega Man - forever running, zombie-like, through all the obstacles, enough already!

Many of my readers (crickets, crickets) ask me what the "8-bit" in "8bitghost" stands for in my blog name. I'm referring to my favorite neolithic video games that featured 8-bit graphics from the early eighties (click here for my geeky hardware bio post). Specifically, the 8 bit ghosts in Pac-Man. Get it!?! ...with the snarky retro-reference and the tech thing, and the... oh well.

There's something about the limits of the 8-bit, 256 color, low detail format of these graphics that is really appealing to me. I like the simplicity of the images and the consistent look and feel. I'm not alone, there's always been a creative schism of artists who create "pixel art". These images usually feature low resolution, and either flat or isometric perspectives. One of the most famous groups of pixel artists is eBoy, founded in 1997 by Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital, and Kai Vermehr. These guys are famous for their incredibly detailed cityscapes drawn pixel by pixel, but in the past few years they've done art for major brands, and are now selling their vinyl "Peecol" toys through Their art is whimsical but also full of wry commentary. It's like a dark version of where's waldo. I encourage you to check out their posters at Their art includes references to sex and violence, so this is nsfw in education - don't put this on your lcd projector in the classroom! Here's their famous New York City image - click on the pic for more detail... and happy halloween...

No comments: