The attack of 8-bit nostalgia

Posted by Ian on May 27, 2010 in blog | No Comments

As we’re well into the first year of the second decade of the 21st century, we’re putting some serious temporal distance between us and the nascent days of graphic user interface (GUI) culture. It’s not surprising then to witness the recursive loop of nostalgic reworking and temporal mashup of bits (all 8 of them) of the aural and visual culture of our shared computing heritage.

Most striking (and the inspiration for this post) is the short film Pixels by Patrick Jean from April 2010 which depicts an onslaught of 8-bit graphics on New York. I particularly love the opening scene which provides a possible motive for their attack – the thoughtless discarding of their their mediated home, the analog, cathode-ray tube television.

Pixels has aptly spawned a whole array of remixes with some quality 8-bit music masters. A particular favourite of mine is the 8-bit dubstep mashup ‘Humanoid Kill’ by Bazooka.

In the genre of 8-bit music reawakening, Anamanaguchi takes the cake as the band that ‘makes loud, fast music with a hacked NES from 1985’. There live shows also crank out some rather satisfying NEStalgic visuals (seen below)…

For graphic novel fans, there’s always the classic 8-bit Theatre from Nuklear Power.

And any one not satisfied yet can watch the excellent review of pixel art by Simon Cottee just released this month. (thanks to Rudhraigh McGrath for pointing this one out)

Enjoy your media-nostalgic hit for the day.


Another gift tip-off from our friend Rudhraigh McGrath – the amazingly satisfying ‘My Desk is 8-Bit’ by Alex Varanese. Enjoy!

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