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PBS takes a look at modern '8-Bit' culture

9:00 PM on 06.17.2012 // Jonathan Holmes

The name of the video is The Evolution of 8-Bit Art, but don't let the title fool you. This video isn't about the "8-Bit" games of the modern era (like Mega Man 9, Mutant Mudds, VVVVVV, Lone Survivor, and many others). It's about the people that have adapted low-res sprite art and "chiptune" sounds to other mediums; like painters (Anthony Sneed), live concert artists (Minus Baby and Anamanaguchi), and parody/tribute film makers (Doctoro Octorock).

I mean this in the most respectful way possible, but how is it an "evolution of 8-bit" to take the style of classic gaming and apply them to older, less multifaceted artforms like the short films and murals? If anything, the video should be called "The Evolution of Paintings, Rock and Roll Concerts, and Parody Films". The fact that artists in these mediums are finally picking up on the minimalist power of classic gaming is part of their growth process, not gaming's.

If you put a business suit on a Cave Man, you don't call that "The Evolution of the business suit". You call that "The Evolution of the Cave Man." In this case, the relatively ancient artforms of painting, concert performance, and film making are the Cave Men, and videogame aesthetics are the business suit.




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