Saturday, 12 January 2008

i'm going to pixellate in 2008



happy new year! i'm only um... 12 days late ;) the pre-christmas period was completely crazy, christmas and new year also crazy but in a completely different way, but things are sloooowly starting to get back to as normal as things ever do! really need to restock up on stuff, particularly heart meter pins and heart container necklaces before valentines day - anyone have any requests from the sold items back catalogue?

anyway, i've collected quite a few good links since the last blog, one of them being the awesome human stop-motion tetris game above, from the same guy who has previously done pong, pole position and space invaders. as you might know from the pixel jewellery, my previous musings on the bling collection and the amount of papercraft and other videogame craft i've posted about, i have a thing for 3D iterations of pixellated, 2D, screen confined computer graphics. fortunately for my own sanity, it seems like i'm not the only one!

yes, lots of people make videogame craft these days, but these pixellated cookies are possibly the first i've seen crossing over into bakery*, and certainly the most delicious of pixel-based goodies documented. pixels, and the 8 bit low-res sprites made out of them, with their little jaggedy-edged aliased squares are visually quite hard, angular, cold images with a limited palette and accurately defined boundaries. not something you would think would translate into the majority of traditional crafts, and certainly not bakery with it's loose control on colours, edges and uniform output. but by adding taste, texture and tangibility we can bring the pixel characters and images off the abstract virtuality of the screen and into something we can experience with more than one sense, validating the attachments we have towards to videogames.

one of the theories i have about why so many geeks like to make stuff out of their favourite games is that we want to experience a part of them in the real world, and because after spending so many hours of the day staring at a screen, craft is a way of getting back to something that exists in other ways than just virtual reality. it's backed up in other areas of life too - art and other precious artifacts are experiencing a rise in value in the auction houses, partially as a response to the mass-availability of virtual digitised copies on the internet. added to that, in rainbows, the latest radiohead album so notoriously given away for free, still got to number 1 both in the UK and the states with its recent physical CD release - not to mention the fact that a fair amount of people (myself included) were willing to pay even more than normal for the deluxe boxed edition. people not only still see the value in having a hard copy of things they could easily store as files on a hard drive, but they actually want the 'real' copy more now that virtual copy is so widely available.

maybe it's because in comparison to the millions of copies digitally created, the original physical objects get relatively rarer and rarer. maybe we value them more because they are so fragile and easily damaged or lost that they demand greater care. maybe it's because so many people are now able to access the piece that the demand for the original exceeds the number of people that would have previously known about it. maybe it's just the novelty, retro nostalgia or blatent disregard for realism that makes things like papercraft generated from low polygon Second Life objects so intriguing a diversion. or maybe, and i think this is my personal favourite, we surround ourselves with these objects and memorabilia in order to further immerse ourselves within the virtual world and pretend that we're in the game. as much as wishing for real life personal save points and pause buttons is clich├ęd, i know i certainly would have loved to be one of those people making up the tetrominoes in the cinema :)

* correction: my good friend thomas just reminded me of the amazing mario cake that one of the Blizzard guys had at his wedding, which probably came before the cookies. as have probably lots of other things that i've forgotten about. either way, the point still stands! :)

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