Pixel art : just nostalgia ?

Pixel art seemed to capture the attention of parts of the blogosphere earlier this week. Lots of people were asking the question: Is pixel art just about nostalgia & video game fanboyism, or is it something more ? In my opinion this ‘debate’ is about as dumb as the “Are videogames art ?” debate. Of course videogames can be art, and of course pixel art is about more than nostalgia. Duh.

Anyhow, here’s a little link-o-rama with some views ….

(a shoutout to the memecore blog, run by a GrandMasterPixel player that found this video right about the same time I did)

And .. in response, a series of tweets, in reverse chronological order, by Sean Howard, the creator of the web comic A Modest Destiny and sharer of wicked cool ideas in game design.

sqorgar tweets:

Point 5: Nostalgia is certainly part of pixel art, but it is not the purpose. It doesn’t justify it, explain it, or define it.about 3 hours ago via web
Point 4: Rather than pixel art being an abstraction of reality, pixel art is a self contained reality in which the art happens.about 3 hours ago via web
Point 3: For some people, pixel art is a type of expression. For others, it is a type of autism. It makes sense in ways other forms do not.about 3 hours ago via web
Point 2: Consoles weren’t the only things to game on. I learned pixel art from Fat Bits on a Mac Plus. My pixels weren’t blurry.about 3 hours ago via web
Point 1: Jason Rohrer is always wrong. His opinion has anti-meaning. It’s not even correct by accident. It sucks beauty from the world.about 3 hours ago via web

I don’t quite get the antipathy towards Jason Rohrer. I like his work, although I haven’t heard him speak much. Sean has a point though about consoles vs. computers – I never had a real gaming console, but I did play with non-blurry pixels on a computer as a kid.

Ars Technica also chimes in with some views – summary: pixel art remains popular because it’s an interesting art form and a useful form of communication – the nostalgia factor is just a bonus.

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