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I Am 8-Bit

LuigiI still remember it. My dad was working the graveyard shift as he often did in Downtown Los Angeles. I must have been five years old. I woke up one early morning and I was told to come downstairs. There was a surprise for me. For me? As I made my way down the steps, still wiping the tiredness from my eyes, and clutching onto my sweater (the sun was barely up and it was winter), I saw my dad making the final preparations.

Someway, somehow, my poor dad found a way to buy me a Nintendo Entertainment System. That’s right. A NES, direct from Japan. What’s the big deal? They are all made in Japan? Well, let me tell you how my father came across this marvelous invention. He did not go to Wal-Mart or Target. Best Buy did not exist back then. Instead, he went to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and bought a unit specially imported from Japan. I am quite sure I had one of the first systems on my block, if not city, if not county.

Mario GuyI never even heard of Nintendo at that time and to be honest I am sure my dad never had to. But for some strange reason, and perhaps due to a huge stroke of luck, he decided that this would make me happy. And it did. My Nintendo even came complete with Gyromite and a robot. Hardcore? Always.

20 years later, I am still marveling at video game and video game art. This past week, the Second Annual I Am 8-Bit art exhibit opened in Los Angeles. MTV, G4TV, as well as my friends at Product Dose were on hand to cover the event. Though described as works from 80’s gaming, it really does include the 90’s and perhaps 2000’s as well. It really is a throwback to the days of pixelation and shoddy graphics but superior gameplay. Remember how much fun Contra was? If you have the chance, play it again on an emulator. That game is ugly but today’s standards, but still quite fun.

The show runs from April 19 – May 19 at Gallery Ninteen Eighty Eight in Los Angeles. If you are unable to make it, perhaps you can pick up the book or a few pieces of art at the online store.

| See More At Product Dose’s Gallery |

1 Response to “I Am 8-Bit”

  • You know what’s sad? Nintendo as a gaming system will be out of business within five years. It will be just Microsoft and Sony. What’s really sad is Nintendo had all the memorable games. legend of Zelda, Mario everything, Donkey Kong everything, etc. Neither Microsoft nor Sony have any games I’ll remember in ten years.

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