8 Bit Peoples 

As a child of the late seventies and early eighties, I remember the laughably silly video games that most kids today sneer at with some well deserved sarcasm. A decade later, even I wonder how a few flashing lights, blocky characters, and vector lines could have captivated me and my peers for hours. Nonetheless, we did spend hours plunking quarters into machines, steering a blinking dot through a castle maze to obtain the chalice of something or other, and fantasizing that we would become one of the almost-holy few video game counselors we had heard so much about. Imagine, someone who was paid to play video games all day--surely they were the Lords of the mythical land of electronica!

Thus, it is not really a surprise that I am a fan of this site [8 Bit Peoples] containing some amazing compositions of what I have heard called chiptunes, or alternatively, the demoscene. Musicians have turned to the 8 bit chips found in old gaming consoles and computers like the Commodore 64 and Nintendo's Gameboy to reproduce some of the more unique, yet simultaneously familiar, music I have heard in awhile. Perhaps with some of the same nostalgia for the old video games and the halcyon days of the eighties--days that seemed filled with the new wave promise of the B52's and The Talking Heads--do I encourage you to listen to some of the musical selections on the discography page of this site. Check out tracks by Trash 80, and then contrast it with Nullsleep's versions of Depeche Mode songs, the latter tracks being composed on a gameboy, I think . Right now, my favorite track is Mesu Kasumai's Algezebra. You really have to admire the creativity of these musicians who purposely force limitations on themselves to explore the form, much like poets who choose difficult rhyme schemes or traditional poetic forms to force themselves towards a more creative, and thus more unique, vision or image of truth.

I know I'm way behind the curve when it comes to being hip, so this may be something that has already come and gone, much like the currently mocked trucker hats, but since I've just recently discovered it--I am going to imagine that it is the coolest thing going [MSN], and this time, it may actually be.

16 December 2003
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