GDC11: Mario Emerges on Community Pixel Art Project

As you can see from the photo above, Mario appeared Wednesday on the GDC community pixel art project that encourages participants to contribute a single pixel to the growing image.

Except Mario isn’t part of the planned image.

That’s according to my friend Jon Gibson of iam8bit, the marketing firm that set up artist Jude Buffum‘s crowd-sourced project. He mentioned that the image wouldn’t include any distinctly recognizable characters or images when it was completed — just more generic gaming ideas. And yet Wednesday morning, there was Mario.

It’s a function of making a crowd-sourced art project: the crowd keeps messing with the art, which is actually pretty cool. The iam8bit guys are sitting close at hand with a camera set up to take a still every 20 seconds, so they’re documenting every pixel that goes up, as well as all the cool rearrangements people enact. Eventually, Mario got taken down and the pixels reordered to where they’re supposed to be — this is supposed to form a big image at the end, after all – but the Super Mario World-era plumber persisted for a good part of the day Wednesday.

We’ll get Ben Richardson, whose boots are still on the ground at GDC (I’ve been skids-up and back in L.A. since late Wednesday night), to snap us a photo Friday when the image finally gets completed. Check out the video of the project here.

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