Retro Video Game Screens Make For Awesome Animated Gifs


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While some may still want to have the "are video games art?" discussion, others have moved on to showing the masses just how artistic video games can be. Normally, that can be done with an in-depth tentpole release; something like, say, Bioshock Infinite. Another side of the "of course video games are art" coin is trying demonstrate the artistic merit of the graphical creations themselves, whether or not the supporting game was a commercial success. Take, for instance, a vast, rendered background that many video games currently boast.

Because a game's rapid level of action may limit the amount of focused exposure players receive, that doesn't mean these vistas are any less impressive. The same can be said for these creations in retro video games. Although restricted to pixels, video game developers of the day used these picture elements to their maximum potential to create some memorable video game scenery, much of which has been forgotten in the tide of high definition graphics.

That is until noirlac created a Tumblr account.

As pointed out by, noirlac's Tumblr features more than 10000 screenshots from retro video game, all of which have been been turned into animated gifs. Noirlac's account has been active since 2010, but after catching Wired's eye, it's currently running through the gamer/tech news cycle. From here, we find out that noirlac is apparently a video game developer for Ubisoft, but maintains an anonymous status. According to Wired's report, the goal of this noirlac's Tumblr is simple:

"I want to show everybody that pixels in games is already art," he says. "I'm only here to highlight all those beautiful and cool things for the world to see."

It should be noted that noirlac does not credit the games being used for the animated gifs. This, in turn, has lead to the creation of another Tumblr called "noirlacsourced." The only goal of this account is to providing the appropriate credit for noirlac's recreations. With that in mind, here are few that stood out to me during my brief visit. If you have some time to kill, it's worth the look around, especially if you're yearning for a trip through a virtual retro gaming museum:

Magneto Gif

Lethal Weapon


And here are their sources: 1, 2, 3.

[Lead image source]