Break Out That MIDI Player

…and go ahead and pop in the Mega Man 2 score.

The downside to my adventure at PAX East and it’s accompanying AI, was that I really couldn’t jump into the discussion. Sorry! I’ll post a few cents worth of text after the break because I really want to gush over these videos.

I think if you grew up with any video games, you could all pick a unique experience that moved you.  The video below by Hattariyaro (I wish I could find more information other than their Youtube channel) takes those memories, those experiences, and goes one step further into making art from them using a MIDI visualizer called the Music Animation Machine. Watch this, then watch the rest, and try not to have a moment when your favorite song from your Nintendo comes up.

Great, you’re still with me. What I found most striking was watching the music. People have done it before, and we all love to see it, but to see it in super blocky glory was a real treat. It shows a clearly artistic attention to detail and placement to create these 8-bit tableaus. If Donkey Kong wasn’t art before, it is now. Even though, honestly, it was before. Stop Fighting It.

Even if I never see an audio spectrometer illustrate the Samus/Mother Brain battle while the Metroid theme plays, I’ll be happy with this.

Oh right, about the AI: I was pleasently surprised that nobody really tried to break the medium into camps like “Well, Final Fantasy 7 and onwards is art, everything before it was just Space Invaders” as that would be like saying all paintings before Van Eyck were just monkeys throwing poo against a wall (I’m sorry I keep going there!). Similarly, it was acknowledged that while one may not find a work to their liking, it doesn’t diminish it as an artistic work. You can’t call film as a medium art and throw out Dumb and Dumber. Well, I’m sure somebody will come up with an example of how you can.

But I won’t.



Maki Naro is an artist, incurable geek, and lover of cooking, public radio, small animals, and Blade Runner. He comprises one half of the Sci-ence Webcomic's dynamic duo.

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  1. I concur with @briandgregory (as I must, by law) NERD.GASM.

    @Maki: I’m going to come to your apartment in the dead of night, crank up the Megman song on a boombox, and see if you really will do that dance. #testing #science! #thisisnottwitter

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