Back to Bits

Artists pay tribute to NES games with a collection of GIFs

Videogame GIFs are one of my favorite things on the internet. Retro game nostalgia less so, but that hasn’t stopped me enjoying the NES game-inspired GIFs that are being showcased on Back to Bits.

The website launched today and is a curated animation project created by Washington-based artist Jerry Liu. His reason for putting Back to Bits together is simple: he wanted a way to bring likeminded artists together and to celebrate the games of his and their childhood.

a range of different art styles and approaches

The GIFs that you can see today were created by more than 40 different artists from around the world and pay tribute to games like The Legend of Zelda (1986), Tetris (1984), Mega Man (1987), Balloon Flight (1984), and Joust (1982).

The wonderful thing about them is that you get to see a range of different art styles and approaches to remembering these games. Some are short and use simple shapes while others are more sketchy in style. Some aim to emulate the gameplay directly while others take the tribute in a different direction and become parody. For the record, this Paperboy (1980) GIF is probably my favorite.

This “NES Nostalgia” set of GIFs is only the start of Back to Bits. There will be more curated collections, or “Levels” as they’re being called, coming in the future.

You can see some of the GIFs from the Back to Bits selection below, as well as a montage of them in the video right at the bottom, or you can head over to the Back to Bits website to seem them all.

All GIFs belong to Back to Bits