Do Atari 2600s dream of electric poetry? Yes, they do.

Nothing is 0k is a program that allows Atari 2600 consoles to write poetry. This is a substantial feat, considering the machine only has 4 kilobytes of memory.

The way this is done is rather geeky, but also very cool. The machine spits out a pattern of shapes and colors, as seen above, which can then be translated from the binary code into English. (You’re on your own with that.) 

FYI, the above poem is called “Boredom.” It reads:

Head on knee.

Give to espy.

Sonny Rae Tempest, the creator of this strange software, says there is an explicit beauty in translating the poems of the machine.

I found the graphical representation in this abstract form an interesting way to view these poems. It can be likened to reading poetry from another language with a different iconography. I suppose it lets you see the forest without knowing that it’s made of trees.

You can download the program from his site, so if you’ve read this far, you might as well give it a shot.

-Jason Johnson

[via Daily Moment Art]