If you can believe it, gaming used to be even less accessible than it is now. Because if you think today’s consoles are cumbersome, overpriced, or unwelcoming, you probably never had to blow your soul into a game cartridge before shoving it into your N64 with all the force your tiny, little child arms could muster. Hell, before Game Boy came along, your playtime couldn’t even be portable, relegated only to the hours you could steal away from your mom to spend some quality time with that Atari 7800.
More and more, though, gaming has become integrated into our day to day lives. Bored on the subway? Whip out your iPhone and play a round of Candy Crush. Have some time to kill on the toilet? Then why not check in our your cats in Neko Atsume? Videogames have come a long way in terms of availability and cultural penetration—so much so that playing has become as easy on clicking on a computer screen at random.
At least, that seems to be the concept behind Aaron Randall’s Screentendo desktop application, which lets you turn anything on your computer into a Super Mario level. According to a blogpost explanation from the creator, Screentendo works by using two basic steps: image processing to determine the structure of the rendered level, and the actual level generation. The app is definitely still only a proof of concept, and sometimes the rendered levels come out to be unplayable. Also, currently, you can only access Screentendo by fiddling around with the root files on Xcode.
But, boy, is it worth it. Because when I say it can turn “anything” into a Mario level, I mean anything. Including this picture of the renowned and ever-dapper looking Drake (as seen above). It’s hard to describe the experience of playing a Mario level in the shape of Drake’s (generously proportioned) head. Mostly, it inspires a mixture of juvenile delight and genuine awe. I mean, isn’t technology incredible? I could barely get Super Mario to play properly on my TV fifteen years ago. Now, I can play it inside a Grammy award-winning rapper’s beautiful face. To prove just how drunk on power this all made me, I rendered a Super Mario level using a picture of Mario—and inexplicably, the universe did not suck me down into a Nintendo blackhole for doing it.