November 11, 2012

UNWELCOME - a Screenshot Poem

Original Screenshot - Metroid, NES

Experimenting with sprite poems, I decided to see what an entire screenshot would look like. For this piece, I chose a screenshot from the initial scene of Metroid for the NES.

Replacing each pixel in the screenshot with a color-corresponding letter infuses the word "unwelcome" throughout the scene where Samus first arrives in the game-world.

Unwelcome is the hostile world to her. Unwelcome is she to a world into which she was not invited. Unwelcome is she in a 1986 8-bit sci-fi video game where she hides her identity until after the game is over, so not to offend or excite the target market.

The resultant poem seems less like ASCII art and more like a cross stitch pattern. Each pixel is carefully mapped and its color referenced as one letter in the word "unwelcome."

This project was done entirely in a text editor, with a monospaced Courier to maintain an even character width. As such, it is copy-able and paste-able into any other text editor. It is not an image. It is a string of letters, one pervasive word.

Here is the poem as plain text: UNWELCOME_bw.pdf

Here is the poem in color: UNWELCOME_color.pdf

(Downloading and opening looks much better than previewing on Google docs.)

Zoom in. Zoom out. Forests and trees and such.


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