As an art form and as a mode of entertainment, video games as a whole are entering a new era: the nostalgic time. Yes, they have indeed been around long enough (roughly 60 years or so) to warrant the use of such phrases as ‘classic’ and ‘groundbreaking’ when describing certain titles. It seems that we are becoming more and more aware of the impact of early video games, of franchises that a certain percentage of the population can claim to have ‘grown up playing.’ We are beginning to see just how these games have shaped the current gaming landscape, how these titles are so revered and respected as true archetypes of design, storyline and gameplay. A few of these titles have become cultural juggernauts in their own right, their franchises extended from the console to the television screen, the silver screen, merchandising, and beyond. Truly, video games are now an entertainment force to be reckoned with.
Nowhere is this more evident than the Super Mario franchise. Since 1985, the adventures of a plumber transported to a fantastic world of fire-breathing plants, dinosaurs, and princesses have captivated millions of gamers the world over. In fact, it can be said that the most famous video game level, the most iconic and recognizable to anyone familiar with video games, is level 1-1 in the original Super Mario Bros title. So recognizable, even, that subverting the very side-scrolling nature of the original game can produce something both fresh and iconic. Take, for instance, the work of a YouTube user who turned level 1-1 from a side-scrolling 2D endeavor into a 3D, first-person experience.