[Book Review] I Am 8-Bit (Jon M. Gibson)

07675#8Bit_Cover_mech.inddOverview:

Good art comes from artists with strong emotional inspiration, and there is nothing more powerful than nostalgic feelings of childhood. “I Am 8-Bit” is a compilation of works from various artists who drew inspiration from their memories of drowning themselves in the fantastic fantasy worlds only video games could provide.

Review:

“I Am 8-Bit” is, plain and simple, a book full of art inspired by video games from the ’80’s. Don’t let that fool you into thinking this book is only for people who remember spending their childhood picking at calices caused by joysticks and d-pads. In fact, I wasn’t even alive in the ’80’s yet I enjoy this book as much as anyone who remembers when Atari was actually an influential company in the gaming industry.

With 146 pages jam-packed with contributions from an array of artists who drew inspiration from the most intimate memories of their childhood, “I Am 8-Bit” is more than capable of providing a walk down memory lane for those of you old enough to remember, and also gives younger gamers from the ’90’s an interesting look at the experiences that captivated the minds of those who gamed before us.

Some of my favorite pieces include “Putting the Super in Mario” by Jason Sho Green, “Pacman in Hospice” by Greg Simkins, and above all others, “The M.K.” by Jose Emroca Flores. The works in the book evoke emotions ranging from nostalgia, joy, and even sorrow. Mostly just nostalgia, though.

The only gripe I have with “I Am 8-Bit” is its relatively steep price tag $22. My wallet and I both had trouble letting go of that much cash for a walk down someone else’s memory lane, but being the stubborn collector I am, I sacrificed a few trips to Taco Bell in exchange for what is ultimately a worthwhile purchase, if only for the fact that it’s a neat collectible item.

Final Words:

“I Am 8-Bit” is a great book to own if you are a collector or feel like drowning yourself in nostalgia (provided you are old enough to have experienced gaming in the ’80’s), but for anyone else it is nothing more than browsing material thanks to it’s high price tag.

Great job to the group of  artists who contributed to this collection. Most pieces included are absolutely stellar.

Pros

  • 146 pages of art based on games from the ’80’s
  • Most pieces are amazing
  • Hits a wide range of emotions

Cons

  • Twenty-two bucks is definitely steep
  • Not for anyone but gamers from the ’80’s or those who love games from the ’80’s

Score: 8.0/10 (Great)

Concept: 9.5/10 (Collect contributions of art inspired by gaming in the 1980’s)
Execution: 8.5/10 (While most pieces are outstanding, some are forgettable; strong focus on Mario and Pacman)
Entertainment Value: 7.75/10 (146 pages of old-school video game art; What you get out of it depends on your relationship with gaming)

Buy “I Am 8-Bit” from Amazon

4 thoughts on “[Book Review] I Am 8-Bit (Jon M. Gibson)


  1. “remembers when Atari was actually an influential company in the gaming industry”

    Those were the days my young friend. Those were the days.


  2. @Cray

    I was referring to the SRP (Suggested Retail Price) which is what most consumers will be paying for the book. I could’ve been more clear, I suppose, since I linked to a contradicting source.


  3. Awesome, thanks for reviewing this! I remember requesting it a while back, thanks a lot!.

    I probably won’t buy it, but I might browse through a copy at a bookstore or something.

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