Be it through artwork, music or even food, for years people have expressed their love for gaming with fan works of all forms. The rise of the internet and social media has made it as easy as ever for creators to share their work, no longer limited to expressing their wild artistic visions through magazines and other specific channels. It’s through social media that a specific community of creators has arisen, the focus of this instalment of Culture Collection – ‘8-Bit Shugei’ – literally ‘8-bit Handicraft’.
Showcasing handmade items across a wide spectrum of mediums, the Japanese 8-bit Shugei tag on the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr plays host to a plethora of brilliant fan creations paying tribute to gaming icons and imagery, both world-renowned and as niche as they come. Today we’ll be showing you just a small sample of the talented individuals and charming culture that have arisen from the 8-bit Shugei tags. We recommend you also have a browse for yourself to get the full extent of the great things people are creating.
Birosama1217‘s work has been featured in previous instalments of Culture Collection and as a frequent user of the 8-bit Shugei tag, it’s only fitting that we show some more off today. They’re clearly handy with a needle and thread and some of their simpler designs are very appealing, such as these Dragon Quest-inspired pixel art pins.
They’re also clearly a fan of EarthBound, as evidenced by wide a selection of unique handmade pieces that pay tribute to the series. The map of Onett that uses pins to chart out character locations is particularly clever.
Dragon Quest‘s Slimes are a popular choice when it comes to all kinds of creations, such as these sweet treats made by Nancy_UUU…
…or Rurue111‘s practical and stylish spray bottles.
Pins and badges are also another popular choice of item. Rurue’s sprite designs even come with nice little backing boards from their respective games – got to respect a nod to Shigeru Miyamoto’s United States-skipping Devil World.
Whilst Poteto_Mogumogu‘s Yoshi’s Island pins are technically 16-bit Shugei, they still showcase an impressive attention to detail with some eye-catching enemy and item designs…
…whilst Rica4413‘s creations are a little more understated, ideal for wearing with a button-up shirt.
Yuid0c0b‘s designs take a similar approach and work brilliantly in sprucing up an unadorned backpack.
Runcyo‘s son made use of his stitching skills to customise this Uniqlo polo with a neat little fire Mario. Great to see that even a younger generation are getting involved.
Back to Poteto_Mogumogu now with some more cross-stitch. This miniature portrait of/shrine to Wing Kirby wouldn’t look out of place on anyone’s mantlepiece.
Aozorachiki‘s Game Boy Pokémon tribute feels similarly nostalgic, and not just for its pixellated imagery.
Another popular medium for handicraft is plastic beads. 8kgchiho‘s cute 3D Saturn Valley house is an exemplary demonstration of what can be done with them, whilst also highlighting another benefit of the 8-bit Shugei concept – an opportunity for fans to create unique items inspired by their favourite games, including niche or cult titles that would perhaps be lacking in official merchandise and goods otherwise.
More of Yumugi’s work now, taken from a selection of their own creations from 2016 that they liked the best. Many of the creators found posting with the 8-bit Shugei tag are multi-talented and make use of a mixture of mediums.
We’ll end on a seasonally appropriate note, courtesy of Bikun36. You can be sure that there’ll be more unique and inventive fan creations going into 2017 – be sure to follow some of the featured creators for yourself, and look forward to us re-visiting the 8-bit Shugei tag in the future.