Eight-bit Link looks over hills of rolling green. E. Honda pulverizes an old Toyota. The boys from Double Dragon prowl the streets of Detroit. Nostalgia is a funny thing, but almost nowhere does it elicit as much simple joy as where old video games are concerned.
Years ago, London-based artist Aled Lewis took a simple concept and ran with it, mashing up classic video game characters with photographic scenes.
"As a kid I would become completely immersed in there crude pixel environments and they would seem very real!" Lewis wrote in 2011 on Behance, an art-sharing and collaboration platform that looks similar to Pinterest. "I thought it would be fun to try to express how gamers see these worlds."
The selections of Lewis' work (seen below) are from 2007 to 2012, according to his Flickr set of the 8- and 16-bit mashups.
It doesn't look as if Lewis photographed any of the real-world scenes, but his eye for details that flesh out imaginary landscapes is exacting, to say the least. The shadows and reflections that he adds help integrate the pixelated protagonists into their real-life environs.
What's more? They make great Facebook cover photos. Because what's nostalgia worth if you can't share it with others?
If you're interested in seeing what else Lewis has been up to, check out his website.