8-BIT GOES TO THE MOVIES

Kyle Meikle

Abstract


Since 2013, the YouTube channel Cinefix has offered its followers near-monthly installments of 8-Bit Cinema, a series of short videos in which blockbuster movies like Titanic and Frozen are reimagined as old school videogames. This essay asks why viewers are drawn to videogame adaptations that they can’t play, suggesting eight different ways that audiences (and scholars) might process 8-Bit Cinema—intertextually, interactively, and otherwise. The appeals of 8-Bit Cinema, whose views range somewhere in the millions, would seem to rely as much on the audience’s desire for recycled media as for recycled content, compounding a nostalgia for outmoded texts with a nostalgia for outmoded technologies.

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