Plus: Australian casino bankrolls local graffiti artist for 49-meter mural
Mario. Mega Man. Pac-Man. Link. The aliens from Space Invaders. Video games have long been a gold mine for numerous stencil graffiti artists looking to draw attention to their art.
It’s not that hard to imagine why a graffiti artist would choose to do these pieces, which some refer to as geek graffiti, seeing as how iconic video game characters already have a built-in fanbase and are sure to draw attention from even the most casual passerby. Plus, if executed correctly, they just look pretty damn cool. Urban geek chic, if you will.
One of the more prolific video game graffiti artists in recent years is Toronto-based gameboyone, who has put up pieces featuring 8-bit depictions of classic gaming icons.
“I’ve always been a huge video game fan and I decided that instead of doing traditional lettering I’d like to try doing pixelized characters instead – I love the old school aesthetic,” she told hobby blog A Little Bit on the Awesome Side. “That’s what I’ve been doing ever since!”
The instant recognition and sense of nostalgia evoked by images as iconic as those from classic video games are also being leveraged by other groups outside of the street art scene.
International Game Technology, the company behind most of the digital casino games at Betfair Casino as well as a majority of the non-digital slot machines in the world, is turning to the arcade classic Centipede to hopefully catch the eye of nostalgic gamers.
The company has even incorporated an element of skill into what is otherwise a game of pure luck: the game converts points earned shooting digital insects directly into money, so the better the shooter the more they win.
The use of video games is not the only commonality between the casino industry and the street art scene, though. Over in Australia, one of the brightest bastions of graffiti in the world, casinos are finally starting to take notice of the skill and artistry that a graffiti artist can bring to the table.
This can be best illustrated – quite literally, in fact – by Adrian Doyle, founder of the street art gallery Blender. Last year, Doyle was commissioned by Crown Casino Melbourne to paint a mural. The result is “The Wall”, a 49-meter-long work that mixes different street art styles.
"I was trying to come up with a mural that blurs the borders between fine art and street art,’’ the artist explains. “It'll probably be hated by [fans of] both. That will mean I've nailed it."