Video Game Art Piece: Starfox

Reddit user RekoZep has taken note of all the classy video game art pieces, and decided to matte, frame, and mount one of his own. His video game art piece is a Feudal Japanese take on the Starfox franchise.

Everyone knows that clouds were just early versions of spaceships.

I have posted some pictures similar to this before in one of my earlier Classy Nerdy Art posts. That time it was a take on the Mario Kart series. Once again, this nod to classic video games works well because it plays off of the popularity and distinctiveness of the game, with relying on people understanding the reference. Those who get it will get it, but it is still worth looking at for those who don’t understand.

Some quick research (see: first comment on Reddit) shows that a full collection of these works can be found at Ukiyo-e Heroes. The look and feel of the Feudal Japanese art works very well for both Starfox and Mario Kart, and the website has a couple more. Most are based off of Nintendo franchises, but I believe some Capcom ones are to be discovered as well (the Street Fighter piece may actually be too similar to the original game for my tastes).

In any case, this is another fine example of a way to be classy while still respecting your video game roots. Much respect and good vibes to RekoZep.

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How To Be Classy In 3 Easy Steps

Stolen from MakeUseOf and then slightly edited.

Click each of the links below:

Step One: Rain

Step Two: Jazz

Step Three: Crackling Fireplace

Use this at work and you can perpetually have the classiest sounding work-space the world has ever seen.

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2-D Video Games Turned 3-D

I have been able to find a couple images online of 2-D video games that have been mocked up in a 3-D space. Reminiscent of Super Paper Mario, these screenshots take a new look at what is possible in the world of remakes.

Who wouldn’t pay good money to play that?

Another one I saw was the original Pokemon game turned into a 3-D model. This one almost constitutes as art, with the black and white pixel art bring anyone who played that game right back into it.

3-D Black and White games just don’t exist enough.

The style of these pictures has been seen in games before. Super Paper Mario is the most notable, which allowed you to switch perspectives from 2-D side scrolling to a behind the character down the path view.

Flat Stanley has never been so jealous.

The same technique was even used in the Classic racing mode in Excitebike 64:

Nintendo is really good about churning out original idea over and over again.

The most similar, however, was the PS3 exclusive 3-D Dot Game Heroes, which brought the 8-bit Zelda games we know and love into a pixelated 3-D wonderland. And remember, this was a year and a half before the Minecraft revolution changed the lives of nerds that never leave their basement.

Still better than what KFC does to their chickens.

What I am saying is, these games have been able to make it into production before, and with the exclusion of Excitebike 64, have managed to be pretty successful. Hopefully some group with enough desire, creative energy, and free time out there will be able to take these screenshots and develop them into the games we are desperate to play again without seeming like we are too old to ever move on.

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Simple Is Classy: Tetris

If there is one video game that has defied all barriers, it has been Tetris. Ever since it was first invented in the English county of Wiltshire somewhere between 3000-2000 BC (ref), stacking blocks on other blocks for a purpose has captivated us.

An early concept design for Stonehenge.

Then there was a long period in block-placing histroy where no notable advances were made. That is, until some Russian guy named Alxey Pajitnov decided he wanted to make millions. So he decided to create one of the most brilliant uses for the newfangled computers that he could: a simple block dropping, line clearing, ever faster game called Tetris.

Yes, that does say “From Russia With Fun” at the bottom

Sadly, this man was Russian, and that means that what is now basically the best-selling digital game in history netted him nearly no money and about a million court cases trying to fight for it. However, his lack of profit has not stopped the rest of the world for taking his idea and trying to make our own money off of it. And there are some pretty sweet and classy ways to take advantage.

Bravespace has become the top-of-the-line manufacturer of Tetris-themed shelving. Their product is regarded as some very high-quality, and is designed for those who got really lucky with making money. Even the colorful Tetrad Flat comes in at a whopping $1,315. However, the bamboo shelving is one of the classiest video game furniture pieces to ever exist.

Colorful and Classy, but damned expensive.

In a more affordable sense, this sweet Tetris-themed silicone ice cube tray is a classy way to cool down your beverage.

These ones will disappear without needing a whole row.

There are a ton of shaped ice cube trays out there, and some of them are actually somewhat funny (gin and titonic ones are tragically hilarious). However, these still maintain simplicity, and because of that, they conform to the modern classiness, while still allowing you to be nerdy. However, I have not been able to find a cheap one of these online (the places I found charge a ridiculous amount for shipping). However, I’m sure at the right place and at the right time, you can find these pretty cheap.

If you are either super-nerdy or need a nightlight, then the Tetris lamp is right up your alley. As far as geometric light sources go, this has to be way up the list. This may fall a little further away from the classy side of things, but each one lights up independent of the others. That way, you can build yourself a new lamp every day. Head on over to Amazonto preorder this constructatble light set, available in October.

Construct a new lamp every day.

Finally, we have something that is classy and apparently is only a could-have been. This is a 3-D rendering, so unfortunately, unless you have a large amount of pottery skills, this one has eluded us. However, it does show the concept and class that can be achieved with the simple tetris shapes. The 4-block shapes aren’t going anywhere, and I wouldn’t be surprised to continue to see tetris-inspired pieces like this for quite some time.

Grow your plants in 90-degree style.



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Kraken Zoidberg: Just Plain Nerdy Art

I found this awesome picture of a Kraken version of Dr. Zoidberg. I think I may have found my next canvas print, although this is very nerdy, and not really classy at all.

My name is Zoidberg! John &%@$!#* Zoidberg!

I really wish I knew where this originated from. I enjoy giving credit where credit is due, but apparently this has been making the round of the old interweb for quite some time. I found it on reddit a couple days ago, but while using this amazing internet tool called “Google” (spelling?), I was able to find traces of it as far back as 2008 (that’s half of an entire decade ago!).  It was probably created before that, and as big as a Futurama fan as I am, I am shocked I had never seen it before. If anyone knows who I cvan give proper credit to, please let me know! Otherwise, enjoy another auspicious piece of nerdy art.

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Rocks in the Sink

One of the more recent trends in making yourself classy is by putting rocks in your sink. Since the first picture of the spa that did it hit the internet, putting rocks in your sink has been a great way to class up what is otherwise a very boring area of the house. Also, it’s super cheap!

The original “rocks in a sink”

The first thing you need to do to class up your sink is by finding rocks. The original rocks in a sink picture used small rocks, and most people I have seen do it use the small decorative rocks that you can buy from Target, Wal-Mart, Michaels, or The Dollar Store (depending on cheapness). However, when my girlfriend and I did ours, we grabbed some rocks from our trip to Duluth, to remind us of our trip every time we were in the bathroom. Girls love commemorative junk like that.

Before Rocks

One thing you will need to remember, no matter what size rocks you are using, is that your sink will still get dirty. Actually, it will get extra dirty. It won’t look dirty, as the rocks neatly curve to hid all the dirt and filth you wash into the sink. But because the rocks put up a wall for the water, a lot of buildup can happen.

There are two ways around this. You can either take the rocks out of the sink about once a month and clean under there (easy if you have big rocks, more difficult if you have small ones). Otherwise, you can move the rocks around in the sink about 2 times a week. Nothing drastic, just a small move to avoid buildup happening in the exact same place.

After Rocks

One thing to remember, though, is that girls are very picky. If they set something up one way, a lot of times, that is THE ONLY correct way to do it. Be careful when rearranging to avoid fights and potential sleeping on the couch (sleeping on a couch is never classy). Another thing that can spruce up a bathroom is a basket. Found at most thrift stores, it will hold your towels, rags, and various lotions and scrubs you may have. Also, it looks nice, and make your counter and sink area less cluttered.

Also, note that we grabbed a medium sized flat rock to put the soap on. It’s a small touch that separates you from all those other classy sink-rock havers. They may be classy, but they will come over, see you bonus rock, and know their classiness has been topped by your superiority.

A closer look at “rocks in sink”

So there you have it, a simple guide to making your bathroom counter look nice. Grab some rocks and throw them in you sink, head over to your local thrift store and find a nice medium sized basket, and throw all the crap your significant other bought at Target on discount in there. Voila! Now WC can stand for “way classy”.

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Classy Nerdy Art

This week, we look into the art gallery once more, this time combining the Victorian art style with the ancient art of “plumbarius”.

The trials and tribulations of the plumber in ancient Greece.

This piece of Mario art re-imagines some of the basic pieces of the Super Mario games. The change to Bullet Bill and his Bill BLaster seem to be the most significant, while the rest seem to have undergone more of a general stylization.

This once again falls into the “Cool To Look At, Not Cool To Hang On Your Wall” series. As classy as it is, it is a very obvious homage to the double-named plumber we all know and love. The Bioshock art piece can very easily be passed off as a simple city architecture piece, and the ability of it to be glazed over is what makes it so girlfriend/fiancé/wife-friendly. This one, however, might be best served as a background on your desktop.

However, this is a well-made piece of back-in-time video game art, and sure looks cool.

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Goldeneye 007 Watch for only $007?

Once in a while, we are lucky enough to find something that falls into all 3 of our categories, Young, Cheap, and Classy. Today, we hit the jackpot. Apparently, there is a deal going on over at Artscow where you can make a custom watch face watch for only $7, and somebody (known online as Firespray) took the 7 to a whole new level.

The $007 Recreation

The Original James Bond Watch From Goldeneye on N64

This watch is instantly recognizable by anyone in our generation, and at such a low price, it’s hard to pass up. The watch, while not a perfect recreation of the original from the game,  still looks very close to accurate for being so easily obtained. Of course, your Goldeneye watch won’t be an actual computer screen, won’t be able to track your health and body armor levels, shoot lasers, or let you change your control setup. However, you will look good, and it does tell the time accurately.

For details on how to get your own, check out the directions found here.

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How To Have A Good Lunch Without Spending Money: Lean Cuisine

Let’s face it, when you are young, you don’t want to make your lunch before work. That takes way too much time and effort, and if you aren’t great at planning, it can actually be very expensive. I found a very good solution to this problem, though: Lean Cuisine.

Cheap and Delicious

You can usually find these guys for around $2 per lunch, which puts you total lunch budget at just over $10 for the week. The best part is, they are hot meals that you can’t really mess up. They have a ton of different varieties, enough to where you don’t get sick of them right away, and they are quick and easy meals you can eat in a break room, at your desk, or wherever good times are had.

Only two and a half minutes from delicious food.

They may look not so great when you first look at them, but after a little bit of time in the microwave, some of them look surprisingly close to the image on the box. They taste pretty good for microwave meals, are moderately good for you (340 calories, 7g of fat), and their short cook time gives you the most amount of free time for lunch.

Pop it in and let the radiation do its work.

You will have a cheap lunch that will still let you sleep in late, give you plenty of free time during your lunch break, and won’t break the bank. You can even take the money you saved and treat yourself to a Chipotle lunch once a week.

The final delicious product, pretty close to the image on the box.

The list of good Lean Cuisine Lunches:

  • Wood Fire Style BBQ Pizza
  • Wood Fire Style Garlic Chicken Pizza
  • Traditional Deluxe Pizza
  • Chicken Club Panini
  • Chicken Ranch Club Flatbread Melt
  • Philly-style Steak and Cheese Panini
  • Steak, Cheddar, & Mushroom Panini
  • Sun Dried Tomato Basil Chicken Flatbread Melt
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Bioshock Canvas Art: Rapture Concept Art

A couple weeks ago, I posted about Canvas Wraps and how classy they were, and how often they can be found on things like Google Offers, Living Social, etc. I recently received my order, and here it is:

My Bioshock Rapture Canvas Wrap Art

I decided on Bioshock because it is one of my favorite franchises, it has lots of available concept art, and I really enjoyed the setting while playing the game. The underwater utopia was a great place to start for a piece of art, and then it was as simple as finding a high-res picture, cropping it, and submitting it.

Here it is, hanging from my wall.

As you can see, the canvas I went with is somewhat shiny, but the colors came through really good. However, I do have some more tips that I want to share, based off mistakes I made. First off, I left way too much dark space at the bottom, and not enough bright color in the top. I should have cropped the picture up further so that I wouldn’t have as much unused dark space at the bottom. I also forgot thabout how far they actually pull the wrap, and one of my buildings goes off the top of the picture and wraps around. Can’t tell if I like that part or not yet, but I thought that part of the art was worth mentioning.

Close up shows how reflective my print is, and gives good picture detail.

As you can see above, the canvas I got is very reflective. That is the flash from my iPhone causing that bright spot, and it blocks that whole section out. However, you can see how detailed the picture of Rapture is, and gives a good look at the colors.

Shown hanging on my wall, for size reference. Note the horse on the shelf below.

The size of my print was 16″x20″ and takes up a pretty big chunk of the space between the window and the wall. From here, it looks like any other piece of scenery art, but to the trained eye, they will understand the subtle reference to Bioshock hidden in an otherwise classy piece of canvas wall art.

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