Shantell Martin Is One Of 12 Contemporary Artists Set To “Reskin” Classic Arcade Games For Atari’s 50th Anniversary Project
Before blockchain, NFTs, metaverses, and indeed the internet itself, there was Atari. The company has released iconic titles like pong and Missile Command and did much to pioneer today’s $200 billion video game industry. It may have lost market clout, but its nostalgic appeal and devoted following remain.
On Atari’s 50th anniversary, it has partnered with modern arcade company Polycade in a venture called Polycade Limiteds that brings together the past, present, and future of gaming. fun twist, Polycade founder Tyler Bushnell is the son of Atari creator Nolan Bushnell, sometimes referred to as the father of video games.
As part of the collaboration, Polycade chose 12 contemporary artists to reimagine the graphics and backgrounds of classic Atari games. These will be minted as NFTs called digital cartridges and sold on Coinbase’s NFT marketplace, with NFT holders able to play games on Polycade’s website, downloadable software, and physical Polycade machines.
Essentially, it’s a collaboration that marries the retro fun of the pre-internet era with the convenience and ownership values of Web3.
“We wanted to bring video games and contemporary art together in a way that gives the artist as much freedom as possible to work in a traditionally very specialized medium,” Tyler Bushnell, CEO of Polycade, told Artnet News. “Blockchain technology adds an integrated layer of commerce, permanence and verification.”
First release of Polycade Limiteds Asteroids has been revamped by a British artist Shantell Martin. In what Polycade calls a “reskin,” Martin’s black-and-white line art reimagines the game’s moving objects, screen borders, and also covers the limited-edition physical arcade machine that the based company in Oregon spear.
“It’s super cool to see Asteroids in Shantell’s vision, whimsical artwork and in-game word choice,” Bushnell said. “It’s great fun to see and play the game in a different light.”
Slated for a Nov. 19 launch to coincide with ComplexCon in Long Beach, Calif., the digital cartridges will be minted in three editions of increasing rarity: artist (1,000 NFT), silver (10 NFT), and gold (one NFT).
Asteroids by Shantell Martin is the only game to be revealed so far, but it’s the start of a larger project, Bushnell said, “bringing the worlds of art and games together in an interactive way.”
Another celebration of the company comes in the form of Atari 50: the anniversary celebrationa version of Digital Eclipse that includes more than 90 games, including several unreleased prototypes, and is available on a large number of consoles.
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