For one weekend the area around The Old Truman Brewery has become 8-Bit Lane, a celebration of arcade game nostalgia to market the upcoming release of Disney film Wreck-it Ralph. Among the attractions are sculptured 8-bit London cabs, post boxes and digital pigeons, alongside a surprisingly cute three-dimensional pixelated dog.
The brewery has become the world’s first ‘blipp-able’ building, according to Blippar, which has used its augmented reality smartphone and table app to transform the side of a wall into a playable version of the video game featured in the film, Fix-It Felix. The event was co-ordinated by advertising agency Fold7.
Aden Hynes, a film sculptor who created the art pieces for Disney says, ‘I played 8 bit games as a teenager, so it was great to realise that vision in three dimensions. In many ways the retro styling has much more charm than the hyper reality of today, I’ve never been asked to make an 8 bit taxi before.’
Blippar’s visual discovery app recognises features on the side of the former brewery’s wall, then renders a 3D image that visualises on smart devices. The feature was designed for the event in with digital consultancy Feref.
James Shepherd, accounts manager at Blippar, says, ‘The basis of the technology is the same whether you’re blipping something to A4 size or something on this scale – but we’ve never done something on this scale before.’
Local venues were involved, with The Big Chill bar serving 8-bit pints and Café 1001 serving an 8-bit breakfast. Jacob Denno, editor-in-chief at Fold7, says, ‘because [Disney] wanted to target an older generation for Wreck-It Ralph, not the usual Disney audience, they wanted to tap into that nostalgia of playing arcade games, Sega Megadrive and Nintendo 64; so we thought east London was probably the best place to do it.’
Animated film Wreck-it Ralph tells the story of an arcade game villain who dreams of being the hero and is released in cinemas on February 8.
8-Bit Lane runs 12 – 13 January at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1