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Joystiq goes to i am 8-bit

Kevin Kelly

Last night was the opening night shindig for the latest i am 8-bit show, and it was by far their biggest event yet. We arrived early as part of a press event to mill around and quietly take photos, but by 9PM the place was packed with people checking out the art, listening to the whomping sounds of Computer Jay, DJ R-Rated, and Leeni (check her out in the Pac-Man dress, along with her 8-bit tattoo). There was a massive line of people outside waiting to get in, and it had turned into the hottest ticket on Hollywood Blvd. Which, yes, is actually saying something.

They had turned the entire storefront of the World of Wonder (didn't they used to make Teddy Ruxpin?) into a huge display, featuring giant Piranha Plants from Super Mario Bros., and they had an old-school setup where you could play games ranging from an NES to a full-sized arcade cabinet, right there on full display to everyone passing by. It probably didn't hurt that some of the Nerdcore calendar girls took up residence here later and played Game Boys and quarter-eaters in their underwear.

Read more after the break, and be sure to take a spin through the huge gallery which shows off the more than 200 pieces in the show, and how crazy the whole scene became.

Gallery: i am 8-bit: 2008 | 126 Photos

Prices for pieces have definitely been climbing with the rising popularity of these shows. For instance, this Link vs. Ganon piece was going for two grand. Yowsa. Even these tiny (but awesome) Scott C. pieces were $175 bucks a pop, and we're thinking 8-bit could probably make a killing by doing limited print runs with some of these artists. We really wanted this Elevator Action piece, but it was already sold by the time the show began. Curses.

One cool exhibit/installation was this multi-screen Q*bert. Most of the younger crowd would walk by and go "Who's that guy?" but we have a special love for that little orange blob. These two Billy and Steve pieces got a lot of attention as well, and sometimes it seems like The King of Kong will never go away.

Anyhow, after a full evening of art, 8-bit tunes, and a couple of beers from sponsor Colt .45 (complete with artistic cans), we were ready to stumble out onto Hollywood Blvd. to try scrounging for change in the gutter to buy some of our favorite pieces. If you're in Los Angeles, the show runs until September 7th at 6650 Hollywood Blvd., and is definitely worth stopping by.

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