Hot off the presses, I just finished this bad boy up today, and since it’s brand spanking new, I thought I’d switch it up, and link y’all to my blog page itself.
I wrote a first article on this subject, video game box art, last year. The basic gist of course is that from the Atari 2600 through the SNES era of gaming, game boxes (not always, but) often came complete with anywhere from neat looking to truly incredible box art. Many of them were absolute works of art, great pieces that would be something you’d love to have on your wall even if you weren’t into video games. And then of course, at some point, around the time that games shifted away from 2D sprite based graphics to 3D polygons, box art itself also stopped being wonderful, hand-drawn illustrations, and shifted towards showing often lame and uninspired 3D renders instead. That trend has of course, for the most part, persisted throughout the last couple decades, as nowadays, very few new games have hand-drawn artwork anymore.
The art of video game box art, truly is a mostly lost art now, and that is really sad, as it was both a great outlet for artists to ply their trade, but it was also just a big part of the awesome aesthetic of classic gaming, even on old arcade machines, that is largely lost now. Gaming box art and promotional art was, in many ways, a very important and integral part of the larger culture of video gaming as a whole. I don’t know if that speaks to the (in my opinion) lesser direction that gaming has taken in recent decades, or not, but it certainly seems as if box art changed to reflect the times, in more ways than one.
So anywho, feel free to check out both the original article, and the new one focusing on awesome NES box art!