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Perfect pixelation in these Game Boy Camera photos

by: Randy -
More On: Game Boys No Man's Sky

About five months ago, Jean-Jacques Calbayrac of London, England, started posting heavily pixelated photographs to his Instagram account. There are indeed filters to acccomplish this effect, with varying degrees of success. The difference with Calbayrac's photos, however, is that he's using a Game Boy Camera.

The Nintendo Game Boy Camera came out in 1998. It looks like a white eyeball sitting on top of your Game Boy, and it'll slot itself into any Game Boy you have lying around (except the Game Boy Micro). We're talking 18-year-old technology. But in a day and age of 4K TVs and 5K monitors, Calbayrac ratchets things down to 128 pixels. Sixteen million colors? Nah, how about a four-color pallet, fam.

According to Calbayrac, every single detail is lost, which is in contrast to today’s standards where details matter the most. He says: "We need to let go of the details and get back to the shape. The functions of this camera are so limited that it is like a journey in time in the history of photography. We are going back to the birth of digital photography."

So, back in May, Calbayrac walked the streets of London, snapping black and white photos of people and places. They were neat! But about a week ago, the gamer in Calbayrac came out. He started posting Game Boy Camera photographs of his time in No Man's Sky.

Don't run away. Regardless of whether or not No Man's Sky (GN score 7) is a magnum opus or a Steam refund, and whether or not those pre-launch videos line up with post-launch gameplay, these Game Boy Camera photos of in-game pics are lovely. It takes a game of 18 bajillion whatevers and simmers them down to small, delicately cut, entirely humble frames.

You can see Jean-Jacques "gameboycameraman" Calbayrac's small but growing body of work at @gameboycameraman on Instagram.