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RPG Parodies are a series of pixel art animations in which memorable scenes from popular films and television shows are re-created in the style of 8-bit or 16-bit role playing games. Such parodies may also be accompanied by chiptune renditions of their respective original soundtracks.
The earliest known pixel art adaptation of popular TV shows and films can be attributed to an 8-bit game parody of the musical web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (shown below), created and uploaded by American chiptune musician Levi Buffum (a.k.a. Doctor Octoroc) on April 5th, 2010. In the following three years, Buffum’s video received over 580,000 views and 1,100 comments on YouTube.
On October 10th, 2010, the Internet humor site College Humor released another pixel art animation by Buffum, this time, featuring an RPG parody of MTV reality television series The Jersey Shore (shown below, left). In the following three years, the video accumulated over 3,300 Facebook likes on College Humor and 1.7 million views on YouTube. On December 23rd, The Fine Bros uploaded an interactive RPG parody animation featuring Antoine Dodson and the Gregory Brothers’ auto-tuned remix (shown below, right), garnering more than 740,000 views and 260 comments within three years.
In early June 2011, fans of the NBC sitcom series Community on Reddit announced a crowdsourced project to develop a 16-bit video game titled “Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne,” inspired by the eponymous fictional game that appeared in an episode titled “Digital Estate Planning" (shown below, left). Later that same month, College Humor released the third RPG parody animation by Buffum, which parodies Discovery Channel’ survival reality TV series Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls (shown below, right), garnering over 23,000 likes on College Humor nearly a million views on YouTube in two years.
On November 12th, 2012, YouTuber Kristie Lu uploaded an RPG parody of the fantasy film Twilight (shown below). The following day, the video was posted on the video game news site Kotaku. On January 29th, 2013, College Humor published an RPG parody of the television drama series Homeland, which included a scene referencing the Claire Danes Cry Face (shown below). Within two weeks, the video received over 4,600 Facebook likes.
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