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Squirrel-Monkey is a YouTube channel that produces video remakes of current video games and social media platforms as if they had been created in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Squirrel-Monkey website was registered in February of 2010 as a “hobby project” by actress Kinna McInroe and director Jo Luijten. According the the site’s about page, Luijten was inspired to create ASCII renditions of contemporary games and web applications by the British BBC show Look Around You. On January 21st, 2012, Squirrel Monkey uploaded its first video to YouTube featuring a 1980s pixel art version of the mobile video game Angry Birds (shown below, left). In the first two years, the video gained over 3.01 million views and 530 comments. On January 29th, Squirrel-Monkey published a video featuring a version of the Google search engine running on the 1980s operating system MS DOS (shown below, right), which received more than 530,000 views and 220 comments in the same time frame.
On March 18th, a video parody of a 1990s version of the social networking site Facebook was uploaded to YouTube, which required users to send photographs to Facebook via snail mail to have them uploaded to their profile (shown below, right). Within 14 months, the video garnered upwards of 1.65 million views and 1,300 comments. On April 1st, the channel uploaded a video featuring a 1980s version of the microblogging and social networking site Twitter (shown below right), which gained over 620,000 views and 780 comments in the first 13 months.
ITN News Segment
On June 2nd, 2012, Luijten and several Squirrel-Monkey videos were featured in a segment on the British television news network ITN (shown below).
Squirrel-Monkey has received positive press from a number of news and tech sites. In April of 2012, the site’s videos were highlighted by Mashable, Wired, The Huffington Post,CNET and Gizmodo.
Other Notable Videos
As of June 2013, the Squirrel-Monkey YouTube channel has received upwards of 6.53 million video views and 6,700 subscribers.