Compared to videogames, books are pretty boring. You don’t control anything and then there’s all those annoying words you have to read. Ugh. But graphic design whiz Olly Moss managed to whip up some classic-looking book covers based on popular videogames that we actually want to read. Well, sort of.
We’d rather play the games themselves, but I guess if the power went out, reading about James Bond’s adventures wouldn’t be all that bad. But if you’re curious, like us, why Mr. Moss would marry interactive media with mental media, you just might find out if you, err, read on….
Bitmob: How’d you decide to marry crappy book covers with classic games?
Olly Moss: [Laughs] They’re not crappy! They’re amazing — the old Penguin book covers.
Bitmob: Well, in the sense that you’re taking these sophisticated videogames and pairing them with these super simple book covers.
OM: Well, I did this movie poster series, and I wanted to do something similar with games. Because a lot of good designers do stuff with films, but there aren’t really a lot of people doing it with games.
And I was really into Penguin book covers at the time and I went to this exhibition in London and this guy had this massive display of old Penguin book covers. And it was so awesome altogether as a set that I thought, “Man — I want to do this with videogames.” It’s cool, because book covers have this amazing history in design. And videogames don’t really have that, so I wanted to appropriate that book design history and apply it to something a little bit cheesier like videogames.
Bitmob: Your Flickr page says you got a special project in the works involving these covers. Let us guess — you’re writing stories to accompany them?
OM: [Laughs] Oh, man — I wish!
Bitmob: So, essentially, your work is false advertising?
OM: [Laughs] You really want to read GoldenEye 007: The Game?
Bitmob: Not so much GoldenEye, but we really want to read the Metal Gear Solid book — it might help us actually understand what the fuck is going on.
OM: [Laughs] You’re right — that game is crazy.
Bitmob: You’ve also made a trigger-happy videogame-inspired Threadless shirt. So, we have to ask…better 16-bit light gun: Nintendo’s Super Scope or Sega’s Menacer?
OM: Oh, man — I’m going to horribly disappoint you here, but my first console was a PlayStation.
Bitmob: Oh my god…
OM: I’m so sorry! I used to go around to my friend’s house and just beg him to play Duck Hunt with the, uh, I can’t even remember what it’s called! I’m totally embarrassing myself with my lack of game knowledge.
Bitmob: The Nintendo Zapper.
OM: Yes, that thing was rad! I just remember seeing the Super Scope — there was a Yoshi game, right?
Bitmob: Yep — Yoshi’s Safari.
OM: Yeah, Yoshi’s Safari. I remember seeing that thing and thinking it was the best thing ever. And I put it on my list of toys I’ll never have.
My parents were all into getting me into the PC when I was younger, because that was the future. So I had this PC with all these really crappy games on it. But we were one of the first people in the village to have a modem. I remember waiting an hour for the South Park website to load. [Laughs] It was the highlight of my childhood.
Bitmob: How come you included a Goomba on your target list? We thought feet were the weapon of choice for those guys.
OM: Yeah, yeah — I just wanted to pick more videogame badguys, because I really wanted to get some videogame references in there as well. And I was trying to think of ones that had really iconic silhouettes that you could do without any eyes or anything in them.
Bitmob: You know what you should have done? An exploding barrel.
OM: That’s very true.
Bitmob: So your book covers are pretty cool, but we’d really like to see some videogame-inspired cereal box covers. Think you can whip that up for us?
OM: Oh, I was going to do something with cereal boxes. It was going to be Breakfast Club cereal boxes. [Laughs] That’s lame. Hmm, but you’ve given me an idea….