For April Fools' Day, Reddit launched a project called "Our Place" ("r/place," or just "Place"). Place was a huge blank canvas where upon redditors could draw whatever they liked, pixel-by-pixel.
The subreddit invited everyone to "create something," but suggested that by working together, they could create "something more."
At first, users who made a mark on the canvas had to wait through a ten-minute cooldown before being allowed to add another pixel, but that waiting period was eventually done away with, and people were free to make art at their own pace.
Clearly, Place had the hallmarks of a dumping ground. Since the dawn of time, every cave wall, every blank billboard, every empty canvas is a beacon for a rain of penis-drawings. At first, Place was no different: The earliest scrawls included genitalia and swastikas.
In time, something more substantial started to form. First, there were two camps—red and blue—and each one literally started painting themselves into a corner. But making any sort of art pixel-by-pixel awakens the 8- and- 16-bit artist sleeping inside all our souls. Soon, subreddits banded together and marked their territories in substantial ways instead of just making visual noise.
By the time the Place project wrapped up at the end of the weekend, Reddit had created a charmingly garish digital quilt. Though the project had been marred by vandalism and mean-spiritedness early on, most traces of that nastiness was gone by the time the last pixel was laid down.
I combed through Place at random intervals during the weekend, and I took screenshots of my favorite bits of game-related fanart. There's a whole lot of foolishness going on here, but its the good kind of foolishness.
I first checked into Place on Saturday. Things were still a speckled mess, but there was certainly promise. For example, there was a Nintendo Switch logo and an Undertale dog who is "warm and soft like mash potatoe."
Someone (or someones) actually took the time to write out Palpatine's immortality sales pitch to Anakin from Revenge of the Sith. Though it was nearly pixel-perfect by the time Place was done, there are signs of vandalism in my screen capture, e.g. "the dank side of the Force."
Here are the beginnings of some Chrono Trigger greatness. You'll see.
r/fireemblem was hard at work cleaning up its own corner when I checked in for the first time. Great things were afoot. r/thesilphroad was likewise busy building its tiny Pokeymans icons.
r/place, Fox only, no items.
Like a god forming from the dust of Chaos, Lord Helix was one of the first coherent images to gel from Place's earliest scribblings. Look at that beautiful work from r/ainbowroad, though! Whew!
"A Song of Ice and Fire" readers already know House Majora's going to plunge Westeros into utter ruin come season seven of Game of Thrones.
Undertale dog gained a friend! The Nintendo Switch logo is looking well, too.
Each member of Chrono Trigger's Time n' Space Rescue Squad is present and accounted for, but what's really important is the last-minute addition of Magus' purple kitty, Alfador.
In time, a background was added to Lyn, Ephraim, and Hector. Nice stuff.
Yoshi eventually drove in to bask in Lord Helix's warm light, and the r/ainbowroad subreddit added a super-cool latticing effect to their work.
Sun and Stardust.
Black Mage and Fighter can't stop staring at Liberty's boobs, and Temmie is slowly becoming a singular entity with the flag of Ireland.
Mega Man's the obvious standout here, but don't let the Bird That Carries You Over a Disproportionately Small Gap slip your notice.
The Five Nights at Freddy's crew is hanging loose with some squid-kids and the Adventure Time cast. There's a subtle cameo from a Cave Story character here, too. Can you find her?
Don't refuse Solaire of Astora's offer of jolly cooperation, or you'll make him feel blue, blue, blue.
The kids from Mother spent some quality time with Shantae. They tried to get Protoman to join them, but he got wrapped up in a bunch of self-pitying loner junk.
I have it on good authority that the flower on top of Papyrus' head is bad news.
My ancestors are smiling at me, Liquid Metal Slime. Can you say the same?
Oftentimes, the internet is as warm and welcoming as a toxic waste dump guarded by dogs that shoot bees out of their mouths. It was nice to watch it work together for a weekend, especially during a time frame that's defined by mean jokes and pranks. Thanks to everyone who took a little time to make Place pretty.
Let's keep a bit of that light and color with us. It's loud, but it's warm.