Game boys: Google plays the fool with Maps joke

01.04.2012 Google : Google Maps : Quest

San Francisco – Google announced an 8-bit version of Google Maps as an April Fool’s Day joke.

The Quest function appeared on 1 April as an additional feature on the ubiquitous Google Maps programme. An accompanying spoof video explained that the programme had been developed for the classic Nintendo Entertainment System – an 8-bit video game console that was popular in the late 80s.

Quest transforms the Maps interface, including Street View, into a simple grid of coloured squares, reminiscent of early exploration-based computer games such as Zelda or the Final Fantasy series.

Although the project was created as a joke, it demonstrates consumers’ increasing nostalgia for early digital culture, a theme LS:N Global explores further in our Netstalgia macrotrend.