Geek Trivia

Early 2D Video Game Characters Were Known As What?

The Term "Gerrymandering" Originated In Which U.S. State?
Example of Mega Man in sprite format as he appeared in the early Nintendo game

Answer: Sprites

Mario, Link, Mega Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Pac-Man might all hail from different video game universes, but they all have one thing in common: in their early incarnations, they were all rendered as video game sprites.

A sprite is a two-dimensional image that is rendered separately from the background, but is still integrated into the greater scene. When you fire up a copy of Super Mario Bros. and send Mario hopping across the Mushroom Kingdom, you’re witnessing the process of a sprite being continually rendered over the background. Prior to the introduction of sprites in the mid-1970s, the entire scene on the screen had to be rendered as one image, which greatly restricted what video game designers could create and present to players.