The average person now carries more computing power in their pocket than what it took to put the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon. However, Johan Alexanderson takes us back to a time when ties were wide, comb-overs were a thing, ashtrays were piled high with cigarette butts, and data was stored on reel-to-reel. This is the kind of vintage computer room my dad worked at in the 70s. A vehicle door makes an excellent spool of continuous feed computer paper. The green screen, the big cabinets, the data reels, even the color aesthetic and the utilitarian swivel chair all seem clunky and outdated to us, but at the time it all went together like swingers and fondue.
It should come as no surprise that Johan is a computer programmer who also seems quite inspired by a retro aesthetic. This wouldn’t be the first time he had delighted us with computing nostalgia. Check out this free-to-play “Classic Space Adventure” LEGO-inspired computer game he created utilizing over 400 pages of programming.
Adult fans of LEGO sometimes have skills that go beyond building masterpieces with bricks. Once in a while, we discover great gems that showcase a different talent combined with the love for LEGO, like the amazing handcrafted wooden LEGO we recently featured. Not too long ago, while scouring the web for great creations to feature here at The Brothers Brick, I came across something that didn’t strike me as worth exploring at first glance. But something compelled me to take a closer look, and I’m glad I did! The effort behind the creation of what I uncovered is astounding! Over 400 pages of programming and 2 years in the making, LEGO enthusiast Johan Alexanderson coded a full-blown game in honor of the LEGO Classic Space theme in retro-classic gaming styles from the 80s.
Johan Alexanderson (who also goes by the online handle LegoJalex) will be familiar to readers of The Brothers Brick — we’ve showcased more than a few of his excellent builds in the past (including his E.T Phone Home movie classic), and we featured an exclusive interview with him about his his LEGO creations. This article continues from where our last interview ended, when Johan mentioned a programming project to be revealed later. Before we speak to him again on his 2-year journey creating “Classic Space Adventures,” let’s take a quick look at the game itself.
Find out more about Classic Space Adventures
I can’t remember the last time I saw a butterfly. Then again, I can’t remember the last time I saw a live chicken or cow. Living in the city does have its benefits, but sometimes we forget the beautiful living creatures on mother earth. These three butterflies remind us of how simple things can easily be forgotten in nature and how wonderful LEGO bricks are, how the simplest of things can bring color to remind us of life. Johan Alexanderson didn’t make these random-colored, but instead takes their shape and color from actual butterfly species. The green foliage, though made of seemingly random parts and elements trick my vision into thinking I can almost smell the morning dew.
At first, second and maybe even the third time one looks at this realistic bathroom scene by Johan Alexanderson, it appears to be a simple interior scene, possibly a little messy with a broken piece of the mirror above the sink. The title “Despair” on the builder’s Flickr photo page might shift your focus a little, though. Was the mirror broken in a moment of emotional torment? Who is the figure seen in the mirror? Did they break the mirror? Johan had initially written a backstory for the build but has decided to remove it and keep the image open to interpretation, without being distracted by the LEGO artist’s own idea.
While this build is an artistic composition, it is also a great LEGO creation and I always love to look deep into techniques and part usage. The differently coloured wheels at the sink are particularly inspired, as are the uses of the small ball joints as towel hangers. The tiled walls are masterfully done, down to the damaged tiles and the incorporation of a heater. But the best and most realistic details are definetely the toothpaste oozing from its tube and the whole mess in the corner.