"The Drawn Code"

ARTISTCarina Lee
MATERIALGraphite illustrations on tan construction paper
DIMENSIONS9" x 12" (for each illustration)
LINKThe Drawn Code - Full Sequence


The Konami Code (also known as the Konami Command) is a cheat code that appears in many of Konami’s video games as well as non-Konami games. Pressing up up down down left right left right on the directional pad of a game controller, and then the B and A buttons (often found on a NES controller) would activate the cheat code and allow the player to play the game with special abilities or extras, depending on what game they were playing. MORE... Here, the Konami Code is represented as a series of ten drawings, one corresponding to each command in the Konami Code, followed by a final drawing that shows the “end product.” All illustrations consist of one game character acting out each command.

In today’s society, instant access to knowledge is in high demand. Imagine the scenario of a student taking an exam. Right now they are feeling uneasy and wish they had access to the correct answers. Sure, the answers could be written on their hand, on a small scrap of paper, on the desk—there are different ways of cheating. But if the student “used” the Konami Code, a cheat function would be activated and he or she would instantly obtain the answers to the exam. I want to show that a sense of irony lies at the end of the drawn Konami Code—that it cannot be used in real life and that it is something that remains usable only in the game or virtual realm.

Here, I have chosen to portray well-known characters from both Konami and non-Konami games as gesture drawings. Rather than fully rendering each character, this approach unifies each illustration and also makes a connection to the drawn hand at the end of the sequence.