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Depixelizing Video Game Characters Creates Monsters

Screenshot: Twitter

A new digital tool built to depixelize photos sounds scary and bad. Another way to remove privacy from the world. But this tool is also being used for a sillier and not terrible purpose: Depixelizng old game characters. The results are...nevermind, this is also a terrible use of this tool.

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“Face Depixelizer” is a tool Created by Alex Damian, Sachit Menon, and Denis Malimonov. It does exactly what you expect with a name like that. Users can upload a pixelated photo of a face and the tool spits out what that person might look like based on algorithms and all that stuff. In the wrong hands, this type of tech can be used to do some bad shit and will make it harder to hide in this world from police and other powerful and dangerous groups.

But it can also be used to create monsters out of old game characters. Look what this thing did to Mario, for example.

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Illustration for article titled Depixelizing Video Game Characters Creates Monsters
Screenshot: Twitter

Steve from Minecraft turns into a dude who doesn’t wear a mask because “It’s all a hoax dude.”

Illustration for article titled Depixelizing Video Game Characters Creates Monsters
Screenshot: Twitter

Guybrush changed quite a bit and also grew weirdly disturbing hair...

Illustration for article titled Depixelizing Video Game Characters Creates Monsters
Screenshot: Twitter
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These might be strange or even a bit monstrous, but things start getting much worse when you feed the tool images that don’t look like people at all. For example, this is what someone got after uploading an image of a Cacodemon from Doom.

Illustration for article titled Depixelizing Video Game Characters Creates Monsters
Screenshot: Twitter
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Poor Peppy turns into a demon from a horror film.

Illustration for article titled Depixelizing Video Game Characters Creates Monsters
Screenshot: Twitter
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And the Creeper from Minecraft somehow becomes even scarier.

Illustration for article titled Depixelizing Video Game Characters Creates Monsters
Screenshot: Twitter
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There’s a bunch more in this thread. There’s also a bunch of Tweets all about uploading Black people’s faces and learning that the tool isn’t great at dealing with them. Almost seems like you should have diverse teams working on tech projects so as to not overlook a small detail like an entire group of people. Though in this case, I’m fine with the creators screwing up.

Maybe if people keep uploading video game images to tools like this we can eventually make them worthless.

Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

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DISCUSSION

executor32
Executor32

B.J. Blazcowicz actually looks pretty normal, aside from the enormous eyebrows: