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Print, Dismap: Super Mario Brothers

This is a Print. It was designed by Ben Fry. It is dated 2003 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is digital print on archival paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Ben Fry’s Dismap: Super Mario Brothers is a visualization that maps the operation of code for Nintendo’s original Super Mario Brothers cartridge game. The executable code is listed as gray text, which Fry divided into multiple columns rather than leave it as one narrow string of commands. Built as assembly language, the original code is a long series of conditional statements (“if x is true, go to y”), with some commands only three or four letters long. Curved lines reveal “jumps” (or “go-to” instructions) to different locations in the code. Dismap acts not as a diagnostic tool to analyze the code, but as a method to visually deconstruct it, showing the elegance of the software’s underlying structure.

Dismap is Fry’s first project aimed at visualizing code, and is a predecessor to his Distellamap (2004), Disarticulate (2005), and Deprocess (2006) projects. Fry created Dismap for the Ars Electronica 2003 CODE Exhibition in Linz, Austria.

This object was donated by Ben Fry. It is credited Gift of Ben Fry.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 91.4 × 61 cm (36 × 24 in.)

Cite this object as

Print, Dismap: Super Mario Brothers; Designed by Ben Fry (American, b. 1975); digital print on archival paper; H x W: 91.4 × 61 cm (36 × 24 in.); Gift of Ben Fry; 2017-11-3

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Print, Dismap: Super Mario Brothers |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 January 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>