Bitcoin developers at Ninjalerts have successfully inscribed the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) emulator on a Bitcoin satoshi, marking a significant advancement in the capabilities of Bitcoin Ordinals.
The project was spearheaded by the team at Ninjalerts and aims to redefine the intersection of art, gaming, and blockchain technology in the form of NFTs — essentially pushing the boundary beyond static images to something more intractable.
The project also seeks to preserve digital cultural artifacts such as classic video games through Bitcoin, especially those not restricted by copyright laws. Emulators are considered legal as long as they are used to run games that have become part of the public domain and no longer have a copyright.
Preserving endangered video games
The SNES emulator, a software that enables one computer system to mimic another, allows users to play classic Nintendo games on a platform they were not initially designed for, in this case, the Bitcoin blockchain.
Ninjalerts CEO Trevor Owens said the integration showcases the versatility of Bitcoin Ordinals and attempts to address the critical issue of preserving classic video games. He pointed to a recent report by the Video Game History Foundation, which revealed that 87% of classic games are not in active, licensed circulation — deeming them “critically endangered.”
The project, titled “Pizza Ninja,” embeds the SNES emulator within each Ninja Profile Picture, allowing users to access and play games through Ordinals explorers or marketplaces directly in their browsers.
The developers have also created a comprehensive GitBook, spanning 88 pages, including images, code, and a detailed project walkthrough.
The evolution of NFTs
Trevor Owens, CEO of Ninjalerts, explained that the company chose to inscribe an SNES emulator onto the Bitcoin blockchain because of the blocksize cost and the inherent limitations of a Bitcoin block, which is capped at 1MB.
Owens said these new capabilities are part of the evolution of NFTs, which should not be limited to static images of monkeys. He added that the new technology will allow Pizza Ninja holders to create custom animations for their NFTs or resize them to any scale they like. Holders are also able to create social stickers with a single click and play SNES games through the NFT.
This innovation follows the path set by previous projects, such as inscribing a playable clone of the classic game Doom on the Bitcoin blockchain. The recent BRC-69 standard, introduced in July, has played a crucial role in this development by introducing recursive inscriptions.
This mechanism allows for extracting and recombining data from existing inscriptions to create new ones, a technique used extensively in the Pizza Ninja project.
While the project has been met with enthusiasm for its technical prowess and contribution to game preservation, it has also sparked debate within the Bitcoin community.
Some purists argue against non-financial transactions on the network, a sentiment acknowledged by Owens. However, he views this controversy as a catalyst for further discussion on the importance of preserving digital cultural artifacts and the unique role of Bitcoin in this endeavor.