Descriptive ASCII Art – Word Play in Text

Rebus Puzzles, Wordies, Visual Puns, Pictogram Puzzles and Descriptive ASCII

I’ve seen this kind of insight puzzle several times over the years but if I knew the correct name for it I had forgotten. They are called Rebus Puzzles, also known as Wordies. In searching for more of these online I have found them called a variety of names: visual puns, pictogram puzzles and Descriptive ASCII. When people don’t know the name, they come up with something themselves. I like ‘visual pun’ it makes sense.

Some puzzles are straight forward text (like those I’ve added below). Others include pictures and symbols too. There’s probably confusion about describing these styles and labelling them all with the same name.

If you get brain strained and want a different kind of word game, try BookWorm.

Adding a New Element to ASCII Art

I like the idea of taking this a step farther as an ASCII art element. I’ve been working on ideas to create wordie puzzles (without pictures, just in text). They are a new element to add to text art. Kind of puzzling…

So far I find I am only thinking along the lines of puzzles which include directional words like “above, over, under, beside”. I think I can take the text puzzles farther once I wrap my mind around the idea of keeping them typed out rather than using graphic software which would let me move the words around the final image.

Maybe no one will understand what I’m talking about there. But, I do and it’s kind of a cool project for “someday”.

Links for More Wordie Puzzles and Puns

Japanese ASCII Text Art: Shift JIS

I used to label all the Japanese ASCII art as ANSI art and just click on by. It was a snobby attitude, but I was trying to keep the standards of ASCII art – which is so often confused or cheated on with ANSI art and assorted other versions of text art which don’t stick to the standard keyboard characters, no frills.

Since my early days as an ASCII artist I have learned the Japanese ASCII art is not ANSI art, it really is in a category of it’s own. But, there is an element of ANSI (using every and any keyboard character) thrown in.

Japanese ASCII Text Art: Shift JIS

SJIS is Japanese ASCII Art

Japanese ASCII art images are created from characters within the Shift JIS character set, intended for Japanese usage. So, Japanese ASCII art is usually called Shift JIS, abbreviated to SJIS or AA, meaning ASCII art. However, it’s not typical/ standard ASCII art because it uses characters outside of those standard for ASCII text art.

Shift JIS uses not only the ASCII character set, but also Japanese characters such as Kanji. Since there are thousands of Japanese characters, the images have more variety to them. However, they need to be viewed in the right font.

Unlike traditional ASCII art (which works best with a monospaced font) Shift JIS art is designed around the proportional-width MS PGothic font supplied with Microsoft Windows. However, many characters used in Shift JIS art are the same width. This led to the development of the free Mona Font where each character is the same width as its counterpart in MS PGothic.

SIJS art, like ANSI art and sometimes ASCII art, can be used to create animated text images using Adobe Flash files and animated GIFs. Shift_JIS has become popular and has even made its way into mainstream media and commercial advertising in Japan.

Japanese ASCII Text Art: Shift JIS

Sources for Japanese ASCII Art

The Mona Font

Mona Font is the  Japanese proportional font used to view Japanese text art.