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Stick Figure Throughout the Ages

By Edited May 28, 2014 1 3

Stick figures date back to prehistoric times. Pictures, which date back to this period, have been discovered in caves. In subsequent periods, these forms would be utilized by a variety of cultures as a form of communication. Not surprisingly, they have managed to withstand the test of time, primarily because they super simple to create and universal. In fact, most people first learn to draw using them. Individuals are able to draw these figures with mostly consist of straight lines, from an early age because very little dexterity is required.

Stick figures have evolved beyond being a crude form of art and type of communication. They have been modernized. Today, there are many animated movies and games in which the figures star. In fact, a well received, sub-genre has sprung up. Popular animations such as Xiao Xiao, are well-known amongst many internet gamers. Animation programs are also available for sale, making it possible for individuals to create their very own movies and games from the comfort of their own home.

These figures, which as mentioned above, are drawn primarily using straight lines and few additional details (a circle for the head, facial features, hair, etc.) have had functional uses over the years. They have been used on everything from street signs to bathroom signs. They are instantly recognizable and so ingrained in the lives of people that not much written communication is needed, when they are utilized. Most people immediately understand that male and female stick figures printed on a bathroom door mean that a particular bathroom is designated for the corresponding sex. Their use communicates a clear and simple message that most people understand loud and clear, regardless of their culture and background.

A person from another country visiting the U.S. could reasonably infer the meaning of a sign that utilized stick figures. It is this universality, which made the figures a popular form of communication in ancient times and which continues to make a place for them, even beyond the coloring pages of small children.

There is a familiarity with these figures and thus most people are able to relate to them. Because most everyone has drawn them at one time or another, there is also a bit of nostalgia associated with them, which may help to explain their continued popularity. Even when people have long outgrown the need to draw stick figures, they still view them positively and for many people, they represent a time marked with fun and innocence. This is not to suggest that stick figures have not grown up because they have.

Many of the more popular animations and stick games that feature them are fighting games with plenty of blood and carnage. Now, not all of them have the aforementioned as their prevailing themes, but many of them do. Another popular type of stick figure game is potty games. These games involve the use of a porta-potty as a racing device They are quite popular and a little more light-hearted and humorous Expect stick figure animations and games to continue to evolve as people find additional uses for them.



Mar 23, 2012 5:48pm
Interesting information on stick figures. It would be fun to see some stick figure drawings in your article.
Apr 22, 2012 6:25pm
It is amazing how a 'stick figure' can make a fine illustration, even though it only is made of a few straight lines.
Apr 23, 2012 12:09am
Yeah, I absolutely share your opinion. Usually simple things are much more effective and beneficial that those made to be impressive in it's complexity.
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