__ __ __ _, \\ \\ / ___ '|| ___ ___ __ _ _ ___ _/|_ ___ \\ /\\ / //_\) || // \)// \\ ||'||'|| //_\) || // \\ \/ \/ \\__,_||_\\__,\\_//_||_||_||_\\__, \|_\\_// ___ ___ ____ ____ /\ (( / // | || || ___ _,_ _/|_ /_\\ \\ (( || || __\\'||\) || _/ _\\_/__)) \\__,_||_ _||_ ((_||_||_ \|_
ASCII art is also called text art, ANSI art or word art. ASCII stands for "American Standard Code for Information Interchange". This standard was developed by the American National Standards Institute.
ASCII art is a graphic design technique that uses computers for presentation and consists of pictures pieced together from the 95 printable (from a total of 128) characters defined by the ASCII Standard from 1963 and ASCII compliant character sets with proprietary extended characters (beyond the 128 characters of standard 7-bit ASCII). The term is also loosely used to refer to text based visual art in general. ASCII art can be created with any text editor, and is often used with free-form languages. Most examples of ASCII art require a fixed-width font (non-proportional fonts, as on a traditional typewriter) such as Courier for presentation.
ASCII art is used wherever text can be more readily printed or transmitted than graphics, or in some cases, where the transmission of pictures is not possible. This includes typewriters, teleprinters, non-graphic computer terminals, printer separators, in early computer networking (e.g., BBSes), e-mail, and Usenet news messages. ASCII art is also used within the source code of computer programs for representation of company or product logos, and flow control or other diagrams. In some cases, the entire source code of a program is a piece of ASCII art - for instance, an entry to one of the earlier International Obfuscated C Code Contest is a program that adds numbers, but visually looks like a binary adder drawn in logic ports.
"0verkill" is a 2D platform multiplayer shooter game designed entirely in colour ASCII art. MPlayer and VLC media player can display videos as ASCII art. ASCII art is used in the making of DOS-based ZZT games.
Many game walkthrough guides come as part of a basic .txt file; this file often contains the name of the game in ASCII art. Such as below, word art is created using backslashes and other ASCII values in order to create the illusion of 3D.