Thanks for the suggestions, Boris. I like the Game of Life idea. I’m not so sure about the clock ideas, since they run the risk of dramatically complicating a feature that already tests the limits of elegance due to how the system delay performs differently in Clock and Gallery modes.
The Tetris animation is neat — it would be fun to see a game play out autonomously. Kind of like the old Pong clock idea.
I suspect a text scroller sounds more compelling than it is, since it would be very hard to read without giving it your full attention from the start of the scroll. It also goes against the low res nature of the thing. I prefer animations that are perfectly at home at 16×16 and instantly convey a message (e.g. the Wi-Fi Twitter/Email alerts).