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Friday, January 12, 2018

Space Invaders Turns 40

It's perhaps one of the most iconic arcade video games ever - Space Invaders!

It was sold by gaming company Taito in Japan, but by Midway, a subsidiary of Bally in North America. 

Created by Nishikado Tomohiro 40 years ago, the game pits you against a host of alien creatures that march across and down your screen. You have have three cannon guns, and four buildings to act as a shield against you as they slowly march down... until... they land and game over.

I was one of those kids 40 years ago that would find quarters wherever I could and head over to the Plantation Bowlerama to play Space Invaders... considering myself lucky to get past the third or fourth board.

I wasn't very good, but it was there I learned the old quarter taped to a string trick that would  - by fishing - get me 99 credits - without losing the quarter.

I figured that if it was going to screw up my youth by causing me not to study and thus become a stupid writer, I wasn't going to give them my money.

I would play for hours and hours and never get any better than I got, and would then sell my credits to some other kid.

One of those kids, was a guy named Nick, who was a couple of years younger than me, who now has a kids in the same school as my son Hudson... but one year behind.

Anyhow... after the obligatory sales pitch from the advertising in the video below, you can see a news story from CBC News on Space Invaders celebrating 40 years of stolen youth and quarters.

Andrew Joseph

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