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Space Invaders

The digital 80's

I loved games, and in my infancy I used to be an "adult playing observer", passing hours watching people inserting 25 peseta coins for additional lifespan in Gauntlet, or trying to consume all Out Run's in-game melodies and the colorful USA-wide scroll. Defender, Space Invaders, Galaxian or Donkey Kong are the first ones I remember, full of charm, in bars, mini-golf resources, or swimming pools near León, with a delicious smell to tapas.

Space Invaders (スペースインベーダー, Supēsu Inbēdā) is an arcade video game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado, and released in 1978. It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games and the aim is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. In designing the game, Nishikado drew inspiration from popular media: Breakout, The War of the Worlds, and Star Wars. To complete it, he had to design custom hardware and development tools.

It was one of the forerunners of modern video gaming and helped expand the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry (see golden age of video arcade games). When first released, Space Invaders was very successful. Following its release, the game caused a temporary shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan and grossed US$2 billion worldwide by 1982.

The game has been the inspiration for other video games, re-released on numerous platforms, and led to several sequels. The 1980 Atari 2600 version quadrupled the system's sales and became the first "killer app" for video game consoles. Space Invaders has been referenced and parodied in multiple television shows, and been a part of several video game and cultural exhibitions. The pixelated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon, often used as a synecdoche representing video games as a whole.

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Ignacio Javier Gómez Rodríguez (igjav). OS developer. Naive power.