Category Archives: project

Youtube Channel: “Games Inspired by Space Invaders”

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I have been conducting research on old Japanese arcade games for the last few years now, and I came to realize some time ago that there is not many accessible resources for footage of old arcade games from the 1970s and early 1980s. The architecture of these games, combined to the difficulties associated to keep the hardware up and running, typically make them difficult observe in person. Besides tiny pictures published in a few obscure Japanese mooks that are now out of print, it remains difficult to obtain footage of old games of the period that mostly fall in the shadow of epoch-making games like Western Gun or Space Invaders. While one can easily find original footage of a game of Space Invaders, footage of a game like Astro Fighter remains much more elusive. Both for satisfy my personal curiosity and to provide some sort of easy-to-access resource for reference purposes when teaching about arcade games from that period,  I started a little Youtube channel called “Games inspired by Space Invaders” back in 2017. I just though now about formally introducing it…

The plan for that channel is to make available footage of a corpus of games immediately released after Space Invaders in 1978 and that take design inspiration from Tomohiro Nishikado’s famous title. Historically speaking, the wild success of the game took the industry by storm at the end of the 1970s and inspired many companies to adapt some of the mechanics that made the game so exciting, or to simply copy the game entirely. In all of the games featured on the channel, one can identify specific design tropes such as the advancing invaders, the iconic shooting mechanics, and other fictional elements. Maybe the juxtaposing the games through platform that Youtube provides will help formulate a narrative of the impact that Space Invaders exerted over the arcade industry during its early years. Keeping this possibility in mind, the channel will stay updated as often as possible to reflect my latest discoveries of titles of interest.

 

 

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The Arcade and Game Center Chirashi Database Launches

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I am glad to announce that the Arcade and Game Center Chirashi Database, my first true humanities computing project, has finally launched. This project is my first contribution to the study of game centers; it is an online repository of all game center-related printed material I regularly gather as part of my research trips in Japan. The goal of this project is to make the space of game centers more “readable” and accessible for foreign researchers and fans alike. Materials on the short-lived arcade experience are not being preserved for later scholarly purposes and are therefore difficult to access, this initiative is meant to help solving this problem and democratize research on arcade game culture. I this is intended to be a long term project and I will keep updating it for as long as I accumulate documents.

The url is www.arcadechirashi-db.net.

I invite all researchers and fans to use the database if they are looking to learn more about the this specific gaming culture.