The Game Continues: Searching for Space Invaders in Amsterdam

Since 1998, the French urban artist, Invader, started his mission of liberating art from the boundaries that museums and institutions set. The artist brings one of the most beloved games from the 80’s back to life and intends to transcend the game screen and release Space Invaders into the real world. His series of ceramic tiles have already “invaded” over 30 countries, with over 3,600 pieces spread in more than 70 cities, in which Amsterdam figures as one of the “victims.”

Invader operates alone and has also inspired others to start similar projects, Space Invaders turning into an artistic movement. Raluca Dumitrache/ Staff Photographer

On his website, Invader explains his artistic process and how the game works. He focuses on populated urban areas and decorates each city with 20 to 50 tiles, distributed in one or more “invasion waves”, depending on how many times the artist visits the city.

Invader invading

Invader believes that the pixel characters are in strong correlation with the today’s world which is surrounded by technological developments. Thus, their names hold both a metaphoric and literal meaning, since they are actually invading spaces.

Invader works incognito, largely at night and masked, as urban art street is considered illegal. In search for artistic decontextualization, Invader hopes to “not only leave a print on the streets but also on the minds” (Invader-About, 2018).

Make it work

Invader gives each piece a score between 10 and 100, every city having their own score that can be seen on the Space Invaders map. Amsterdam has had one invasion wave in the summer of 1999, with 26 invaders and a score of 370 points. The FlashInvaders app can help you calculate your score and compare it with others internationally.


FlashInvader App shows you the name and points for each piece. For example, piece 18 can be found on the intersection of Prinsengracht with Spiegelgracht. Raluca Dumitrache/ Staff Photographer


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Post Author: Raluca Dumitrache

  • Photo Editor (Fall 2018)
  • Photographer (Spring 2018)