Maybe it was because I had been travelling and it had been nearly two weeks since I had seen my beloved Xbox. Perhaps it was just the type of day – it had been an early Spring day that, weather-wise, owed more to late winter and carried a slight air of melancholy. But I have to say, few things have been as suprisingly fun as finding a blue Space Invader clinging to the wall of a building in central Paris. At first I was surprised. It just sat there like one of Notre Dame’s gargoyles. And then I laughed. And then I laughed lots.

My first Invader

As many of you will know, the conceptual artist known as Invader has been mounting these ‘Invasions’ in cities for years now. From L.A. to Prague, Tokyo to London (even as far afield as Bangkok, Kathmandu and Mombassa), some three dozen cities all over the world, have woken up one morning to find little tile-mosaic Space Invaders have taken up residence on prominent buildings. I was lucky enough to be in Paris (the artist’s home and the most ‘Invaded’ city of all) during an ‘Invasion’ earlier this year.

Well, I’d stumbled on my first Invader by accident, but it wasn’t long before, giggling like a chipmunk, I set out to see if there were more. At first they proved too well hidden or tricky to find (or maybe I was just walking down the wrong streets), but eventually, in the streets north of Rue de Rivoli, and east of Pompidou Centre, in the area known as Le Marais, I found what you see here.

Apologies for the quality of the photographs. I am to taking pictures, what the Captain of the Titanic was to steering, but I did my best.

Hiding in a dark corner

I gotta say, I really enjoyed myself. The notion of a game becoming part of the real world, and the sense of play that comes with it, just tickled me. It made for a real high-point on my trip. And trying to explain to passersby, in my mostly-forgotten French, what I was doing taking photographs of the corners of buildings while grinning, will go down in history as a fine example of French farce.

This one seems to be shy

It seems to me, that work like this is a sign of things to come. As our pastime becomes ever larger and more popular, its influence on society at large becomes more apparent. From game-to-movie conversions, to adverts assuring us that Mario has been “part of the family” for 25 years, gaming has never been more acceptable, or so widespread. And I suspect Invader‘s work breaks new ground where more will follow.

To see much more of Invader’s work (including photographs taken by someone who knows how to use a camera), check out their website at







2 responses to “Invasion!”

  1. Joanne avatar

    Haha love it.

  2. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I’ve never spotted a Space Invader on a building but I’m sure I would smile as well. Seeing those familiar characters not limited to a screen or magazine. Cool.

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