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A mosaic by street artist Invader, one of 1,200 of his arcade-game inspired mosaics that can be found across Paris.

A mosaic by street artist Invader, one of 1,200 of his arcade-game inspired mosaics that can be found across Paris.

Source: Invader

CityLab
Culture

Discovering a New City, One Space Invader at a Time

Armed with a low-tech app, travelers and locals scour backstreets to spot video-game inspired street art

Most people at the top of the Eiffel Tower take photos of the view, but Laura Fromm has her back to the City of Lights. She’s zooming in on something affixed to the landmark’s wall, a colorful 10-inch mosaic.

It’s a tiled art piece, modeled after the pixelated space characters in the 1978 video game Space Invaders — one of thousands of similar mosaics affixed to buildings, sidewalks and underpasses in cities across France and Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, and, most recently, Bolivia. Fromm has spotted similar “invaders” in Paris, Marseille, Avignon and Brussels — 1,675 of them and counting. She knows her tally because she’s downloaded an app that lets her and other sleuths tally up points for each mosaic they find.