Design lessons from Space Invaders

A case study in how constraints can spur creativity

Clive Thompson

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A Space Invaders cabinet, showing two hands touching the controls

I remember the first time I saw Space Invaders.

It was 1978, and my friend and I cycled over to a local mall, where it sat moodily aglow in the back of the dank arcade.

We craned our necks over the crowd of teens gathered around. It was spellbinding. I’d played a lot…

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Clive Thompson

I write 2X a week on tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer at NYT mag/Wired; author, “Coders”. @clive@saturation.social clive@clivethompson.net