Hunting down Space Invader pieces can be one of the best ways to explore a city, especially one that’s has been invaded multiple times such as New York City, Paris, and Tokyo. With street works often getting stolen or demolished a larger invasion means more of a likelihood of survival. A few weeks ago, 1xRUN Contributing Writer and Photographer Daniel Weintraub aka Halopigg was lucky enough to travel to Tokyo to explore the various neighborhoods and found over 50 Space Invaders from the nearly 150 that have been placed in the city since the first invasion many years ago. Check out tons of photos from Halopigg’s recent trip through Japan to see dozens of works still going strong from Space Invader…
Armed with a map and some Jordan 6’s I set out on a quest that began with a two day walkathon that ended up totaling 40 miles walked, and about 25 Invaders found. I was quickly jumping up the leader board on Flash Invaders, the Space Invaders interactive video game that uses GPS and your phone’s camera to record points collected by “flashing” invaders.
After the first two days I was exhausted and luckily for me I was able to find a local Invader enthusiast who then drove me around to pretty much all of the remaining mosaics around Tokyo. This was until I got flagged as a cheater on the Flash Invader game, I wasn’t cheating, well, technically maybe I was cheating. Sometimes a piece can be impossible to photograph but you’re still standing in the correct location, and sometimes a piece can be there but painted over. One night when I was out in the rain/darkness I attempted to flash and tile piece but it didn’t work. At that point I took a picture of a picture while still standing in view of the actual piece, in my head I did the legwork and wasn’t cheating. Turns out I was cheating and that ended my sick run of Invader Hunting in Tokyo. My final count was 46 flashed for a total of 1200 points, though I found a few more that didn’t count in the game.
All in all it was a great experience and a great way to see many different parts of a vast, sprawling city. Many different cities have been invaded in the past and there are many different maps out there to help with hunting. Some of Space Invaders original maps exist in digital form but many of them are confusing and cryptic by nature. My suggestion is to find a local enthusiast by searching hashtags and location tags on Instagram, happy hunting!
Photos and words by 1xRUN Contributing Writer & Photographer Daniel Weintraub – follow him on Instagram @halopigg
Note: Images in the top collage include screenshots taken from the Flash Invaders application. Check that out in the application stores on your phone by searching Flash Invaders.