Flash Invaders: Another Game for a World on Pause

“It’s so satisfying after I take an image and listen to the little sound,” Ms. de la Rochefordière stated.

There are over 1,000 mosaics in Paris, the place the primary pixelated alien invaded the Bastille neighborhood in 1996. The retro tiles have lengthy rewarded attentive Parisians with interludes of coloration within the in any other case muted metropolis, totally on road corners but in addition beneath bridges and on out-of-the-way curbs. When the telephone sport was launched by the artist in 2014, that once-private satisfaction turned a communal sport.

For each informal flâneur like Ms. de la Rochefordière, there’s a hunter. “I spend a lot time on Google Road View that after I arrive, I’ve the impression that I’ve already been there,” stated Stéphanie Aubert, 50, a journalist in Marseille who’s ranked 102 out of greater than 151,000 gamers.

The a number of thousand mosaics by Invader past Paris are a boon for gamers who journey typically and have a knack for journey. Completists should snorkel for underwater Invader installations in Mexico and attend reside occasions like a taping of “The Late Present With Stephen Colbert,” the place the artist left a mosaic in 2015.

The sport has introduced followers collectively — some nearer than others. Denis Gettliffe-Perez, 50, and Mélanie Perez-Gettliffe, 48, met in 2017 at a Pink Panther mosaic within the 11th Arrondissement. “We weren’t on the lookout for love and Invader provided it to us,” stated Ms. Perez-Gettliffe. (They married in December 2018.)

Throughout the pandemic, new mosaics have popped up. Invader visited Marseille in August, giving locals dozens of recent octopi and different Mediterranean-themed mosaics to gather. Ms. Aubert thought the invasion was a bit clichéd — all these sun-soaked bottles of pastis — however was impressed that the artist made it past the Vieux Port and into the working-class districts within the north.

“It was nice to see his selections in a metropolis that I do know so nicely,” she stated, noting that elsewhere, like Djerba or Hong Kong, his artworks double as her journey information. “I’m a reasonably unhealthy vacationer truly, however this provides me a function.”

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