Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
September 23, 2021
arrowPress Releases
If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Creator Of  Space Invaders -Based 9/11 Art Piece Pulls Exhibit

Creator Of Space Invaders-Based 9/11 Art Piece Pulls Exhibit

August 25, 2008 | By Chris Remo

August 25, 2008 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC

The creator of Invaders!, an art game that represents the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001 by way of Taito's classic arcade game Space Invaders, has requested his piece be pulled from the GH ART exhibit held at the Games Convention in Germany.

"After three days of a steady downward spiral in public discussion of the piece, I have just given my agreement to the organizers of the Leipzig Games Convention to simply turn off the installation Invaders!" said Douglas Edric Stanley in a comment on his blog. He claims conference organizers did not encourage him to withdraw the game.

Invaders! depicts the two towers of the World Trade Center as being under neverending assault by Space Invaders' iconic alien enemies. The player is tasked with defending the buildings, but the infinitely-spawning aliens make the towers' destruction ultimately inevitable. Its "Game Over" screen calls for players to "Support Our Troops!"

Today, Square Enix-owned Taito said it is "seriously considering all available options -- including legal actions against the infringer and, if necessary, the Games Convention exhibitor involved -- in order to end this unauthorized and impermissible misuse of the Space Invaders content." A disclaimer on the exhibition's program indicated that the game was not endorsed by Taito.

Invaders! has been the subject of a torrent of criticism since its public unveiling, with the controversy exacerbated by its creator being an American expatriate in Paris, who was described as "French-American" in a Games Convention press release.

In October 2001, just a month after the attacks, Stanley detailed an early version of his game concept on his blog. "The whole event [9/11] had sort of taken over my life," he wrote. "I was equally fascinated and disgusted by the whole thing."

The GC description, which Stanley notes he approved but did not compose, describes the game and its futile gameplay as "an articulated and critical commentary about the current war strategy."

Said one poster in response to a recent blog post, "Your [sic] a sociopath Douglas Edric Stanley. I hope God will recall you soon. Better yet, recycle yourself." Another commented, "I hope you die you rotten piece of scum."

"Contrary to previous reports, I am an American," Stanley said in the same comment thread, "and it saddens me that we as a people remain so profoundly unable to process this event outside of some obscure, but tacitly understood, criteria of purely anesthetized artistic representation."

Related Jobs

Bitwise Alchemy
Bitwise Alchemy — Austin, Texas, United States

Senior Unreal Engineer
Cryptic Studios
Cryptic Studios — Los Gatos, California, United States

Lead Software Engineer
Visual Concepts
Visual Concepts — Orlando, Florida, United States

Software Engineer
AuthorDigital — Seattle, Washington, United States

Senior Game Engineer

Loading Comments

loader image