Following its 1978 release in Japan, Space Invaders prompted a shortage of 100-yen coins. I learned that at a pub trivia night. Pub trivia is maybe the only thing in the world I suck at as much as team sports and lighting matches. Anyway, Space Invaders was a revolutionary video game. One whose presence lingers, and whose reverence still runs strong over 30 years later. Check out the pixelated alien couch, the deck of playing cards, this guy's bathroom, and now, Tommy Hills' Kickstarter project: a laser cut acrylic Space Invaders chess set.
The NMI Laser team used an Epilog laser to slice each of their chess set's arcade character out of fluorescent acrylic sheets, the effects of which not only make for some cool playing visuals, but also stay true to the loud neon everything that is the contemporary Japanese entertainment industry. Space Invaders sprites snap into black bases to hold them upright and glide them along their laser cut and etched chess board. Bases also have markings indicating which chess piece each 8-bit interstellar traveler represents.
Purchase Space Invaders chess sets through Kickstarter until February 28, 2013 for $65. Or, if you just want the alien pieces for use on your own board, NMI Laser will tase and turn them over for $40.
November 2013 Update: According to Kickstarter, the Space Invaders chess set has become the subject of an intellectual property dispute. Project funding was put on hold.