The trailer for the new Adam Sandler comedy Pixels may have just dropped last week, but we're already seeing video games come to life — and not just in the movies either.
Martin Raynsford, the co-founder of online laser cutter retailer Just Add Sharks, took the classic 1978 arcade game Space Invaders and brought it into the real world with some real-live lasers. Yes, it is as cool as it sounds.
After about four months of conceptualizing the project, Raynsford was finally able to make a live-action version of Space Invaders a reality, just in time for Arduino Day on March 28, which is appropriate since the game is controlled by the Arduino computing platform. In his version, players watch the Space Invaders move left and right through a webcam, as they try to zap the little extraterrestrials, which are made out of paper, with a laser cutter controlled by a laptop keyboard.
Once you see the damage that this laser cutter can do, you'll understand why having players be a bit removed from the action was probably a good idea for this game. Instead of just disappearing in a little spark like in the arcade game, the Space Invaders slowly burn to a crisp after the laser cutter blasts them in this live-action version. It's pretty epic and scary at the same time, and it's definitely something you don't want to try at home.
The only bad part about this real-live version of Space Invaders is that the enemies don't retaliate like in the original version of the game, as Popular Science also mentions. Sure, it makes the game easier to play, but less of a challenge means the game is probably less enjoyable too. However, there's a good reason why the aliens don't shoot back at the player. Raynsford considered placing a rotating mirror behind the Space Invaders, "but I decided I like my eyes a bit too much," Raynsford wrote in his Just Add Sharks blog post detailing the project. OK, I guess I can forgive him for this omission.
Check out Raynsford's live-action version of Space Invaders below.