The original Space Invaders evokes a militaristic and defensive environment. Mobilizing a tank that shifts around what appears to be defensive masses while shooting lasers at the invaders centers the player in a narrative of alien invasion. As a game mechanic the sound effects in game desensitize the player to actuality of the gravity of the situation. In keeping to a futuristic sci-fi element, laser like sound effects keep the player at distance to thinking of this game as metaphor to the colonialist process.
LaPensée’s Invaders is a reinterpretation of the original, but through the perspective of an indigenous tribe. While the sound effects and visuals of the aliens are almost identical to Space Invaders, their affect is tremendously different. By centering the player in the representation of a Native American protecting their tribe from a foreign force, the effects of the original game reinforce a sense of “the other” or “mystical” unknown force that is traditionally placed on Native American representations of being savage and generally inhumane.
Rarely are players offered an experience through the perspective of the colonized, at least in a literal way. The stakes feel higher in Invaders as the player’s progression only results in being forced to witness your fellow tribe being destroyed every wave by the onslaught of attacks from futuristic weapons. Even if you survive, your measly arrows cannot measure the destruction of the Invaders. LaPensée utilizes this game as an example of the power games have to shift the cultural perspective of history by taking something familiar and re-platforming it in a way that can teach players on a piece of colonial history. Digitally interpreting this aspect of Native history, can empower and educate current generations of colonized groups in understanding their history in an effort to counter the continuous fight against colonialism.