While the floors of most modern Japanese homes are covered by hardwood, tile, or carpeting, many people still have a soft spot in their hearts for tatami. There’s something about the reed floor mats that has a soothing effect on many adults, perhaps because they remind them of the easygoing days of their childhood.
You know what else harkens back to a simpler time? Retro games, like Space Invaders. The encroaching aliens of the classic 1970s shooter are once again expanding their territory, this time moving from the stars above your head to directly below your feet with new Space Invaders tatami.
While video game publisher Taito was behind the video game original, interior design company Soejima Isao Shoten, based in Fukuoka Prefecture’s Okawa City, is responsible for these unique items. While all share the same design, the Space Invaders tatami are available in three different colors, a natural light tan, black like the monitor of the arcade unit, and red, in case having an intergalactic battle unfolding on your living room floor isn’t dramatic enough by itself.
Each features four rows of invaders, one right in the middle of exploding as it fails in its mission to conquer the Earth.
There’s also the player’s cannon, of course, which is in good shape with all four of its shields still fully intact.
While a lot of love obviously went into accurately recreating the game’s pixel art, this isn’t a pure fan project. The Space Invaders tatami are officially licensed, and each bears a tag affirming Taito’s approval.
Also, despite the quirky inspiration, though, make no mistake: These are authentically made tatami with prices to match their craftsmanship. Each 90 X 146-centimeter (34.4 X 57.5-inch) mat, which can be ordered here, sells for 21,600 yen (US $188).
But while Space Invaders was a groundbreaking game back in 1978, titles of comparative complexity today are generally enjoyed on handheld systems and smartphones. If you prefer your gaming on the go, maybe you’d like your Space Invaders interior accents to be portable too. In that case, Soejima Isao Shoten also has thinner and slightly resized Space Invaders mats measuring 95 X 150 centimeters.
Unlike the stiffer, full-blown tatami, the mat can be rolled up and carried wherever your travels through space and time take you.
They’re also a bit easier on the wallet, as they can be ordered here for 12,960 yen ($110).
▼ Or just a little more than the cost of 129 games of Space Invaders, provided you can find a surviving arcade cabinet.