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In the second half of the 20th century, computer games exploded onto the scene, creating an entire new industry and mode of entertainment. For the first time, those being entertained by screen entertainment could interact with it as opposed to just watching and listening. While thousands of games have been invented since then, a select few have changed the industry. One of those games is Space Invaders, which paved the way for modern shooter games. This 1 oz. Silver 2018 Space Invaders coin marks the 40th anniversary of the game's initial release. Produced by the New Zealand Mint, this coin has a limited mintage of just 3,000 pieces, each one of which comes in a box that replicates the arcade cabinet in which the game first appeared. The cabinet bears a monster design, just like the original, which was created by a designer using the original title of the game, Space Monsters. This coin was officially licensed by Taito Corporation and is a perfect piece for any gaming fan.
In June 1978, Space Invaders burst onto the scene, changing the gaming world forever. Designer Tomohiro Nishikado handled both the graphic design and programming, taking more than a year to complete a process that included developing his own custom hardware and software. The hardware that he created did not have the power to display colorized graphics, so creative solutions were used. The game was originally released as a cocktail cabinet in which rainbow-colored cellophane overlays simulated color graphics. Since its humble beginnings, Space Invaders has been recreated on multiple platforms and been the basis for several sequels. It also paved the way for shooting games, which have become among the most popular genre in the entire industry.
The obverse design will be familiar to experienced collectors. It features Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a tiara, which has appeared on Niue's coins for years. The right-side effigy is encircled by rim inscriptions, which include the monarch's name, "ELIZABETH II," and the face value of the coin, "TWO DOLLARS."
When it comes to uniqueness, the reverse design does not disappoint. The use of lenticular printing technology enables the colorized aliens on the reverse to move as the holder holds the coin at different angles. The invading aliens from the game are beautifully recreated in green and blue and move just like they do in the game itself. "SPACE INVADERS" is inscribed at the top in the same font that appeared on the original cabinets, while Taito's copyright and the weight and face value of the coin are at the bottom in a font that mimics that which was used in old computer games.