In one of the highest-grossing films of all time, The Avengers’ plan to save the world comes to a halt when Tony Stark calls out an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. for playing Galaga on the job. Acclaimed novelist Michael Kimball knows the compulsion: He’s set and re-set high scores on Galaga machines all across America. Galaga broke the Space Invaders mold with superior graphics, faster firing, bonus rounds, tractor beams, and advanced enemy A.I.

Since its 1981 release, Galaga has inspired numerous sequels, bootlegs, hacks, and clones–and some version of Galaga has been released for nearly every gaming platform. Kimball shares his obsession with Galaga through a discussion of its innovative gameplay, extensive cultural legacy, and how it got him through a difficult childhood–and maybe saved his life.

Galaga rejects the Buzzfeeding of the immediate past, avoiding glib ‘Remember this thing?’ obviousness and petulant ‘those were the days’ nerd-culture nonsense for a literary experiment that takes aim at a classic arcade game and explodes it into 256 poignant pieces.” – City Paper

“An extremely brave piece of work … It’s not hard to be amazed” – Cliqist

An excerpt of Galaga @ Electric Literature

“Kimball succeeds in making us care about Galaga by making us care about him. His enthusiasm is infectious. … I can guarantee you won’t be able to put it down until you clear all the stages. – Heavy Feather

“A Quarter Gave Me a New Life,” an excerpt of Galaga @ Fanzine

“A video game book that is so much deeper than anything created in pixels … you are in the hands of a master.” – Cobalt