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In the Avengers (2012), Tony Stark aka Iron Man announces on control deck of S.H.I.E.L.D's flying base "That man is playing Galaga!" source.

After the scene finishes the bits and pieces related to the plot, the camera turns to this operator who sneakily changes his work station back to Galaga and starts playing again.

What is the reason there was a reference to this old arcade game and why was it included in the movie? I.e. why was Galaga referenced and not some other famous arcade game?

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I don't if there is a reason for that specific choice, but on the commentary Joss said they added the joke "after the fact" because the computer operator just looked "shifty" and Joss wanted to know what he was up to. So they added that bit. It wasn't scripted, it was decided on the day. This is a comment because it doesn't really answer the question, but seeing as it was unscripted, there probably is no "real" reason; they just picked a game. –  Meat Trademark Jan 20 at 20:13
    
If you can find that source of Joss mentioning that, add it in an answer :) –  Jared Jan 20 at 20:26
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@jared - tor.com/blogs/2012/09/… –  JohnP Jan 20 at 20:31
    
Thats interesting, sounds like the joke with Tony was a deliberate reference but only the operator scene was added post-production. Question still stands. –  Jared Jan 20 at 20:34
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You just made me spend a part of today playing Space Invaders. And yes, they have Galaga as well. –  Vedran Šego Jan 20 at 21:40

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

I don't know if there is a reason for that specific choice, but on the commentary Joss said they added the joke "after the fact" because the computer operator just looked "shifty" and Joss wanted to know what he was up to. So they added that bit. It wasn't scripted, it was decided on the day. This might not really answer the question, but seeing as it was unscripted, there probably is no "real" reason; they just picked a game.

I cannot link to the DVD/Bluray commentary (for obvious reasons) but this page reveals highlights from it. The Galaga bit is the second to last thing mentioned if you scroll down.

I suppose a case could be made that the aliens falling from the sky in the battle in New York looks similar to the ships coming down in the game. Seems like a stretch, though.

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I read, right after the movie came out, that Downey improvised the joke. I can not find a citation now. Maybe it was false info that has since been rescinded. –  Meat Trademark Jan 21 at 15:26

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