Happy 30th Birthday Pacman

22 05 2010

It’s hard to believe (for me at least), but it has been 30 years since Pacman was released.

30 years…

Oh my god… I am officially old.

Ah, but I digress!

30 years ago today videogames officially became part of the main stream. PACMAN SmallA videogame starring a yellow circle character inspired by a pizza (true story, read about it here, that ran around a maze eating dots while being chased by ghosts exploded onto the scene. Pacman went from being just a videogame to being a huge media icon. If there was a way to market Pacman, then it was done. There was everything from Pacman cartoons on the television to a one hit wonder song playing on the radio (Pacman Fever by Buckner & Garcia).

Pacman’s goal was to navigate a maze eating all the dots while avoiding the ghosts. 

Each maze had four power pellets in each of the corners. When Pacman ate one of these power pellets the ghosts would for a short period of time turn blue and Pacman would be able to eat them, sending what appears to be their eyes back to their house (a square in the center of the maze). The more you played the faster the ghosts would get and the shorted the period when they were vulnerable after eating a power pellet.  Occasionally pieces of fruit would appear that Pacman could eat for bonus points.

Pacman spawned many sequels and clones, most of which paled when compared to the original with perhaps the exception of Ms Pacman started as an unauthorized modification of the original Pacman motherboard. Apparently a convoluted lawsuit took place between Namco and  General Computer Corporation (creators of the Ms Pacman modification). The suit was eventually dropped and they were in fact hired by Namco to make games for Atari.

Once again, I digress!

Pacman was (and is) a great game that changed the very face of pop culture forever.

Happy 30th birthday, Pacman.

Here are some cool (in my opinion at least) Pacman related links

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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