Pac-Man, one of the most popular arcade games in the world celebrates its 30th anniversary this week. The classic game, developed by Namco, was first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. Since its creation, Pac-Man, which features a rotund figure following a trail through a maze, has become an icon of the 1980s pop culture and one of the most successful games ever created.
Pac-man has inspired hundreds of imitations ranging from a cartoon series, merchandise, card games, a top-ten hit single (Pac-Man Fever by Buckner and Garcia) and sequels such as Pac-Man championship edition, Pac-Man vs., Bally Midway spin-offs and Ms. Pac-Man. Part of the game’s success story has been attributed to its simple appeal to a wider audience which includes, children, adults, male or female, and its relative ease-of-use. Pac-Man’s status as one of the most famous video games in history is further buttressed by the revelation that it is recognised by about 94% of American gamers unlike the more dominant shooting and space war games of 80s.
Furthermore, Google has joined millions of Pac-Man lovers all over the world to celebrate its 30th anniversary by changing its homepage logo (over the weekend) to a complete playable version of the game (See picture below), reaching up to 256 levels, thus making the Pac-Man game the first fully interactive Google logo. However, there are now reports that due to Google’s gesture, some offices have now blocked access to the Google Website to prevent their staff from being lured away by Pac-Man.
Do you have any Pac-Man memories? Why do you think it became so popular and can you think of any game that will have a similar long-lasting effect in future?