I Have Pac-Man Fever
Folks we have reached the auspicious occasion of Pac-Man’s 25th birthday. The little yellow fiend has been dazzling us for a quarter of a century now and here at the Shack we are proud to shake his hand whisper congratulations.
For a more comprehensive story you could read this or rely upon my selections to feed your famine.
“This was the first time a player took on a persona in the game. Instead of controlling inanimate objects like tanks, paddles and missile bases, players now controlled a ‘living’ creature,” says Leonard Herman, author of “Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of Videogames.” “It was something that people could identify, like a hero.”
It all began in Japan, when Toru Iwatani, a young designer at Namco, caught inspiration from a pizza that was missing a slice. Puck-Man, as it was originally called, was born. Because of obvious similarities to a certain four-letter profanity, “Puck” became “Pac” when it debuted in the U.S. in 1980.”
I love this kind of trivia.
Ok, I could go for the obvious slam at Billy, but I won’t because that could have been me. But I will say that I haven’t ever heard of Twin Galaxies, not that they care because they probably haven’t heard of me either. But there was a time in which I would have given my eyeteeth and my allowance to work in a place that let me play video games for a living.
As part of a final project for a class in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications graduate program last year, students with cell phones and Wi-Fi Internet connections mimicked the game, tracking their movements on a grid spanning several city blocks.
They called this analog re-enactment, where four people dressed as ghosts searched for Pac-Man on the streets around New York’s Washington Square Park, Pac-Manhattan.
“We never had anyone clear the entire board,” said Frank Lantz, a game designer who taught the course.”
Sounds like fun. I wonder if we couldn’t duplicate this on a national level and call it Ultimate Pac-Man live. It could be reality television at its finest.