It's funny the things that become cultural landmarks - Pac Man turns 35 today.
I still remember "discovering" the game at a dumpy diner near Newburgh, N.Y. a millennium ago. It was an absurdly effective if entertaining way to waste time.
More recently, I had the privilege of working with Namco-Bandai (currently Bandai Namco), Pac Man's parent. That work often took me to their Santa Clara studios, where between sessions on Ace Combat we discovered a vintage Pac Man game tucked into a corner of the building. The machine became almost a member of the team; I wouldn't be surprised if it's included in the credits.
To this day, I have nightmares about being chased by angry blobs of eyeball-blinking mush men.
At least I think that's because of the game; it could be an old landlord my subconscious is fixated on.
Pac-Man, the biggest arcade game of all time, turns 35 today. Here’s a look back at the era when Pac-Manfever ruled the world.
Released by the Japanese company Namco on May 22, 1980, Pac-Man was like nothing else at the time. At a time when Space Invaders and Asteroids and other games with abstracted, monochrome graphics ruled the arcade, Pac-Man offered a colorful cartoonish design with an appealing central character. It revolved around eating, not shooting; and it was designed to appeal to young women and couples, not dudes in sketchy bowling-alley bars (although they all played it too).Rest of the story here.
(Search Pac Man on Google for a playable version of the game.)