As most celebrities can attest, it’s difficult to maintain one’s popularity for a single year, let alone for more than three decades. (Take it from us, we know a thingor two about longevity.) That’s why Pac-Man’s staying power—especially in the fickle world of video games—merits special recognition.
Released on May 22, 1980 by Japanese video game developer Namco, Pac-Man quickly scarfed his way to international stardom. More than threedecades and several billion quarters later, the globular yellow gobbler shows no signs of slowing down. Perhaps it’s his diet of fruit, power pills, and the occasional ghost.
Consider these facts culled from the official Pac-Man web site:
- The first perfect score of 3,333,360 points was achieved on July 3, 1999 by Billy Mitchell of Hollywood Florida who successfully chomped his way through 256 screens without losing a single life.
- To commemorate Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary in 2010, Google famously transformed its home page into a Google Doodle of the arcade game. Though not a single quarter was spent, its estimated the game cost employers lost nearly 5 million manhours from distracted workers.
- Pac-Man inspired students at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications graduate program to create a real life version of the game played on New York City’s streets—Pac-Manhattan.
Today, players can indulge their appetite for pac-dots anywhere via a free app (first level only) for the iPhone/iPad. For the video game purists, we offer The 30th Anniversary Authentic Pac-Man Arcade Game, a full-size console that plays just like the original.
Wocka wocka wocka indeed.