30 Years of Ghost Gobbling

Happy Birthday Pac-Man. I'd offer you cake but I'm pretty sure you'd prefer one of those sweet, delicious, white pellets.

It is pretty wild to imagine that such a simple game and concept is probably the most iconic video game character, which almost anyone in North America would know (and I'm sure a decent amount of folks from of other parts of the world too). The game was initially released exactly 30 years ago (May 22, 1980) by a Japanese company called Namco Bandai. An interesting fact is the game was originally entitled 'Puck-Man' due to his shape being similar to that of a hockey puck (plus everyone knows a hockey puck is yellow). But apparently, North Americans don't like the idea of a hockey puck that consumes pellets and ghosts, thus the name was very unpopular. This lead to a name that essentially has no meaning, Pac-Man.

Even by early 80s standards, Pac-Man had to be considered a fairly simple game (well, not if you compared it with Pong), yet it was one of the biggest hits of its time. It was such a huge hit that at 30 years, everyone knows what I am talking about when mentioning Pac-Man. Pac-Man's heyday was during a time in my life that I thought using the potty was a massive success, so I didn't find myself popping too many quarters into a machine. By the time I did find myself heading out to the arcades, there was flashier and prettier games to catch my attention, but I definitely knew who Pac-Man was(and I'm sure even spent a quarter or two on him). Of course, Pac-Man wasn't single his entire life and pretty soon after his inception was blessed with his lovely bride, Ms. Pac-Man. Of course, this game wasn't much more than Pac-Man with a bow, but this game was still a huge hit among the arcade crowd.

By the time video games started to shift from arcades and move into the home system market, Pac-Man wasn't the same massive hit. He had been replaced by someone by the name of Super Mario. Even though he may not have been the king any longer, I do know that different versions of Pac-Man have continually been made for probably every single video game system. At this very moment, I am sure somebody is playing our chompy, yellow friend.

But what do I remember the most about Pac-Man during my childhood? Probably this.