Today in History(1980): Namco Releases Pac-Man Arcade Game

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Here’s a piece of history for all video game aficionados out there!

Photo by carlota_nonnumquam

There are tons of video games nowadays. From the online RPGs (role-playing games) hardcore gamers spend hours and hours on and those controller and motion-enabled games played on game consoles, down to the nifty apps we now have on our mobile devices.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s though, you didn’t go online to have the ultimate gaming experience. If you were lucky, your parents would’ve gotten you your own console and of course you used your bragging rights to invite your friends to come over and play. If you didn’t want to play while mom’s watching though, you’d go to the video arcade.

Yes, the arcade was the place to be and playing arcade games was an ‘it’ thing to do during those days. And it was on this same day 33 years ago that Japanese video game developer Namco Ltd. first released one of the most successful—-and well-loved—- video games of all time—-Pac-Man!

Photo via flyers-arcade-museum

The game was created by Toru Iwatani for Namco. Following its Japanese release on May 22, 1980, the arcade game made it to American shores on October of the same year.

The Pac-Man character was originally called Puck-Man, named after Paku, a Japanese folklore character with a humongous appetite. Namco decided to change the character’s name to Pac-Man in time for the game’s release in the United States, fearing that someone would come up with the brilliant idea of replacing the P in Puck with an F.

Photo via citygrifting

Unlike its later adaptations, the first Pac-Man game was very simple. Basically, all Pac-Man had to do was to gobble up all the pac-dots or pellets, and avoid his enemies, four multi-colored ghosts known as Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. Barely any violence, really, just pure unadulterated old school fun. If you were really good you could reach level 256, but as far as everyone knows, nobody has gone beyond that level.

Photo via giantbomb

Pac-Man has transcended his arcade game character status into one of iconic superstardom. He has since appeared in t-shirts, lunch boxes, sneakers, and other forms of merchandise and memorabilia. He even had his own TV show. The game has evolved over the years, and can now be played online or on a different gaming platform.

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Stunning Snaps of California Arcades from the 80's

written by jillytanrad on 2013-05-22 in #lifestyle

One Comment

  1. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I played that for hours in the 80's. Crazy

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