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What are the origins of Pac-Man?

How much do you know about the video game Pac-Man? Learn fun facts in this video.

You’ve heard of Pac-Man. Everyone has. And hooray, today is National Pac-Man Day, which yes, is a thing. But do you know the details of the little yellow guy’s origin? What are theĀ origins of Pac-Man?

The game, if you’re somehow unfamiliar, involves a little yellow spot-like character floating around a maze, consuming “dots” while being chased around by enemy ghosts. If the ghosts touch Pac-Man, the player loses a life. Pac-Man can turn the tables by consuming a bigger dot, a “power pellet” which gives him the temporary ability to eat the ghosts. Eat all the dots, and the next stage begins. And that’s pretty much it. But Namco created an empire around this game and these characters,

Unsurprisingly, Pac-Man made his debut in Japan in 1980, but he did so under the moniker of “Puckman,” which begs all sorts of questions I’m not prepared to answer.

Fortunately, Scott Pilgrim has my back.

Whether there’s any truth to that story or not, you have to admit it’s a killer ice breaker.

The game established an entire gaming genre (the “maze chase”) and introduced concepts like enemies (seriously) and cut-scene interludes (those fun sequences of Pac-Man getting into hijinks between levels). And it was ferociously popular, appealing to people worldwide who weren’t into gaming culture, spawning a hit pop song and cartoon television series.

The Wikipedia entry on Pac-Man also offers these golden nuggets:

  • All versions of the game have combined to gross an estimated $12 billion in revenue.
  • The character of Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness among American consumers of any video game character ever.

Those figures are nothing to sneeze at.

Interestingly, if you search Pac-Man on Google, you’ll still find a playable version of Google’s original Pac-Man doodle, which debuted on the Internet in May of 2010. So now that you know some more about the origins of Pac-Man, why not go grab a quick game?