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A game of Pac-Man

Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco in 1980. It is an immensely popular game, since its release to the present day, and has been released for many video game consoles after its arcade release. Since most of the arcade games in the day were space-shooters, Namco decided to release Pac-Man to appeal to more gamers and succeeded. Pac-Man is a smash hit, and the character Pac-Man is the most recognized video game character.

The gameplay of Pac-Man involves the player controlling the main character Pac-Man through a maze eating Pac-dots while avoiding four ghosts. If Pac-Man comes into contact with one of the ghosts, he dies and the player loses one of his or her three lives. Pac-Man can eat the ghosts for a limited amount of time after eating a power-pellet. The object is to obtain the highest score possible going through each of the mazes until a player loses all lives.

History and Development[edit]

Pac-Man was created by Namco employee Tōru Iwatani over the course of a year. The idea of the character Pac-Man was said to have come from Iwatani's eating of a pizza with one missing slice. However, Iwatani admitted this was a half-truth and said Pac-Man came from a simplifing and rounding of the Japanese character kuchi. Pac-Man was created to appeal to a video game audience other than young boys and teenagers, which most previous arcade games did. The game is based on the idea of eating. In Japan, the game was released as Pakkuman, translated as Puck-Man. In America, the game was retitled Pac-Man to avoid bouts of vandalism on arcade machines.


Pac-Man was very well received in the arcade and has spawned many console ports and sequels. It is one of the very few games to be constantly republished over two decades. Many sequels were published, some not by Namco. The first significant sequel was Ms. Pac-Man, also called Crazy Otto. It was created by General Computer Corporation and published by Midway. It was not an official sequel until Midway made a deal with Namco to officially recognize Ms. Pac-Man as a sequel. Midway also published many other unofficial Pac-Man sequels including Pac-Man Plus, Jr. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man and Professor Pac-Man. Pac-Man has also spawned several platform games including the Pac-Man World series.