Thursday, March 3, 2011

Global 2011: 5 things you never knew about Pac-Man

The 256th and final level in Pac-Man, consider...Image via Wikipedia
Having been a part of the pop-culture landscape for over 30 years now, Pac-Man is a pretty familiar character.

He has adorned cereal boxes, been the star of a Saturday morning cartoon program and appeared on virtually every gaming platform to have ever been released.

That's not just systems from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. It also includes essentially every cell phone that has a screen, long-dead portable systems and plug-and-play devices for your TV. Along the way, the little pellet-muncher has built an empire that has allowed publisher Namco-Bandai to survive the worst the economy could throw at it.

But even the most well known icons have their secrets. This week, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Toru Iwatani, creator of the game, offered a postmortem on the industry's biggest franchise-and told a few tales most fans have probably never heard.

Here are the five most surprising:

  1. The point of the game was to attract girls
  2. Each ghost had specific orders
  3. What, exactly, does Pac-Man mean?
  4. The missing puzzle piece
  5. The ghosts were almost just one color

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