Pac-Man celebrates its 35th birthday today

By Germaine Benson  |  May 22, 2015 at 2:49 PM
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CHICAGO, May 22 (UPI) -- The classic video game Pac-Man was introduced to the world 35 years ago.

In 1980, Japanese company Namco released the arcade game that made the yellow character so popular. In celebration of the milestone, the company released an updated IOS app version of the game that includes an improved interface with new features.

Toru Iwatani, who created the game, told Time what inspired the Pac-Man character.

"While thinking about the word 'eat' when taking a piece of pizza, I saw that the rest of pizza looked like a character," he said. "I realized that although keywords such as 'fashion' and 'love' would appeal more to women, my opinion is that the word 'eat' is universally appealing and would attract their attention as well. That's why I went with this idea."

This idea became a popular sensation and influenced a number of different things including, an animated series, a song and even the first interactive Google doodle that is still available to play today.

Iwatani compared his creation to a popular band from Liverpool who caused quite the stir in pop culture.

"It might be a bit of a stretch to use a Beatles comparison, but if the song "Yesterday" is looked at as THE standard musical number for music, then I think Pac-Man is THE standard for games. Thus, Pac-Man will be loved forever, and I'm proud of that," he said.

This summer, Pac-Man is coming to the big screen in the new movie Pixels. In the film, starring Adam Sandler, Petter Dinklage, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan and Josh Gad, video games try to take over the world including a colossal, hungry, yellow orb.

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