Life is a video game. No matter how good you get, you are always zapped in the end. True, is it not? Maybe. But when you happen to ask Mr. Billy Mitchell, he might not quite agree. Why? In 1999, his name earned a spot in contemporary human history. He was dubbed as the man who has completed the First Perfect PacMan Game, setting an all-time high score of 3,333,360 points. He managed to reach and conquer 256 boards or mazes for six hours without losing a single PacMan life! He could have continued on but the game was literally over since PacMan game creators never actually developed the 257th board. The popularity Mr. Mitchell gained might have been buzz-worthy news back then but a bigger fact is actually anchored by it. And no, it’s not his skills of playing arcade games. Here’s that fact: the PacMan series have claimed a brand for itself over its 20-year existence. Who would have ever thought that a simple game with fairly simple gameplay would later on become one of the most famous and most played arcade games ever?
On May 22nd, 1980 the original edition of the PacMan game debuted in the arcade gaming scene of Japan and was released by Namco, which is at present is Namco Bandai. The inspiration for the creation of PacMan was a slice of a pizza! Tohru Iwatani, the game designer of Namco, went out for pizza and the rest, as they would say, is history.
This is the basic PacMan gameplay: A player directs PacMan in a certain maze with the goal of eating all of the dots along the maze and moving on to the next level. However, inside the maze roams four ghosts which PacMan should avoid contact with. PacMan loses a life whenever a ghost touches him. And once all lives are lost, the game is over.
It was reported that Namco has gained over $100,000,000 for its PacMan game revenues. PacMan brand had been licensed to over 250 companies to create over an assortment of 400 products like breakfast cereals, toys, furnishings, and even a car, PacMan Hot Rod. The brand was also able to extend to other forms of media such as television such as ABC’s cartoon called The PacMan show. And believe it or not, there is one long-playing record about it and is entitled PacMan Fever. On this note, it is apparent to believe that the main character of the PacMan game has become an icon in its own right.
On its 20th anniversary in early 2000, Namco breathed new life to its original PacMan game series through the PacMan World that features the classic PacMan game jest infused with the modern quest-like gameplay of video games. In lieu of the 30th anniversary, Namco Bandai is bound to release a new edition PacMan game. However there isn’t much in the way of its details about it yet but one can anticipate nothing but pure fun and entertainment from the big, perky-yellow, munching ball that is PacMan game.