Tokyo.- 40 years ago, Pac-Man, the most famous of arcade games, was born in Tokyo, in which a round yellow character is immersed in a persecutory race with colored ghosts inside a maze.

The objective of the game is very simple: make the gluttonous Pac-Man gobble up all the balls on the board and as many fruits as he can, to scratch a few extra points, dodging the ghosts, who are faster in each level.

Players love nothing more than to chase and eat the ghosts, something they can only do for a few seconds, right after Pac-Man swallows one of the magic pills in the recesses of the maze.

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Initially, the game was called “Puck-Man”, after a pun on “paku”, which means “gobble” in Japanese. But they changed the name to “Pac-Man” when it was released in the United States, for fear that the players, as a joke, would change the initial “P” to an “F”.

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The game’s creator, Toru Iwatani, came up with the character’s shape as he grabbed a slice of pizza and realized that without it, the rest of the plate looked like a head with a large open mouth.

Pac-Man / Photo: Internet

At first, Pac-Man was intended for women and couples, a different audience than usual, generally male and lover of video games to kill Martians, such as Space Invaders, which at that time caused a furore in Japan, explained Iwatani in a interview with Wired magazine published in 2010.

Thus, the first machine of the game was installed in a cinema in the affluent neighborhood of Shibuya, in Tokyo, instead of in an arcade room with violent games. Success was immediate, according to Iwatani.

Popeye, another source of inspiration

As for his idea that Pac-Man could go from hunted to hunter, it came from the American comic book character Popeye, the sailor who multiplies his forces every time he eats a can of spinach.

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Pac-Man is the brainchild of Japanese video game publisher Namco, which merged with rival Bandai in 2005 and can be found on any video game media – consoles, computers, and smartphones.

It was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most popular arcade game of all time.

The game has become a very lucrative brand for its publishers, with numerous variations such as “Ms Pac-Man”, “Pac-Panic” (or Pac-Attack), “Pac-in-Time” or “Pac ‘n Roll “

Bandai Namco states that the Pac-Man brand is “one of the best known in the world”, with a notoriety rate of 90%.

In 2010, on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, Google offered Internet users unlimited Pac-Man games on its home page, instead of the usual logo of its search engine.

Pac-Man in Google / Photo: Internet

It was the first Google “doodle” that you could play with. Later, the geolocation page Google Maps also transformed its maps into a giant Pac-Man game.

According to Wired magazine, the highest possible score that can be achieved in the game is 3,333,360 points, at the end of the 256th level, the last one.

That is, if Pac-Man was not devoured even once by the ghosts and if he ate all the little balls, fruits and ghosts possible.

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