Thanks to a Man and His Pizza.
Toru Iwatani is a game developer, who like many of us, likes a pizza now and again. But unlike quite so many of us, his pizza-eating inspired a video game! A video game that is now one considered one of the all-time greats, no less!
Working for Namco, Toru developed a game called Pakkuman, which involved a round character going around a simple course eating cookies to gain points (I’d like to do an IRL version of this game, with Oreos). Oh, and the character was chased around by ghosts at the same time (this bit I can do without for the IRL version). The game did not stay Pakkuman for long, it was soon changed to Puck-Man. But it did not stay Puck-Man for long either, the story I have always heard is because ‘puck’ sounded like a certain swear word. Obviously, I have no idea what they are talking about, but I am sure you can do your research if you so desire. Anyway, the game eventually became Pac-Man as we know and love it today.
Now the arcade game was released in Japan on May 22nd, hence why Pac-Man is exactly 40 today. Of course, it reached other countries, becoming a massive hit there too, just like in Japan, a little while later.
Happy Birthday Pac-Man and a personal thank you from me to all those who have worked on the many games, including of course M.r Iwatani, for inventing the whole concept! Cheers for the many years of great home and arcade entertainment. Here is to another 40!