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Pac-Man was a video game created in 1980 by Japanese game designer Toru Iwatani. In the game, the player weaves through a maze of dots while being chased by four ghosts: Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde. Each dot is worth ten points. On the four corners of the board, the player can eat a “power pellet” which temporarily makes the ghosts edible and a flashing blue color. Eating a single ghost results in 200 points, eating two ghosts results in 400 points, three ghosts nets 800 points, and the fourth ghosts gives the player 1600 points. During each round, a different fruit floats through the screen resulting in additional points for the player if he or she can eat them. These fruits range from worth 100 points to up to 5,000 points depending on the round.


The player has three “lives.” Life is lost if the player is caught by a ghost. If a player earns 10,000 points, however, he or she earns a bonus life. The player moves on to the next round by eating all of the dots on the board. Each round is progressively harder as the ghosts move faster and more aggressively. There are said to be 256 total rounds, although few have ever gotten that far. The 256th round is said to be flawed and causes the game to badly malfunction.


Pac-Man was released to the public in 1980 and quickly became a worldwide sensation. It was a departure of the typical games of the time which mostly involved shooting things like aliens. It was one of the first video games that propelled significant sales of merchandise and toys and is credited with helping to usher in the Golden Age of Video Arcade Games. Not only did Pac-Man become the subject of a popular cartoon, but its derivatives, such as Ms. Pac Man, became immensely popular video games as well. It is estimated that Pac Man itself is the second highest selling video game of all time, with over 2.5 billion dollars in sales (close to eight billion dollars in sales adjusted for inflation today).