Monday, April 7, 2008
Now it All Makes Sense
The creator of the original Pac-Man, Toru Iwatani claims his inspiration for the iconic game was none other than his love for snacking. The name "Pac-Man" derives from the Japanese phrase paku-paku-taberu, which means "to munch."
Newtonian physics dictates that where there is munching, there is crunching. If you click on the image above, you will see that the power pellets in the original Pac Man arcade cabinet were actually tiny little boxes of Crunch n Munch - you just have to look closely. Licensing issues with Con Agra foods prevented the boxes of delicious snack food from making it into the final release, but the initial Japanese version featured the product prominently. No one, unfortunately, considered the impact of all this junk food on little Pac Man's health.
Trapped inside the maze and unable to resist the temptations of toffee-caramel popcorn and peanut covered goodness, Pac Man and his equally rotund wife Pepper (what, you never saw the cartoon?) are destined to roam the halls of Pac-Town collecting munchies for all eternity. Unless, of course Pac Man gets diabetes from his constant 98.3% blood sugar level and has to undergo kidney replacement sugery. I've seen a lot of fruits, vegetables, bells, and keys in the Pac-Maze, but I never saw any Pac-Kidneys, so for Pac Man's sake here's hoping he goes vegan or moves to Memphis. Otherwise its gonna be an ugly scene with Pac Man performing surgery on Ms Pac Man using a key as a scalpal, harvesting her organs like some sort of demented character out of Bioshock. Focus-testing revelaed that such a horrific scene would likely scare off American arcade customers, so Iwatani made the decision to go with tiny circular power pellets, the game became a huge hit and synonymous with videogaming in general, and the rest, as they say, is history.