Pac man was originally created back in the 1980s when the rise of video games had begun. This extremely popular game was the foundation for many games to come after and established this sense of challenging fun. The words PAC-MAN when heard through one’s ears rushes nostalgia of when there were mediocre graphics and a few limited buttons. I can remember the first time I got my hands on a PAC-MAN console as a young child and experiencing this sense of fun as if I were immersed in the game being chased around by blue ghosts. As I played this game consistently for a few days this past week I realized how such a simple game could bring out tons of excitement and mystery because of how the game is formed. I started to see as I got better and better I became more competitive and inclined to strategically plan my route of execution. This all comes down to the fact that “fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. In other words, with games, learning is the drug” (Koster). Mastering a game as you get better increases the amount of fun one has while playing some sort of game because you do not suck so hard. Then comes from being able to comprehend how the game is laid out and objectives of what you need to do. Being able to solve this one big puzzle is what brings satisfaction to the brain thus resulting in fun. This being a puzzle that does not involve one’s work life which creates this temporary get away.
Playing the game is quite entertaining because of how you are putting yourself to the test to win. For me the fun came out of the simple gaming experience it brings. It is pretty easy to understand the game’s objectives right when you start playing it. The game’s design is very simple as well as in the layout of barriers and home base for the ghosts. The simplicity decreases the amount of frustration one might have while playing the game because of the lack of video game cognitive action. Since the game is so short I found a nice fun get away from my school work by taking quick five to ten minute breaks playing a quick round of PAC-MAN and then getting back to work after I lost. I experienced a great amount of relief after playing the game while stressing about the amount of work that I needed to do. This is because I was experiencing fun as I was deviating away from work which comes naturally to any human. I feel after playing this game for a week I understood that fun can come out of the simplest things because they provide this continuous flow of fun and happiness. One thing I did seem to realize that towards the end of the week I felt less and less inclined to play the game. This was due to the fact that I really started to master the game and that I felt less challenged which did not make it as fun anymore. Though at an overall experience I would have to say that PAC-MAN is truly a fun game that anybody looking for a quick escape will enjoy.
Koster, Raph. A Theory of Fun for Game Design. Scottsdale, AZ: Paraglyph Press, 2005.