History of Pac-Man
When we play a video game that is “fun” we think of a game that we will easily enjoy and will have a strong interaction with. The iconic game of Pac-Man has been played for multiple generations. Pac-Man started in Japan by a major gaming company named Namco. Which started out as an arcade machine, is now a cultural iconic video game that can be easily accessed around the world; either on our phone and even our computers. Pac-Man was designed by a Toru Iwatani (Wikipedia). No in my mind, did he create this video game for a soul purpose of having fun? Or was it to change the standard of gaming in the aspect of difficulty that was common in the 1980’s?
Childhood Flashbacks? The Difference of Play Video Games as A Kid vs. as An Adult.
Playing Pac-Man for this assignment brought back many childhood memories of me playing the actual arcade game in a laundry mat back in LA. I always dreaded being forced to go with my family to do laundry, so Pac-Man helped ease the time and it was fun for me as a kid. But now, my way of playing had a more competitive purpose, classifying the game as Agon (Caillois). It wasn’t really fun playing Pac-Man because I already knew the sole intention of the game. Therefore, I felt like there wasn’t anything new that the game can offer me. Comparing it to a game that I always have fun playing like Madden, there are many thing possible events that can occur with a single game due to the variety of plays that are in it. But as for Pac-Man, constantly just trying to eat yellow dots while “ghost” chase you gets a bit old and boring.
What makes a video game fun?
The main reason why I felt that I didn’t have fun playing Pac-Man this past week was due to the lack of challenges. Even though some of the online programs have created thousands of different maps to play with, the sole objective of the game was still the same. I knew that I was getting bored when I decided to just listen to music while playing as if I was just playing to play, which practically defeats the purpose of playing.Though the quality of the game still stands as one of the most remarkable games of its time (one of the main reasons why it is upheld in the Museum of Modern Art) the fact that I have been playing many of other games that have more to offer and are aesthetically designed to please my needs of an in-depth gaming experience, Pac-Man just simply couldn’t give that to me anymore. If anything, I was just getting mad whenever I got caught by a ghost when I was close to finishing up the stage. Lucky this was on a computer, cause if I were to play it on an arcade machine, requiring me to pay then I would have been even more furious whenever I lost.
Overall, Pac-Man is still a significant game for what it has established. Although, with the type of games that exist in this era, Pac-Man is no longer within my standard of what is fun.
- Zimmerman, Eric, Roger Caillois, and Katie Salen. “The Definition of Play and The Classification of Games.” The Game Design Reader A Rules of Play Anthology, 2006,