Is Pac-Man Still Fun When You’re Older

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 comppac_flyerany 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 ppacman_loop_by_pxlflx-d9cczgwlaying 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 playswpddyrxet-8ing 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.

Source Cited:

  • 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,



4 thoughts on “Is Pac-Man Still Fun When You’re Older

  1. What an incredible blog. Starting with the history and then comparing the Pacman experience from childhood to adulthood was a great touch. I wish i thought of that.


  2. Touching on having fun playing as a child was a nice touch, but you then dropped it. Why? It would have been really interesting to see your take on why it was fun as a child but not as an adult, not simply that the fun went away to places like Madden. Why? You hint at full aesthetic design and in-depth experiences, but you don’t really tell me what these are. Dropping your history section would have allowed you to get to the important bits faster and allowed you to spend more time on them. You end with the statement that you have “standard[s] of what is fun.” What are these standards? And having standards seems to be very different from Koster’s argument where things will be fun (basically all things) until they aren’t.


  3. Really good use of visuals, and how they were not all just lined up. I really enjoyed the point where you said you had fun playing it as a child because I also had the same experience of playing it. I liked how you classified the game as Agon. Overall a really informative blog and well structured.


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