Pacman is a game!

Image result for Pacman

Heres a link to play: http://www.playpacmanonline.net/

Hello everyone Chris here and this week we are going to be discussing Pacman and if its a game or not. Basically if you are a gamer you HAVE to have played any version of Pacman in your life. For those who have not heard of the game Pac-Man is the  character you control and the objective of the game is to eat all the miniature balls on the map without being caught by the four ghosts chasing you. If you think of video games Pacman is surely the one to stand out due to it being so original and retro its definitely a classic. But is it really considered a game?

Well According to Juul “Play is mostly taken to be a free-form activity, whereas game is a rule-based activity” (Juul, 28) Juul (Game studies scholar): “A game is a rule-based formal system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome, the player feels attached to the outcome, and the consequences of the activity are optional and negotiable.” (Juul 2003) In this sense Pacman is considered a game since player does “exert effort in order to influence the outcome”, in the sense of which if someone tries in the game to avoid all the ghost and find the best they will reach their goal of eating all the miniature balls. Pacman however is not considered Play since there is no free-form activity since you are actually moving in four directions, left, right, up, or down. You are trapped into these four movements and there are no free form activity in the sense of moving diagonally or however you wished.

After playing the original Pacman I remembered I had a newer version of Pacman on my PSP from many years ago. I decided to give that game a try and compare it with the original. Lets jsut say I had more fun playing the newer PSP version over the original due to the higher definition graphics with better sounds and different maps. I honestly do not think anyone will have a better time playing the original because it gets way too repetitive. The maps are the same but the only difficulty increase is that the ghost moves in a “smarter auto pathing” to cut you off. However in the PSP version the map layouts change as you progress, the sounds change as the levels increase and the ghost becomes more difficult as you advance. With a change in scenery you cannot get bored. This goes with the idea of the Ludacus article and the idea of hegemony, in which better graphics yields better game play. However some people might enjoy playing the original Pacman, because it gives them maybe the idea of nostalgia and the feeling of reliving their childhood since this game is considered an all time classic.

 

Here is a gameplay video of Pacman for those people living under a rock and has never played this game. This is an example of the orginal arcade game Pac-Man 1980 by Namco.

 

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3 thoughts on “Pacman is a game!

  1. I really enjoyed your introductory sentence–definitely kept me engaged throughout the rest of your blog. However, I would have liked to read more about why it was considered a game. Other than that, great read!

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  2. Like Jessica, I wish you had elaborated a bit more about why it is a game. You differentiate it from play due to rules, but you don’t really take it further than that. Otherwise, I want to push a bit at two sentences. The first is “With a change in scenery you cannot get bored.” How does this mesh, or not mesh, with Koster’s understanding of fun as it relates to boredom? It appears that you are in opposition. The second is your use of Ludica when you write “This goes with the idea of the [Ludica’s] article and the idea of hegemony, in which better graphics yields better game play.” Specifically, this is not what Ludica argue. Rather, a dependency on ‘good graphics’ would be one part of the hegemony of play, and not a good thing.

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  3. “Pacman however is not considered Play since there is no free-form activity since you are actually moving in four directions, left, right, up, or down.” You went into depth here about how Pac-man was specifically not Play, but like professor M said you failed to outline how Pac-man fits into Juuls definition of a game, in that it has a quantifiable outcome and those outcomes are given different values. As well as the emotional attachment to that outcome.

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