Pac-Man is for female foodies
Tuesday 25 May 2010
Toru Iwatani, the former game designer of the iconic arcade game
Pac-Man, now a professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University, at Namco Bandai World Headquarters in Tokyo, told the tech magazine
Wired the inspiration 30-years ago for creating
Pac-Man was female foodies.
"Around the time that we launched Pac-Man, video arcades were filled with games where you shoot aliens. It seemed very dark. It was for men, it wasn't fashionable at all," explained Iwatani.
He continued, "...I realized that if women and couples were going to come to game centers, they had to be cheerful places. When you think about things women like, you think about fashion, or fortune-telling, or food or dating boyfriends. So I decided to theme the game around "eating" - after eating dinner, women like to have dessert."
For the shape of Pac-Man, "if you take a pizza and remove one piece, it looks like a mouth. That's where my idea came from." Next time your friends are goofing off with their food, you might want to take them more seriously - it could be a stroke of genius, the next international sensation, or just a potato volcano.
"The character design and the graphic design were very appropriate for women, who thought it was very cute. Even if the character was an enemy, they wouldn't be able to hate it." However, Pac-Man, unlike most "cute" girls doesn't have a satiable appetite and gobbles up everything from dancing fruit, pretzels, big yellow dots, ‘power cookies' and ‘ghost meat' more akin to Popeye loading up on "supercharged spinach," comments Chow.com, a foodie blog.
Food has become more of an obvious character in gaming since the 1980s when Pac-Man was first introduced. Enter the controversial PlayStation Network game Fat Princess, where teams turn their skinny princess fat by loading her up on cake so the other team can't steal her and or Wii Ware's Major League Eating: The Game, where "world's greatest gurgitory athletes" compete "across twelve different food types;" not to mention Restaurant City, a Facebook game, Sushi Cat, Super Mario's dragon friend Yoshi who loves to eat and even celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's has a game, Hell's Kitchen.
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