Video Games

Pac-Man Turns 30

This weekend, everybody's favorite (or at least first favorite) video game turns 30. Pac-Man was released on May 22, 1980 by a Japanese company called Namco Bandai. Actually, it was originally called "Puck-Man" but U.S. buyers rejected it, worried the letter "P" would chip off and look like an "F." Although it wasn't the first video game, or even the first arcade game, it's considered one of the most influential in industry history, partly because it broke new ground by featuring friendly, non-violent characters. "Pac-Man was really the first [that reached] what I would call the broad cross-section of society, men and women," said Richard Garriott, a veteran game designer. In honor of the event, Google made a playable logo on its homepage, a first.