Pacman turned 30 years old last month (wow, he looks great--apparently yellow don't crack!), and this week during the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, Namco decided a proper celebration was in order. And such a Pac-party was well-deserved...Pacman, after all, is arguably the most pervasive gaming icon in all of pop culture (according to the Guinness Book Of World Records
, he's the best-known video game character in the world, recognized by 94 percent of consumers). Over the years, the little yellow fellow has spawned a Saturday morning cartoon show, a kiddie cereal, an entire franchise of spinoff games (read on for more on those), and even the most successful video game song ever, Buckner & Garcia's novelty hit "Pacman Fever" (which, according to a display at Pacman's E3 birthday party, sold a whopping 1 million copies in the '80s). Rock Band and Guitar Hero ain't got nothing on Buckner & Garcia.
So June 15 at downtown L.A.'s Club Nokia, gamers came together to celebrate three decades of Pacmania, as they noshed on Pacman cupcakes (gobbling up the sugary circles like power pellets), gawked at display cases of Pac memorabilia, and played various Pacman games on iPads, iPhones, Wiis, laptops, and old-skool arcade consoles. (My personal favorite was the four-player Battle Royal, in which Pacmen ate not only blue ghosts and cherries but also each other, foodchain-style--although the new 3D Pacman, which required special Kanye West-esque party glasses, was pretty cool too.)
But the party really got started when the man of the hour and the belle of the ball, Pacman and Ms. Pacman, started getting their Pac on to '80s hits. Bizarrely, the DJ on the scene never did play "Pacman Fever," but he spun plenty of other retro floor-fillers, like Michael Jackson's "PYT"...at which point I couldn't resist doing the Pacman myself:
So happy birthday, Pacman. You're still a pretty young thing after all these years.
Pacman 30th Birthday Special on Yahoo! Games
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