This Day in Tech History

On This Day . . .

Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde

pacman-thumbsupMay 22, 1980:  Pac Man Released

The first Pac-Man machine was installed. Namco installed the first Pac-Man machine in a movie theater in Tokyo.



Created by Toru Iwatani…

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…the game has been one of the most popular in Arcades around the world. It inspired spin-offs, songs, a cartoon show and much more.  It was originally called ‘Puckman’ as a play on the word ‘paku-paku (パックマン) taberu’ in Japanese that means something to the effect of flapping your mouth open and closed. By the time the game is released in October in the US, the name is Pacman.

10 things you didn’t know about PAC-MAN

1. The design for the iconic Pac-Man character is based on a pizza with a slice missing.


2. Although Pac-man’s creator, Iwatani, has stated that the character’s shape was inspired by a pizza, he admitted in a 1986 interview that this was a half-truth, and the character design also came from simplifying and rounding out the Japanese character for mouth, ’kuchi’.

3. Pac-Man was originally named Puck-man. Fearing that American hoodlums would scratch off part of the ’P’ to make an ’F’, the manufacturers changed it to Pac-Man for North America.

4. The ghosts that pursue Pac-Man are nicknamed Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, and each has a distinct personality. Blinky and Pinky are the most predictable and chase Pac-Man directly, sometimes teaming up. Inky’s tactic is to ambush, while Clyde is the one to fear most because his movements are random.

5. The arcade version of Pac-Man has a highest possible score of 3,333,360 … which has been achieved by less than 10 people ever.

6. In 2004, a group of University students transformed New York’s city blocks into a real-world Pac-Man game. One student, dressed in a yellow Pac-Man costume, ran through the streets of Greenwich Village while being chased by four others dressed as ghosts. The players carried phones so that their teammates could track their positions using GPS. They called the game ‘Pac-Manhattan’.

7. The duo of Buckner and Garcia entered the pop charts in 1982 with a song called ‘Pac-Man Fever’. It went to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

8. In 2005, Guinness World Records named Pac-Man the most successful coin-op ever.

9. Guinness also named Pac-Man himself as the most recognizable video game character of all time with 94% consumer recognition.

10. In May 2010, Google celebrated 30 years of Pac-man with a special logo. Shaped in the company’s name, it was a fully-playable Pac-man game.

Warning, can be addictive – Do not play at work 🙂


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14 thoughts on “Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde

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