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All Articles: Pac-Man
Weird Al Yankovic’s career has spanned more than 40 years, but in all that time, the geeky icon only rarely delves into doing game-themed parodies. Perhaps that’s because of a bad experience he had early in his career with “Pac-Man,” a parody of “Taxman” by The Beatles.
Speaking to Nerdist, Weird Al believes an overzealous lawyer initially rejected the song without ever listening to it: “I’d like to think that none of the Beatles ever actually heard the song back then. It was just some office [clerk] whose whole job is to litigate and prosecute people for copyright infringement.”
However, Weird Al would later become friends with George Harrison’s son Dhani, and he helped work out a deal to include “Pac-Man” on Squeeze Box: The Complete Recordings of “Weird Al” Yankovic, an upcoming retrospective box set. Squeeze Box will be available this Fall on vinyl and CD, and it’ll include every album from Weird Al’s career housed in a replica accordion (of course). A 15th disc, Medium Rarities, will feature several unreleased songs (like “Pac-Man”), as well as alternate takes on more popular parodies.
But if you can’t wait that long, you can listen to “Pac-Man” at Nerdist right now.
The Xbox Games Store is in for a magical update this week…
First up is Lichdom: Battlemage, a first-person spellcasting game for the Xbox One from Xaviant. Players will take control of a wizard named Dragon, using his elemental magic to cut a swath through the countryside in search of Shax, the evil overlord who killed your family.
Also available this week is a quartet of games that have a different air of magic about them. Nostalgia is a powerful thing and Bandai Namco’s “Arcade Series” is overflowing with good feelings about the past. That’s because Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug are now available to download for the Xbox One. While most players probably own these games in some form or another, it’s nice to see video game history represented on the modern day consoles.
More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)
The World Video Game Hall of Fame, which is administered by the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and The Strong in Rochester, New York, has announced its inaugural list of inductees. Drum roll, please.
The 2015 Class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame includes…
- Doom, id Software’s pioneering first person shooter.
- Pac-Man, the dot-eating, ghost-chasing hero of every 80s arcade.
- Pong, one of video gaming’s earliest arcade hits.
- Super Mario Bros., the side-scroller that put the NES on the map and made Mario a household name.
- Tetris, the falling block puzzler that’s surely invaded your dreams at least once.
- World of Warcraft, Blizzard’s MMO made the genre what it is today and is still going strong after a decade.
While all of the games are at least ten years old, it’s amazing how important they still are to video gaming’s current climate. Bethesda will pull the curtain back on the next game in the Doom series at this year’s E3 Expo. Pac-Man recently celebrated his 35th anniversary and will star in a new mobile game this Summer. Super Mario Bros. is also celebrating a big anniversary this year and will influence this September’s Mario Maker. The Tetris Company, and Alexey Pajitnov, continues to license new version of Tetris and the latest, Tetris Ultimate, was released last year. Finally, Blizzard released World of Warcraft’s fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, in November and a sixth is already in the works.
These six games represent gaming at its greatest and are excellent choices for the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class. As part of their selection, the inductees will be on permanent view (and in playable form) at The Strong’s “eGameRevolution” exhibit.
Nine other finalists were considered for inclusion by the international committee including Angry Birds, FIFA International Soccer, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokemon Red/Blue, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until all of them are enshrined in the Hall of Fame. But if you want to campaign for your favorite game, nominees for the Class of 2016 are currently being accept at the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s website.
Bandai Namco and Pac-Man have a lot to celebrate thanks to today’s big anniversary, but after the year he’s had, everyone’s favorite ghost-chomper isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
On May 22, 1980, exactly 35 years ago, “Puck Man” made its debut in Japanese arcades. The game and its title character would go on adopt the much better known moniker of Pac-Man a few months later because executive at Midway, its American distributor, feared that unruly teenagers would attempt to vandalize the machines. And just like that, an icon was born.
Pac-Man made the most of its simple “eat dots/avoid ghosts” gameplay model, spawning dozens of sequels, spinoffs, and successors. And its unique mazelike structure shows up again and again in games like Bomberman, The Legend of Zelda, and many others. Pac-Man has appeared on numerous “Best Games of All-Time” lists and was selected as a finalist for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.
“From arcades and consoles to digital and mobile, Pac-Man has remained a fixture in our gaming lives. The endless appeal of the series’ simple but masterful design after all this time is nothing short of remarkable,” said Jeferson Valadares, the General Manager at Bandai Namco America. “But more than anything else, this is an anniversary for the fans. If you treasure any fond Pac-Man memories of your own from the past 35 years, we hope you share them with someone special today and make some new ones together.”
Bandai Namco is hosting a celebration for their most famous creation today at Level 257, a Pac-Man-themed restaurant in Schaumburg, Illinois. Pac-Man’s creator, Professor Toru Iwatani, will be on hand to present the birthday cake and I’m sure “Pac Man Fever” will be playing on a continuous loop. Mobile gamers who own Pac-Man on their iOS device will also receive a free update today that adds a “classic-inspired user interface” to the game.
Aside from starring in one of the most beloved video games of all time, Pac-Man manages to keep himself busy with a variety of side projects. Earlier this year, Bud Light borrowed the game’s familiar maze to create a “Real Life Pac-Man” commercial for Super Bowl XLIX. More recently, Google also dropped Pac-Man into the real world by offering a playable Pac-Man Street View in Google Maps. And last year the mascot got the chance to duke it out with Mario, Sonic, and Mega Man in Super Smash Bros. For Wii U and 3DS, with his very own Amiibo figure scheduled for release next week.
Let’s hope there’s also some pizza at that Pac-Man anniversary celebration.
The Strong National Museum of Play and the International Center for the History of Electronic Games have announced the finalists for the inaugural class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. More than a dozen classic games passed this first test on their way to video game immortality, which were selected from thousands of nominations that poured in from gamers all across the world. Nominations for the Class of 2015 were accepted from February 17 through March 31, but in case you missed out, the Hall of Fame is already accepting games for next year’s class.
This year’s inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be chosen from the finalist pool by an “international selection committee” made up of journalists, scholars, and other individuals. The inaugural class will be announced on June 4 at 10:30 AM (Eastern Time) during a ceremony at The Strong.
The finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 include:
- Angry Birds
- FIFA International Soccer
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Oregon Trail
- Pokemon Red/Blue
- The Sims
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Space Invaders
- Super Mario Bros.
- World of Warcraft
“The 15 finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame span decades, gaming platforms, and geographies… but what they all have in common is their undeniable impact on popular culture and society in general,” said Jon-Paul Dyson, the Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.
Inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be selected based on the following criteria: “Icon Status,” “Longevity,” “Geographical Reach,” and “Influence.” All 15 finalists certainly qualify, but I know I’ll be rooting for Tetris.
Google loves April Fool’s Day. But I think today’s early April Fool’s prank even tops the time Google Maps added a Dragon Warrior-inspired Quest Filter.
Going to Google Maps today (and for “a little while” longer) will give users the option to load up a playable Pac-Man Street View. Not every street can be transformed into a Pac-Man playground, but once you find one that does, you can duck down boulevards and avenues to collect dots while avoiding the ghosts on real streets. Here’s Times Square, that’s a good one to start with. Other locales recommended by Google include the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Niagara Falls, the Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur, and a few others.
The streets around the Bandai Namco offices in the the Shinagawa neighborhood of Tokyo, better known as the birthplace of Pac-Man, also work quite well.
Budweiser isn’t waiting for Super Bowl XLIX to debut the next commercial in their “#UpForWhatever” series… and that’s alright with me. Titled “Real Life Pac-Man,” the commercial hands a giant quarter to a random Bud Light drinker and then drops it (and him) into the coin slot of life-sized simulation of the greatest arcade game of all time. There’s neon aplenty, pulsating techno music, and it looks like a good time was had by all.
I know it’s too early, but I think we may have already found the best commercial from this year’s Super Bowl.
The National Toy Hall of Fame, which is part of the National Museum of Play at The Strong, has announced the 12 finalists that are up for induction this year. Two toys will be selected as part of the class of 2013 and the classic ghost-chomper Pac-Man is among the contenders.
Pac-Man will be competing against bubbles, Chess, Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, Little Green Army Men, Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, Nerf toys, the Rubber Ducky, scooters, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure line for the right to be called a Hall of Famer. A national committee will choose the two inductees, which will be announced during a special ceremony on November 7.
If Pac-Man makes the cut, it will join Nintendo’s Game Boy (2009) and the Atari 2600 (2007) as the only other representatives of the video game industry in the National Toy Hall of Fame.