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22-05-1980

Pac-man first released in Japan

One Small Step For Pac-Man, One Giant Leap For Pac-Man-KindHappy birthday to Pac-Man, who was first released in Japan on this day in 1980. Or should I say ‘Puck Man’ which was the character’s original name. It was only when the game was released in North America that marketers realised that ‘Puck’ could be easily changed to a very rude word indeed and didn’t fancy all of their games consoles getting vandalised by eager teenagers.

So Puck became Pac. Though initially met with indifference at home, where Space Invaders still ruled the arcade, Pac-Man became a huge hit in the States. By the 1990’s it was thought a billion dollars in quarters had passed through the machines.Though designed to never end, a bug means the game basically breaks down when the 256th screen is reached. The current world record holder is David Race who attained the maximum possible score of 3,333,360 points in 3 hours, 28 minutes, and 49 seconds. Imagine the state of his wrists afterwards.