Pac-Man For The Ages

I grew up with Pac-Man. The Atari days – and oh yes… spending many a quarter or token in the arcades. I loved just walking around watching other people play… Spending a great deal of time with my all-time favorite Discs-of-Tron. So it was only fitting that for the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man, Google celebrated in style… Their very own playable version of Pac-Man on their home page:

While originally just available during the weekend of Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary, you can now play for as long as you want at

Amazingly enough, the game on Google’s page is written entirely in Javascript, HTML, and CSS. Also from Google:

“To pay the homage that Pac-Man deserves as a ground-breaking innovation in the gaming world, Google equipped the doodle with many unique characteristics from the original Pac-Man game,” said a Google spokesman. “From preserving the distinct personalities of the ghosts Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, to re-creating programming bugs from the original game, like a ‘kill screen’ on level 256, Marcin Wichary, a senior user experience designer at Google, and our resident Google doodler, Ryan Germick, remained as faithful to the spirit of Pac-Man as possible.”

I did chuckle to myself now that the weekend has past and most of the news stories about the beeps, noises and arcade music coming from coworkers computers have been posted… These gems from Derek Thompson:

  • Google Pac-Man consumed 4,819,352 hours of time (beyond the 33.6m daily man hours of attention that Google Search gets in a given day)
  • $120,483,800 is the dollar tally, If the average Google user has a COST of $25/hr (note that cost is 1.3 – 2.0 X pay rate).
  • For that same cost, you could hire all 19,835 Google employees, from Larry and Sergey down to their janitors, and get 6 weeks of their time. Imagine what you could build with that army of man power.
  • $298,803,988 is the dollar tally if all of the Pac-Man players had an approximate cost of the average Google employee.

All this Pac-Man makes me want to go find that old cassette tape of Buckner & Garcia’s “Pac-Man Fever” – good times…

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