Pac-Man turns 34 today. It's exciting to see that the little yellow guy has survived into middle age. But before the Pac became the dot-eating legend we know him as today, he had to do the same thing every celebrity does: make a name for himself.
To commemorate Pac-Man's birthday, popular video game personality Patrick Scott Patterson has compiled an excellent video showing the game's entrance to the United States in the early eighties. Judging by the hilarious clips Patterson recovered, Pac-Man was met by hordes of excited children, bemused parents, and many, many befuddled local newscasters:
In addition to the many great eighties-style hairdos and outfits on display here, the video gives a fascinating glimpse into how people were beginning to make sense of just what Pac-Man, and video games as whole, truly were.
"That little yellow chomper who's as popular as Santa Claus," one of the newscasters intones in his introduction to a segment. If only he knew just how many children would go on to beg Santa for more chances to play with Pac-Man and the many characters who followed in his footsteps. Well, I guess Pac-Man didn't technically acquire feet until much later. But you know what I mean.
Happy birthday, Pac-Man. It's been one hell of a ride.