Wow, I haven’t been paying attention and these kinda snuck up on me. Pacman turns 30 today! Pacman was developed by Namco and released in Japan on 22-May-1980. Wow, has it been that long? I don’t want to consider how may 20s I dropped into coin-ops in the early 80s playing it, avoiding Pinky, Inky, Blinky and Clyde. Pacman came at a time when the most popular arcade games were shooters like Space Invaders and Asteroids, so it came as a welcome non-violent alternative and grew in popularity. Everything about the game was cool: the high-contrast colours, the wocka-wocka sounds, the intro music… it really was the perfect game for it’s time. To celebrate, Google even changed their header logo into a playable version of Pacman for the day. You’ve got to be in Classic Google mode, not iGoogle. I remember saving all my pocket money to buy this on the Atari, but was so disappointed to find that it really sucked.
Another 30th anniversary this week was the release of The Empire Strikes Back. After being blown away by Star Wars three years earlier, it came as a surprise to me that there was another movie released. Remember, these are the days before the Internet and discussions forums, preview web sites and such. I didn’t know about it until it actually came out in Australia, which was a few months after the US release and even then I don’t think I saw it until a few weeks after than. Empire is still the best of the movies. I might see if I can fit it in sometime this weekend, perhaps on VHS for the low-fi experience, the way George Lucas intended.
Meanwhile, here’s a Periodic Table of The Empire Strikes Back.