Pac-Man Was Made to Attract Girls - Really

Mar 05, 2011 11:40 AM EDT

Would you believe it? Pac-man was designed to attract girls. Well, maybe not in the way you're thinking. It was designed to attract a female audience to a male dominated videogame world of the 1970's. Here are 5 things you may not have known about the business and marketing of Pac-Man:

  1. The point of the game was to attract girls to play video games. The market was completely male dominated. 
  2. Pac-Man's design is based on food because 'girls love dessert'. The name was based on the Japanese phrase "puck puck" which means "munch munch". It was originally Puck-Man but the publisher wisely anticipated the alteration of the "P" on arcade games to create an obscene word and changed it to Pac-Man.
  3. Not all ghosts are actually chasing Pac-Man. 1 has specific orders to search and destroy. 1 has orders to go to a position 32 pixels in front of Pac-Man. 1 has similar orders and the last is random.
  4. Ghosts were almost one color because the company president said they shoulld be. However, the designer ran a focus group and the results came back that gamers wanted multi-colored ghosts.
  5. The designer wanted to have a shelter that would disfigure ghosts if they got pinched by the door. That element was nixed.

Pac-Man has become one of the most successful, widely recognized games ever. Interesting how important it is to design and deploy with a purpose.


Pac-Man Was Made to Attract Girls - Really

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