Saturday, May 22, 2010

Japanese Pac-man vs. Hebrew Pac-man

Thirty years ago today, the Japanese video game Pac-man stormed the 80s gaming scene. To celebrate, Google has created an interactive Pac-Man Google doodle that is surprisingly diverting:

For around 48 hrs, pressing the "insert coin" button starts the game, which you can play for allegedly up to 255 levels. And it actually works! (Update: they've made it available permanently at

Which probably prevented a lot of "work" yesterday in offices around the world (obviously, this is pretty much what I did all Friday afternoon I wouldn't know anything about that). A comment on an article about the game said, "Office productivity down by 60%, bandwidth usage down by 80%, only page visited,"

This is a fun gaming milestone/celebration, but it's clear that the core concept predates the 80s. Indeed, Hebrew Pac-Man has been confounding killer-kaphs and eluding lightning-fast-lameds within his semantic domain for ages (or at least since Nov 16, 2007):

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