Playable Google doodle marks 30 yrs of Pac-Man

Internet giant Google marked the 30th birthday of Pac-Man by featuring the classic arcade videogame in the first-ever playable doodle on its home page. Web users who opened Google’s homepage after 8.30 pm on Friday — which is midnight in Japan, where Pac-Man was born — were greeted by a small-scale Pac-Man game set around a barely discernible “Google” in the middle of the game’s colourful maze. The game designed by Toru Iwatani was first released by Japan-based Namco into arcades on May 22, 1980.
The Google doodle Pac-Man comes complete with the arcade game’s trademark music and sound effects, and an “insert coin” button where Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” button usually is. But even though Pac-Man grew to become the best-selling coin-operated game in history, the Google doodle was decidedly less popular with Internet users. “What is with the annoying Pac-Man audio playing on your search page today?” wrote one of more than 200 visitors to Google’s help page, most of whom were complaining about the Pac-Man doodle. “Have you guys been hacked? I thought I had contracted a virus,” wrote another. Most of the messages contained too many expletives to repeat. Other online comments were more charitable, but wondered about the effect the doodle on productivity. “All the game details are spot-on, right down to the impulse to ignore work, friends, family and play for hours,” wrote Lance Ulanoff of PCMag.

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