Wired‘s Game Life interview with Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani about the 30th anniversary of the game uncovered some interesting details. Namely, that the game was given an eating theme to get the chicks going.

Says Iwatani, “Around the time that we launched Pac-Man, video arcades were filled with games where you shoot aliens. It seemed very dark. It was for men, it wasn’t fashionable at all. … When you think about things women like, you think about fashion, or fortune-telling, or food or dating boyfriends. So I decided to theme the game around ‘eating’—after eating dinner, women like to have dessert.”

And men don’t? And said “dessert” is found in the Pac-Man game in the form of … what? Ghost meat? Big yellow dots? Marching pretzels?

Iwatani also revealed that Pac-Man’s unique shape was inspired by a pizza with a slice taken out of it, and the notion of Pac-Man eating a “power cookie” and then turning the tables on Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde was inspired by Popeye’s spinach supercharge.

I’m happy you made such a nice game and all, Mr. Iwatani, but hearing the rationale behind it kind of makes me feel like I felt when that article came out in the ’90s that suggested women like Tetris because they like cleaning stuff up.

Image source: Flickr member Qole Tech under Creative Commons

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