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.