The Father of Pac-Man Has Died at Age 91.

Back in 1955, Masaya Nakamura founded an amusement game company called Namco. Starting with two mechanical horse rides, the company was a video game giant by the 1980s, mainly their its introduction of Pac-Man in 1980. Since then, the game–listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful coin-operated game the universe has ever seen–has been played no fewer than 10 billion times.

I alone was responsible for exactly 155,341,288 times during my time at the University of Winnipeg. Pac-Man explains why my buddy Charlie got 27% on his first-year French course. (I may have encouraged him to cut that class so we could go down to the arcade.) My other buddy Donald became a Pac-Man ninja, the only person I ever knew to make it through all 256 levels, leading to the game’s infamous freak-out as it tried to ascend to level 257.

Pac-Man was designed by Toru Iwantani, an engineer at Namco. It became so popular that there was even a hit song about it by Buckner and Garcia called “Pac-Man Fever.”

More on Pac-Man’s history here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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