Pac-Man fever, tis driving me crazy.
June 18, 2002 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Pac-Man fever, tis driving me crazy. It was 1981 or so, I was in 6th grade. I had a mom cool enough to take me out of school for a day, give me a few rolls of quarters and send me to this local bar, where I played Pac-Man all day. I made it to the fourth intermission a few times (which was a damn repeat!), how far did you get?
posted by jeremias (26 comments total)
all the way, but I had the book on how to do it. I also confess to buying the song...

crazy times....
posted by Frasermoo at 7:58 AM on June 18, 2002

From the article:
Space Invaders proved so addictive that it not only inaugurated an entire video game paradigm, it caused a nationwide coin shortage in Japan.

That's cool...
posted by ColdChef at 7:59 AM on June 18, 2002

The game and character were christened "Puckman," from the Japanese pakupaku, meaning to flap one's mouth open and closed...In one of the great preemptive acts of damage control in marketing history, an executive at American licensor Bally/Midway changed the name of the import to Pac-Man, after noting the near-limitless vandalistic potential of the original moniker. This individual's name is lost to the ages, but we can offer silent thanks to him for ensuring a healthy and unblemished Pac-legacy.

posted by ColdChef at 8:01 AM on June 18, 2002

Pac Man Haiku
posted by ColdChef at 8:13 AM on June 18, 2002

I sent very few quarters into pacman's coin door. Asteroids, Robotron, Missle Command,.... the list goes on. Ahh, those were carefree days.
I actually own an upright Robotron and a cocktail Tempest. So, I get my fill when I want. Not sure which one will be next. Won't be pacman though. Anyone ever play the Vectrex console system? I have one of those, not too mention Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Intellivision, Fairchild Channel F, 3do..... uh oh... Geez! I still have a commodore at my Dad's in storage HAHAHAHAHAHA

I think I have a problem. I love Arcade games.

ROBOTRON FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by a3matrix at 8:37 AM on June 18, 2002

But I can guarantee that no marketing executive looked at Pac- Man in 1980 and said, "You know what? I think there's a phone here."

They're missing the Pac-Man TV cartoon, which I distinctly remember from my mid-80's childhood. It was a bit like Pac-Man meets Married With Children.
posted by brownpau at 8:39 AM on June 18, 2002

For the record.

Space Invaders is what got me started.

I am going to Funspot at Weirs beach for my pilgramage this summer for sure ! If you live in New England and need an Arcade fix, that is the spot to go to.
posted by a3matrix at 8:41 AM on June 18, 2002

In one of the great preemptive acts of damage control

There was a Wired article about this a while back that mentioned the "Enter your initials" reward replaced having your picture taken by the machine after someone exposed themself after achieving a high score.

I'll second the Funspot recommendation: old games, grits and bad minigolf in the stifling heat. It doesn't get any better than that.
posted by yerfatma at 9:14 AM on June 18, 2002

Anyone ever play the Vectrex console system?


The chill spectre of the Vectrex rears its ugly head! I was trying to remember the name of that damn thing recently. But seriously, aren't you a little high tech there?

Maybe we can start a revival craze for the old Mattel HandHeld Football games. Or a Merlin club or something. Friday night Simon get-togethers!

I have a dim memory, too, of the precursor to gameboys...the lcd display handheld games of donkey kong, etc. Is there a name for those things?
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:27 AM on June 18, 2002

Kafkaesque - Do you mean Game and Watch? I had a whole bunch of them.
posted by brownpau at 9:43 AM on June 18, 2002

Oh man! That's it!

I remember that Oil Panic one particularly well.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:48 AM on June 18, 2002

i stole money out of my mother's wallet to play one more hour of Space Invaders, back in the day.

i felt so guilty that when i came back home i said, "oh, mom, is there anything i can do for you?" she said, "yeah, pick the weeds in the garden."

which i didnt end up doing.

oh yeah, the point was, those games were Awesome!
posted by tsarfan at 9:58 AM on June 18, 2002

Hey, how about those Mego/Nintendo "Time-Out" credit card-sized handheld games? Classics like Fireman, Fireman and The Exterminator used to make the rounds of my junior high back in 1980. I still have one somewhere.
posted by drinkcoffee at 10:10 AM on June 18, 2002

Kafkaesque: You mean the Coleco Electronic Quarterback? I have a working example of that too. ;-) And I still remember the pass cheat.

Ahh the toys of youth,
posted by a3matrix at 10:27 AM on June 18, 2002


Warning: may cause flashbacks. The beeping, the ozone smell, licking the contacts on 9V batteries. It all comes flooding back!
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:32 AM on June 18, 2002

Wow, I used to own the Donkey Kong, Jr. game and watch.
posted by patrickje at 10:40 AM on June 18, 2002

Someone recently released a PC emulator / clone of those LED games, including the Matell Football.

The link no longer seems to work but if you look around for "LEDhead" on the net, you might find it. I have it installed and it brings back so many memories...
posted by bondcliff at 10:41 AM on June 18, 2002

I had a different football game, it was more sophisticated than the Mattel one -- I think it was for two players.

But Mattel Hockey, it was blue.....I played that everywhere...

I also had a faux arcade Pac-Man. It was like 1/20th the size of the real thing......I think it was made by Coleco.
posted by szg8 at 11:29 AM on June 18, 2002

I also had a faux arcade Pac-Man. It was like 1/20th the size of the real thing......I think it was made by Coleco.

Oooh. I had that, too. It ate "C" batteries. (I also had "Frogger.")
posted by ColdChef at 11:33 AM on June 18, 2002

Sorry, Hockey is Here
posted by szg8 at 11:34 AM on June 18, 2002

I remember one time my parents and I went to a local burger restaurant (around 1982), and they had a Pac-Man game inside. I told my parents what I wanted to order, plugged in a quarter and proceeded to play. By the time I finished that single game, the food had arrived and my dinner had already gotten cold.
Damn you, Pac-Man! And damn my mad video skeelz!
posted by Dirjy at 12:05 PM on June 18, 2002

LEDHead is here.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:01 PM on June 18, 2002

*squeals like a girl*
Palm OS Ledhead. Too. Cool.
posted by brownpau at 1:05 PM on June 18, 2002

my brother bit our faux arcade pac-man apart. Don't ask me how it was possible.

Apple IIe: sammy lightfoot
Vic 20: Radar Rat Race?
posted by goneill at 1:05 PM on June 18, 2002

Been covered before...


Anyway, with the talk of arcade/pac-man fever, I think the best solution is to build your own M.A.M.E. arcade cabinet (an arcade cabient with a PC running MAME inside) and play ALL the games you remember in ONE machine...

If you aren't the geek do-it-yourselfer, you could always buy a really expensive cabinet already built for you.
posted by jca at 4:02 PM on June 18, 2002

Minor detail - Ms. PacMan was the number one selling video game (arcade stand-up) in history and dwarfed pac-man in popularity. Asteroids was #2.
posted by plinth at 10:22 AM on June 19, 2002

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