Pac-Man: The Untold Story of How We Really Played The Game

I grew up in the era when arcades were still something to be found at malls (back when people used to go to malls). The allure of those dark rooms was something tied very much to my teenage years.

I’m a big fan of Joystick Nation, by J. C. Herz (disclaimer: Affiliate Link). And so on reading Pac-Man: The Untold Story of How We Really Played The Game, by Cat DeSpira… I immediately taken with both the writing as well as the revelation about “how” many of us used to play Pac-Man.

I don’t want to give too much away here, and so I’ll leave a snippet from the lovely opening:

The impressions of human desire are often left upon objects of their devotion or on the paths leading to where a sense of peace or pleasure can be found; i.e. the worn frets on a favorite guitar; the finger-smoothed ivory keys on an old piano; the “secret path” in the forest blazed by decades of children that’s been “a secret path” to other children for over 100 years.

DeSpira mixes the history of how Pac-Man came to be, alongside her revelation about the way in which many of us played the game. It’s a great look back on the early 80’s, and the impression the game left on us (and the one that we, in turn, we left on it).

[via MetaFilter, photo via Ira Nowinski]

Visiting Nickel City Arcade, Family Entertainment Center
Saturday at the Galloping Ghost Arcade
Growing Up in Arcades

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