If you had to name the first three significant arcade games in the industry — and we’re talking historically significant, not the game you first fell in love with — the answer would have to be Pong (1972), Space Invaders (1978), and Pac-Man (1980). Each helped reinforce the commercial viability of electronic entertainment, growing the industry by leaps and bounds, or in Pac-Man’s case, dots and energizers.
Created by Japanese developer Toru Iwatani, who reportedly drew inspiration from a pizza with a missing piece, Pac-Man did something completely different with the medium. Instead of shooting targets in space, you guided a voracious yellow creature through a maze filled with consumables. Four monsters, later referred to as ghosts, added the thrill of pursuit and a sense of randomness to the action, even if it was illusion. Pac-Man was colorful, simple to grasp, hard to master, and was appealing to women and men alike.
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