Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Charles. Charles Wonders, “What year was pac man invented” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Charles!

Today’s Wonder of the Day includes some of our favorite things. It combines ghosts, video games, and even pizza! It’s been well-loved by millions all over the world for more than 40 years. What are we talking about? Pac-Man, of course!

Have you ever played Pac-Man? Today, it’s a staple in any arcade. People of all ages and backgrounds are drawn to the game’s signature music. They guide the main character through the maze, avoiding ghosts and chasing after various types of fruit and other score-boosting items. Pac-Man can be a lot of fun! Have you ever WONDERed who invented the game?

It all started with a Japanese company called Namco. Toru Iwatani, who worked for the company, sought to create a new video game. He wanted this game to stand out in a big way. At the time, many video games had violent themes. Iwatani wanted to design a game that would be more playful and comfortable for families to play together.

Iwatani also sought to build a game that would appeal to more women. Of course, women and girls have played video games since they were invented. But when Iwatani was designing his game, men and boys in the arcades largely outnumbered women and girls. Iwatani wanted to diversify the world of gaming and make it more appealing to more people.

Where did Iwatani find inspiration for the main character in Pac-Man? Believe it or not, it happened while he was eating pizza! After removing the first slice from a pizza pie, he noticed that the remaining pizza looked like a head with an open mouth. This inspired him to model the yellow character in his game after the shape. 

As for the name, Iwatani drew on the onomatopoeia “paku-paku.” In Japan, it’s used to describe the sound of someone eating. For the look and design of the game, he looked to Japanese anime and manga. After countless hours trying out and perfecting the designs, Pac-Man was born!

Namco began marketing Pac-Man in 1980. Right away, the game was a hit. As it spread from Japan to the rest of the world, Namco even began co-creating versions of the game with other companies. One example is Ms. Pac-Man. It was created by the American company Midway and later authorized by Namco.

Today, you don’t have to visit an arcade to play Pac-Man. While the original style of play is still popular, it’s also available on home gaming consoles and as a smartphone app. Kids and adults everywhere can play the game from the comfort of their own homes.

Have you ever played Pac-Man? If you enjoy the game, maybe you’d like to go for a world record! David Race of Ohio currently holds the record for the fastest perfect game of Pac-Man. He scored 3,333,360 points in just over three and a half hours. Can you beat his record? We’re sure some of our Wonder Friends would love to try!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow's Wonder of the Day is an all-natural tasty treat! Or is it…?