Google Marks Pac-Man's 30th Birthday with Home Page Game - NBC Bay Area

Google Marks Pac-Man's 30th Birthday with Home Page Game

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    LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 7: Actress Eva Longoria plays Pac-Man at the afterparty for the premiere of Warner Bros. Picture's "Music and Lyrics" at the Annix on February 7, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

    Thirty years have been gobbled up since Pac-Man took the world by storm, and Google is honoring the pioneering arcade video game with a game anyone can play on its homepage.

    The search engine's first-ever interactive "doodle" is on the page, offering web surfers the chance to get nostalgic as they waste time at work. The game appeared on Google's site at 11 a.m. EST on Friday, which is midnight in Japan on the game's three-decade anniversary.

    "Pac-Man seems like a natural fit for the Google homepage," said Marcin Wichary, senior user experience designer at Google and co-creator of the Pac-Man doodle. "They're both deceptively straightforward, carefully hiding their complexity under the hood. There's a light-hearted, human touch to both of them."

    Originally called Puck man, the iconic game sold 100,000 units in its first year of production, then became a fixture in arcades, pizza parlors, bars and college campuses. Guinness World records calls it the most successful coin-operated game in history.

    While primitive by today's videogame standards, Pac-Man still has huge appeal. In 2007, the first Pac-Man World Championship was held in New York, with Mexican Carlos Borrego  besting Austrian Robert Glashuettner for the title.