Friday, December 28, 2007

The sorrows of young Pacman

Facebook has an application that lets you play Pacman!

As you probably know, Pacman is a game from the 80s where a little yellow guy (Pacman) gets to go around and around a maze eating little dots and outrunning differently-coloured little goombahs (you lose a life if you touch them). Occasionally, Pacman eats a big dot and all the goombahs turn blue for a short time - whereupon he gets to eat them, too.

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't give you the option of playing some of the more modern versions of Pacman. Let me explain...

In this version of Pacman, instead of going around a circle outracing differently-coloured little goombahs, Pacman sits down with the goombahs and attempts to enter negotiations with them. Pacman asks himself the question 'Am I really different from these goombahs?' Pacman tries to discover the root economic and social causes that have led these goombahs to turn to goombah-dom. If he discovers the right economic and social causes, the goombahs all turn blue and Pacman eats them.

In this game, the goombahs form a committee and divide the dots equitably amongst themselves and Pacman. Pacman becomes a citizen of the goombah state subsisting on a meagre diet of one dot per life. The goombahs set the large dots aside as part of their plan to 'redistribute wealth'. Then they eat Pacman.

Pacman blames Saddam Hussein for causing the goombahs and invades Iraq. Then the goombahs eat him.

In this version, the goombahs set up a committee to lobby the government about what they call 'Pacman's excessive consumption of dot resources'. Another committee of goombahs express concerns about the problem of childhood obesity in the Pacman community. Another commitee of goombahs prepares a petition asking for an inquiry into the environmental effects of Pacman's overuse of dot resources. Another group of goombahs bicker amongst themselves over how the natural effects of Pacman's use of dot resources can be minimised.

While they are all arguing amongst themselves Pacman eats a big dot, the goombahs turn blue, and he eats them all. He then becomes anxious about his own excessive over-consumption of goombahs, becomes goombah-bulimic, and checks himself into a public hospital run by a goombah committee, who eat him.

This is the latest version of Pacman. In this version, Pacman goes on a strike until he receives a greater pay ration of dots for the number of blue goombahs that he eats, and the goombahs hold a stop work meeting, arguing that they should be protected from being eaten by Pacman. When the game player replies that this is a stupid game, and that Pacman should just get back to eating dots, both Pacman and the blue goombahs eat the player. Then the game starts again.


Maria said...

Pacman certainly has evolved. Do you know the many other variations?

Weightwatchers Pacman - where the Pacman can only eat its prescribed intake of balls and must avoid the big balls, or Pacman explodes?

Have you played "Supermodel Pacman" - the version where Pacman would rather be killed by goombahs than eat any balls at all? Or the other version of Supermodel Pacman, where the Pacman does eat balls, but then has to go into a corner and spew them up?

What about the versions of vegetarian and vegan Pacman where Pacman inspects each ball for animal products before he eats a ball?

And "Vampire Pacman", which can only be played at night, and each large ball Pacman bites into turns into a Pacman after ten seconds?

What about "Pacman Idol" - where not one but 12 Pacmans race about the maze, followed by goombahs who do not try to eat but observe the Pacmans as they chomp and race. After the time limit, the goombas "bite" into the Pacmans with scathing criticism of their racing and chomping style, and there is a phone vote and one Pacman is voted out of the maze. This continues for weeks until there is only one Pacman left in the maze.

Yes, it' evolved since I first played it.

TimT said...

Wow. You must have played a lot of Pacman. You must be, like, the GOD of Pacman!

Email: timhtrain - at -

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