It has come to our attention that the reverse is true. Pac-Man looks like our logo. Well, he looks like a pizza pie with a slice missing, anyway. And pizza is exactly where the inspiration for the hungry little dude's shape came from.
Slice was pleasantly surprised to read this item from food weblog The Hedonista, which led us to Pac-Man's origin story. Seems game creator Toru Iwatani (right) was eating a pizza while developing the game and realized that the shape of a pie with one slice removed would work perfectly for the main character.
Interviewer: What was the thinking behind the design of Pac Man?
Iwatani: First of all, the kanji word "taberu," to eat, came to mind. Game design, you see, often begins with words. I started playing with the word, making sketches in my notebook. All the computer games available at the time were of the violent type - war games and space invader types. There were no games that everyone could enjoy, and especially none for women. I wanted to come up with a "comical" game women could enjoy. The story I like to tell about the origin of Pac Man is that one lunchtime I was quite hungry and I ordered a whole pizza. I helped myself to a wedge and what was left was the idea for the Pac Man shape.
Interviewer: Is that story about the pizza really true?
Iwatani: Well, it's half true. In Japanese the character for mouth (kuchi) is a square shape. It's not circular like the pizza, but I decided to round it out. There was the temptation to make the Pac Man shape less simple. While I was designing this game, someone suggested we add eyes. But we eventually discarded that idea because once we added eyes, we would want to add glasses and maybe a moustache. There would just be no end to it. Food is the other part of the basic concept. In my initial design I had put the player in the midst of food all over the screen. As I thought about it. I realised the player wouldn't know exactly what to do: the purpose of the game would be obscure. So I created a maze and put the food in it. Then whoever played the game would have some structure by moving through the maze. The Japanese have a slang word - paku paku - they use to describe the motion of the mouth opening and closing while one eats. The name Pac Man came from that word.
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