In Japan on May 22nd, 350 people gathered under the Tokyo Tower to attempt to create the largest man-made recreation of the popular video game character.
The participants put on yellow rain coats and marched around giving sightseers from atop the tower something spectacularly pixelated to watch.
Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, spoke NHK about the record attempt. “I’m very impressed,” he said in front of the demonstration. “I think that’s a very nice birthday present for it. Pac-Man has been connecting many generations and I hope that everyone will keep loving Pac-Man.”
The iconic character was born in May, 1980.
During a lunch break, Iwatani, then 25 years old, looked into a pizza box that contained a pizza that was shy two slices. That was the a-ha moment when the familiar shape so synonymous with video games was born.
He worked on the game for an entire year. In October 198o, it was shipped off to the United States. It created what was called at the time “Pac-Man Fever” immediately after it’s release. Players simply couldn’t get enough of the game and arcade machines generated millions for Namco, the company that owns the character.
And now Pac-Man is 35 years old and has quite a number of achievements under his belt.
In 2005, he was crowed as the “Most Successful Coin-operated Game” of all time. In the first 6 years after launch, over 293,822 Pac-Man arcade machines were sold. He also eclipsed Mickey Mouse at one point as the most popular character in North America.
Pac-Man is also being featured in Pixels, a film that has a group of nerds using their video game knowledge to save the world. Pac-Man is one of the big villains in alongside Invaders and Donkey Kong.
There is also a contemporary American Pac-Man-themed restaurant located in Chicago where a 35th birthday party is being planned for May 22nd. The name of the restaurant is “Level 257”. There are 256 levels in the game, so customers can enjoy another level with the iconic character.
Fans of the character have been Tweeting their reactions all day. Some of them, unfortunately, are starting to realize just how old this birthday makes them feel.
— ゆうや (@yuya092960) May 21, 2015
Pac-Man turns 35 tommorow. Just don't ask how he has a 34 year old kid.
— Robert Allen (@tech_gaming) May 21, 2015
Pac-Man is 35 years old today. That is all. #ifeelold
— Ronan Price (@RonanPrice) May 21, 2015
— Digital-Tutors (@Digital_Tutors) May 21, 2015
PAC-MAN turns 35 tomorrow. Have a great day contemplating your own mortality!
— Kim Holcomb (@kimholcomb) May 21, 2015
— 安全性の高いドローン (@5656_daradara) May 21, 2015
— Nippon.com (@nippon_en) May 21, 2015