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Forget searching, I’m playing Pac-Man

The Google time machine was in perfect form today, letting visitors return to May 1980 to play some classic Pac-Man. The shape of the playing surface was a bit wider and flatter than an original Pac-Man console, but players were invited to slip a virtual quarter into the virtual coin slot to play a real game.

May 22 is the 30th anniversary of the game that was part of the second wave of video distractions. Remember Pong? Pac-Man, which was developed in Japan, got so famous here in the United States that it had its own Saturday morning cartoon (with Ms. Pac-Man, of course) and had a top-40 pop song written about it (Buckner & Garcia’s “Pac-Man Fever” from 1982, which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard chart.) This Time magazine article from April 5, 1982, describes Pac-Man’s rise to popularity.

The Huffington Post reports today that the Google version of the game has 256 levels.

"Users can click the "Insert Coin" button to get the game going, or click it twice to kick-off a two-player game. Pac-Man will be up on Google for 48 hours from 8 a.m. PDT on Friday through Sunday morning. The programmer behind the Pac-Man Doodle was reportedly the son of a game and pinball technician and used to accompany his father to arcade parlors and help him tinker with the games."

Read the full story: (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/pac-man-google-logo-video_n_584647.html)

Google Doodles — the series of speciality Google logos — can be seen at the official Google Doodle site: (http://www.google.com/logos/index.html). The first one is from 1998, when the logo highlighted the Burning Man Festival on Aug. 30, 1998. See it here: (http://www.google.com/logos/logos98-3.html)

Warning to those at work: It’s a good day to have a set of earbuds or headphones plugged into your computer.

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