Pac-Man and Google
Steven L. Taylor
Friday, May 21, 2010
In case you didn’t notice, Google is celebrating Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary today. Check out the playable logo before its gone.
Via joystiq: Google celebrates Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary with playable logo.
If you are around my age you will, no doubt, find it at least a tad remarkable that a game for which you once plunked down good, hard cash is now a free novelty.
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
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I also find it somewhat remarkable that my 15 and 17 year old sons also find the game interesting 30 years later.
Projecting the techonlogy, price and performance forward, I suspect that the virtual reality “holodeck” will be a home reality in 30 or so years.
If I remember correctly, PacMan moved the copyright ball down the field a ways. IANAL, but my understanding was that pre-PacMan source code could be copyrighted, but (1) PacMan claimed “look and feel” and (2) not just look and feel, but generalized look and feel. If I recall correctly Atari got a copyright for “creature running in maze eating dots.” A sad day.
VR has been kind of a dead branch since the Jaron Lanier days (though Jaron retains cult status amongst the Edge crowd). 30 years is a long time, too long for fruitful prediction, but I’d guess in shorter term we’ll see a continuation of the “big screen” trend. 30 years ago I wanted a drafting table with a display surface and x-y tools. 72 inch diagonal is still out there.
Kind of interesting that in the old Sci Futures computers tended to have tiny displays. Even the Star Trek with the holodeck had really no displays … until they went to the holodeck.