The legendary arcade game Pac-Man turns 35 today and to celebrate, Sony Pictures has released a clip from their upcoming film Pixels starring the yellow protagonist himself. You can watch the clip below, which also features Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, and Josh Gad.
First, however, the creator of the game, Toru Iwatani, spoke to TIME about what he thinks of the game now.
Iwatoni revealed the design inspiration behind the main character: “While thinking about the word ‘eat’ when taking a piece of pizza, I saw that the rest of pizza looked like a character, and that’s how Pac-Man’s iconic shape was created.”
Ultimately, what drove Iwatoni was reshaping arcade culture and breaking gender barriers in gaming.
“This perception [of arcades as dude hangouts] was similar in Japan. I wanted to change that by introducing game machines in which cute characters appeared with simpler controls that would not be intimidating to female customers and couples to try out … and couples visiting arcades would increase.
My opinion is that Pac-Man became popular with everyone, from youngsters to elders to men and women because of our original idea to make a game that spoke to both female customers and couples. Empowering Pac-Man to chase the ghosts gives players a refreshed perspective on the game’s core gameplay, and I think this idea also appeals to a new generation of female players who have grown up empowered and want to be the pursuer rather than being the pursued.”
People around the world still play Pac-Man and its legacy has led Iwatoni to compare it to The Beatles:
“It might be a bit of a stretch to use a Beatles comparison, but if the song ‘Yesterday’ is looked at as THE standard musical number for music, then I think Pac-Man is THE standard for games. Thus, Pac-Man will be loved forever, and I’m proud of that.”
There’s no doubt it will be loved forever. Although, in Sony’s upcoming film, Pac-Man is no hero. When aliens misinterpret a message from NASA, they use game models to attack Earth. In the clip below, Sandler, Dinklage, and Gad face off against Pac-Man in colored cars as if they’re the ghosts in the game. It has a lot of genuine nostalgia, excitement, and appreciation for these classic games.
Are you a Pac-Man fan? Are you looking forward to Pixels? Let us know in the comments!