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  #1  
Old 09-01-2012, 03:23 PM
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Play Pac-Man in your browser.


Yep. Get the fever. (Might require a non-MSIE browser, like Firefox or Chrome or Safari or Konqueror.)

It's not just Pac-Man, either; the menu has Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man, Crazy Otto, and Cookie Man.

Here is the source code and here is The Pac-Man Dossier, more information about Pac-Man than you ever imagined someone could collect.
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2012, 11:25 PM
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Why do they never offer any instructions?

Also, whom are you playing against? Just some random person who's visiting the same website?
  #3  
Old 09-02-2012, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Why do they never offer any instructions?
In essence, eat dots and avoid ghosts for high score. Eating the fruit is good, so is eating the big dots that allow you to eat the ghosts as long as they're blue and frightened of you.

(Out of curiosity, how old are you?)

Quote:
Also, whom are you playing against? Just some random person who's visiting the same website?
Pac-Man is always played against the machine. Always has been, code willing always will be. In this case, the machine is your web browser, which is executing code delivered to it as part of the web page. This is, in part, a demonstration of the fact it's now possible to recreate landmark 1980s cultural touchstones arcade games using only the tools available to web developers.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:15 AM
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Why do they never offer any instructions?

Also, whom are you playing against? Just some random person who's visiting the same website?
Instructions:

It's Pac-Man.
  #5  
Old 09-02-2012, 01:50 AM
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It runs on iOS Safari, and is easily the most comfortable PAC man game for an iPad I've ever played. Colour me surprised!
  #6  
Old 09-02-2012, 07:33 AM
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Works on the iPhone too, but I get no sound. Should there be?
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:08 AM
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Why do they never offer any instructions
Instructions:

1. Grab the rock you've been living under.

2. Heave it off of yourself.

  #8  
Old 09-02-2012, 12:03 PM
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Why do they never offer any instructions?

Also, whom are you playing against? Just some random person who's visiting the same website?
-1 for not knowing how to play pac-man, but +1 for correct use of 'whom'?
  #9  
Old 09-02-2012, 12:17 PM
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In essence, eat dots and avoid ghosts for high score.
Um, OK. How do you "eat dots?" When I press START I see the figures move around for a few seconds and then it seems to go back to the beginning. The cursor doesn't seem to move any of the figures or fences.

Quote:
(Out of curiosity, how old are you?)
I'm 55.

Quote:
Pac-Man is always played against the machine. Always has been, code willing always will be.
So it's like playing solitaire? I always assumed when I saw groups of boys at the mall that they were playing against each other. Is it primarily randomness/luck, or is there also some sort of skill?

Last edited by Mr Downtown; 09-02-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:21 PM
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No sound, alas. Sound is a big part of the arcade experience.

Woo-woo-woo! Chackachackachaka!
  #11  
Old 09-02-2012, 12:37 PM
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Um, OK. How do you "eat dots?" When I press START I see the figures move around for a few seconds and then it seems to go back to the beginning. The cursor doesn't seem to move any of the figures or fences.


I'm 55.


So it's like playing solitaire? I always assumed when I saw groups of boys at the mall that they were playing against each other. Is it primarily randomness/luck, or is there also some sort of skill?
Depending on what system it is played on (arcade, console, cell phone, internet etc.) the Artificial intelligence of the ghosts trying to catch you varies greatly. On the arcade version, there is a relatively fixed pattern the ghosts follow, and so a true expert can play the game perpetually until they grow tired of it. Skill/memorization in this case.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by antonio107 View Post
Depending on what system it is played on (arcade, console, cell phone, internet etc.) the Artificial intelligence of the ghosts trying to catch you varies greatly. On the arcade version, there is a relatively fixed pattern the ghosts follow, and so a true expert can play the game perpetually until they grow tired of it. Skill/memorization in this case.
This is true about the original arcade version of Pac-Man.
Ms. Pac-Man was introduced with a semi-random pattern and rudimentary tracking of your player by the ghosts.

It was a superior game, especially after 'that guy' mastered the Pac-Man ghosts' patterns.

Yeah... you know 'that guy'.
  #13  
Old 09-02-2012, 12:44 PM
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The Google Pac Man game is better, with original sound effects.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:46 PM
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So it's like playing solitaire? I always assumed when I saw groups of boys at the mall that they were playing against each other. Is it primarily randomness/luck, or is there also some sort of skill?
It's not random. The skill comes in avoid the ghosts while eating all the dots.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:03 PM
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I'm 55.
I'll turn 55 in a little over a week. HAVE you been living under a rock? Pac Man arcade games were in just about every grocery and convenience store when you were in your 20s, assuming that you lived in the US.

What I want is a really good Joust browser game.
  #16  
Old 09-02-2012, 04:26 PM
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Um, OK. How do you "eat dots?" When I press START I see the figures move around for a few seconds and then it seems to go back to the beginning. The cursor doesn't seem to move any of the figures or fences.
What kind of browser are you using? Internet Explorer? It probably won't work with Internet Explorer, especially if it's an older version, like version 6.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:44 PM
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Um, OK. How do you "eat dots?" When I press START I see the figures move around for a few seconds and then it seems to go back to the beginning. The cursor doesn't seem to move any of the figures or fences.
Jeez, somebody help the guy.

You're the big yellow circle. You move around the maze by using the arrow keys, not the mouse. You eat a dot just by touching it. You try to avoid the monsters chasing you while eating the little dots, because if they touch you, you die (but you have three lives). But when you eat one of the four big dots, the monsters briefly turn blue, and then if they touch you, they die, and you get a bunch of bonus points. So you chase them while they're blue, and run away from them after they change back to their normal colors.

When you get good, you can run around until all four monsters are close behind you, and then lead them to a big dot, eat it, quickly reverse direction, and eat all four monsters before they can get away.

You get bonus points for running over any fruit that appears briefly.

If you eat all the dots, you win that round, but a new one starts a few seconds later, and the monsters move a bit faster each round.

I see that this version has some cheats and practice rounds to help you learn. It's pretty well done, but it's more fun with the arcade sounds.
  #18  
Old 09-02-2012, 05:56 PM
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Instructions:

It's Pac-Man.
Only good for those of a certain age.
  #19  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:57 PM
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Thank you, TonySinclair. Were there instructions on the original games, or is it a reference to a 1980s cartoon or kids' show, such that potential players would have already known the characters and what they did?

If you're just playing against a machine, what's the reward or payoff for winning? I do remember that pinball machines would (I think) give you a free game if you scored high enough.

Sorry, Lynn Bodoni. By the time I was in my mid-20s I was already working.
  #20  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:18 PM
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Hell, I saw Pac Man for the first time in an arcade when I was 18 or so. I loved to play pinball, and had seen Pong, but Pac Man was new, and a lot of the people in the arcade were puzzled by it. I know when and where it was because I remember the arcade clearly. By the time I was in my mid twenties, I was married, with a toddler, working, and doing grocery shopping. And that's when I saw all the video games in grocery stores. Not in the base commissaries, but in the off base grocery stores and convenience stores. There were arcades, too. But seriously, didn't you go grocery shopping? Didn't you see the video games right near the entrances/exits?
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:21 PM
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Thank you, TonySinclair. Were there instructions on the original games, or is it a reference to a 1980s cartoon or kids' show, such that potential players would have already known the characters and what they did?

If you're just playing against a machine, what's the reward or payoff for winning? I do remember that pinball machines would (I think) give you a free game if you scored high enough.
I don't remember any instructions; you just watched other people play to learn how. It cost a quarter a game, so it could get expensive if you weren't very good.

Like most popular arcade games back then, you couldn't really win; the object was to keep from losing for as long as possible. You just kept playing as long as you could, and if you had one of the ten highest scores when you were done, you got to enter your initials for display.

Last edited by TonySinclair; 09-02-2012 at 10:21 PM.
  #22  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:30 PM
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but Pac Man was new, and a lot of the people in the arcade were puzzled by it.
I believe you, but I honestly don't see how it's possible.

I mean.... eat the dots. Avoid the monsters. Eat the monsters when they turn blue. They turn blue when you eat the big dots.

That's it. How could someone not glean this from watching a game?
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:31 PM
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Mr Downtown:
I don't remember there being instructions beyond "move the joystick in the direction you want to go". The characters were created just for the game. But, later a cartoon was based on the characters. It was just one of those things were you stuck a quarter in and kept playing until you lost all of your lives. I don't know how pacman worked, but some arcade games if you got enough points you got a free live, similar to getting a free ball in pinball. In fact, most video games were like pinball. People didn't really play against each other, they just played to best their own records. And, when you saw kids sitting around the machine they were probably just hanging out and watching each other play.

Lynn Bodoni, yikes. Leave the guy alone. He had a different experience in his life than you. Is that really so shocking?
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:39 PM
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The game also had an "attract mode" which it would play when no one was playing it. It would show the names of the various ghosts, point values of the dots and fruits, as well as a demo level showing the various features of the game. With just a single joystick and no buttons, it was really not hard how to figure out how to play it.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:19 PM
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Interestingly, PONG had instructions. "AVOID MISSING BALL FOR HIGH SCORE" is right up there with "If it moves, shoot it." for all-time classic gaming quotes.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:21 PM
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Lynn Bodoni, yikes. Leave the guy alone. He had a different experience in his life than you. Is that really so shocking?
Well, assuming he was in the US at the time, yes. It's like someone saying that he's never even seen a hamburger drivethrough restaurant. The game machines were everywhere.

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I believe you, but I honestly don't see how it's possible.

I mean.... eat the dots. Avoid the monsters. Eat the monsters when they turn blue. They turn blue when you eat the big dots.

That's it. How could someone not glean this from watching a game?
Everybody was pretty much watching the attract mode at first, and then a few brave souls would put a quarter in. Remember, we'd only seen Pong before, so we were used to the idea of paddles. Joysticks were a new concept to us. But oh, once we learned about joysticks...

I'm still waiting for a good Joust link, if anyone has one. I've found a lot of bad Joust links on my own.

Last edited by Lynn Bodoni; 09-02-2012 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:32 PM
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But seriously, didn't you go grocery shopping? Didn't you see the video games right near the entrances/exits?
I don't ever remember seeing arcade games in supermarkets. A lot of places (like Chicago, where I live) tax and regulate arcade games. In any case, I can't imagine supermarkets wanting the local yewts hanging out in the vestibules all day.
  #28  
Old 09-03-2012, 12:12 AM
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Hmmm. I lived in four states from the time I was 18 until I was 25 or so, between going to college, getting married, and moving from one base to another. In each of the four states, video game consoles were a common fixture in grocery stores, convenience stores, laundromats, pizza parlors (and occasionally other very casual fast food restaurants) and of course arcades. I don't know if they were taxed and regulated in any of the states. It wasn't a question of the supermarkets wanting youths to hang out in the entrances, but rather of the various places taking advantage of the fact that a lot of parents would give their kids quarters to go play on the games while the parents were shopping or doing laundry. And sometimes it was the parents themselves playing a game or two before or after shopping. I usually played a couple of games when doing laundry, then I'd go read my book.

What was a culture shock was moving to Las Vegas, and finding slot machines EVERYWHERE. I know that they were taxed and regulated, but apparently they made enough money to be worth the trouble. Any business that had slots (or other gambling devices) had to also supervise the gambling area, to make sure that people under 21 didn't go near the machines. This is fairly easy in a casino, but not so easy in a grocery store.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:12 AM
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If you're just playing against a machine, what's the reward or payoff for winning? I do remember that pinball machines would (I think) give you a free game if you scored high enough.
There is no payoff. You get the satisfaction of lasting longer and achieving a higher score than your friend. That's it. That's why it was the #1 money-making arcade game of all time.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:51 AM
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I lived in the arse end of a country at the arse end of the world, and I saw video games from 1977 onward (Pong was the first I ever saw, and that's significant because it's widely considered the very first video game ever). I am utterly rubbish at almost every kind of video game, computer game, console game, handheld game, and even board and card game, and still I know how to play Pac-Man.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:10 AM
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I don't ever remember seeing arcade games in supermarkets. A lot of places (like Chicago, where I live) tax and regulate arcade games. In any case, I can't imagine supermarkets wanting the local yewts hanging out in the vestibules all day.
What's your age, out of curiosity.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:11 AM
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He's 55, he said earlier in the thread.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:40 AM
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I don't ever remember seeing arcade games in supermarkets. A lot of places (like Chicago, where I live) tax and regulate arcade games. In any case, I can't imagine supermarkets wanting the local yewts hanging out in the vestibules all day.
That's really weird, since the American distributor for Pac-Man was a Chicago company, and the game was everywhere in that city, including literally on the sidewalks. And in supermarkets. Chicago was pretty much ground zero for coin-op games since the 1930s, with manufacturers like Bally, Midway, Chicago Coin/Stern, , Williams, and more, and "street locations" like pizza places, supermarkets, convenience stores, and bars were popular places to site machines.

And most locales taxed and regulated games at the time, not just Chicago. The games were considered a good way to siphon off a few more quarters from patrons who had just received change at the registers, not just to attract youths, and a popular machine like Pac-Man could earn hundreds of dollars a week from an otherwise unused part of a store. (This is why you still see gumball machines and crane games in the front of stores after the cash wrap areas.)
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:58 AM
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I think Mr. Downtown is kidding with us.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:36 AM
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For those who want to play Joust on their PC's, I recommend a copy of William's Arcade Classics. This is an old game, Windows based, but really DOS underneath, I've had a copy of this on every computer I've owned since it was released in 1997... 1999?

One Christmas, I got one of these, which were being sold at Target that year. It's still in good condition and I play the more than occasional game of Robotron: 2084 on it.

Both the Williams Arcade Classics and the Target machine above have the original programming for Joust, including the infinite pterodactyl exploit.

Last edited by JohnT; 09-03-2012 at 09:37 AM.
  #36  
Old 09-03-2012, 10:55 AM
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On the arcade version, there is a relatively fixed pattern the ghosts follow, and so a true expert can play the game perpetually until they grow tired of it.
Not really. You could only realistically play to level 255. If you beat level 255, the counter rolled over (since they only used a byte register for the counter) to board 0. Board 0 didn't exist and the game would glitch on you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man#Split-screen
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:13 AM
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Not really. You could only realistically play to level 255. If you beat level 255, the counter rolled over (since they only used a byte register for the counter) to board 0. Board 0 didn't exist and the game would glitch on you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man#Split-screen
Learn something new every time I log in here!

I'm a twenty-something whose only experience with the original arcade box was a few times at the shitty bowling alley on the bad side of town. I got past level... 6? Didn't make it to the third animation!
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:24 AM
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Not really. You could only realistically play to level 255. If you beat level 255, the counter rolled over (since they only used a byte register for the counter) to board 0. Board 0 didn't exist and the game would glitch on you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man#Split-screen
I remember being when I was really young, probably 7 or 8, I would spend summers in this really small community in upstate NY and all the older (mid-teen) kids played Pac Man late into the night trying to beat it. They mastered the pattern to some extent. I remember the rumor was that eventually after the fruits and various other items (which I had memorized at the time), there was 15 boards with keys and 15 with Rolls Royces and then the game "blows up" (I think people believed it literally exploded but this was my 8 year old mind hearing this). I did see them routinely get to the 2nd or 3rd key I think.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:53 AM
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I think Mr. Downtown is kidding with us.
In what sense?

I don't know the rules of mahjong or Chinese checkers or poker either. If someone made an online version, I would think it rather odd to not have anything but a START button. And who in this day and age would ever think to use the cursor arrow keys to move something around on the screen—especially after you've just used the mouse to click START? What if you're on a laptop that doesn't even have dedicated arrow keys?
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:07 PM
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In what sense?
In the sense that you're jokingly claiming to be a 55 year old Chicagoan who did not take particular note of an absolutely inescapeably pervasive cultural aspect of 80's Chicago (not to mention US) culture, and also jokingly claiming not to kind of see how the game basically works after watching it for thirty seconds.

Quote:


I don't know the rules of mahjong or Chinese checkers or poker either. If someone made an online version, I would think it rather odd to not have anything but a START button. And who in this day and age would ever think to use the cursor arrow keys to move something around on the screen
Absolutely anyone in this day and age. The majority of games that currently exist use cursor keys or wasd.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:08 PM
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What do you mean, btw, by calling yourself a "savant"?
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:05 PM
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In the sense that you're jokingly claiming to be a 55 year old Chicagoan who did not take particular note of an absolutely inescapeably pervasive cultural aspect of 80's Chicago (not to mention US) culture.
Pacman Fever
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:09 PM
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This guy cannot be for real. Pac-Man was by far the easiest, most intuitive video game of all time after watching the attract screen go through its cycle a single time. I understood it when I was all of five years old. I think we're being had.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:40 PM
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I've been playing this one:

http://www.freepacman.org/

It just 'feels' better to me, but maybe because I've been playing that one for awhile. Plus it has sound :-)
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:49 PM
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I've been playing this one:

http://www.freepacman.org/

It just 'feels' better to me, but maybe because I've been playing that one for awhile. Plus it has sound :-)
That game installation wanted to install a bunch of browsers and such on my computer.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:15 PM
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What do you mean, btw, by calling yourself a "savant"?
It's a title I was granted for providing useful assistance to the Perfect Master. Correcting him, in fact, but we don't dwell on that as it raises uncomfortable issues regarding inerrancy. I have a pretty broad knowledge of Chicago history and geography, and some other subjects too.

What I apparently don't have is a knowledge of the universe of video games that some of you take for granted—and mock others for not having. I remember seeing Pong in a Sears store the summer after high school, but I guess I was already in grad school by the time other video games came out. If there was one in the supermarket, it completely escaped my notice or perhaps I tuned it out. They just were never part of my world.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:53 PM
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I guess I was already in grad school by the time other video games came out.
You were in grad school at 18? Remember, I'm almost exactly your age.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:24 AM
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That game installation wanted to install a bunch of browsers and such on my computer.
Sorry about that. I didn't remember it doing that when I first went there, and it doesn't ask me now - it just goes right to the Pac-Man.
  #49  
Old 09-04-2012, 01:29 AM
Derleth is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
What I apparently don't have is a knowledge of the universe of video games that some of you take for granted—and mock others for not having.
Pac-Man wasn't just video games. It was a little media empire in its own right, spawning a pop song (which has already been referenced), a TV show, and a 94% brand awareness among American consumers as of 2008. That's not even mentioning all of the other video games created explicitly to clone Pac-Man that generally served to keep Pac-Man itself in the public consciousness.

There are people who envy your apparent ability to totally tune out popular culture.
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  #50  
Old 09-04-2012, 01:59 AM
pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frylock View Post
In the sense that you're jokingly claiming to be a 55 year old Chicagoan who did not take particular note of an absolutely inescapeably pervasive cultural aspect of 80's Chicago (not to mention US) culture, and also jokingly claiming not to kind of see how the game basically works after watching it for thirty seconds.
Yeah. I thought he was joking at first, but I think he is being sincere. I suppose if you had no interest in that type of culture, why would you know the rules of Pac-Man? I grew up in Chicago, and I agree that Pac-Man was ubiquitous here in the 80s. From Venture('s) and Zayre('s) (now defunct department stores--the apostrophe "s" being marked in parenthesis to reflect the local elocution) to the neighborhood pizza parlor or hot dog stand or whatnot, you'd have to be actively avoiding it not to run into it and see it and get a glimpse of the general rules of the game. That said, I'm sure there's element of everyday culture I'm completely oblivious of, too.
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