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Arcade game:Ms. Pac-Man

1981

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

In 1981, Midway continued the success of Pac-Man with their new arcade game Ms. Pac-Man. Although it seemed implausible to make an even more successful game than Pac-Man, Midway achieved just that with Ms. Pac-Man. Compared to the 100,000 units of Pac-Man sold, Ms. Pac-Man sold over 115,00 units, making it the most popular video arcade game in history. Pac-Man and Ms. Pac Man are the only two games to ever sell over 100,000 units.
A group of MIT students started General Computer Corporation to make enhancement kits for arcade games on their campus coin-op route. General Computer had just settled a copyright infringement suit with Atari over an enhancement kit they made for Atari's Missile Command. Already in the process of making an enhancement kit for Pac-Man, General Computer was now prepared to fight Midway for the right to produce their kits. Instead, with no promising follow-ups to Pac-Man, Midway hired General Computer Corporation to produce a sequel.
Ms. Pac-Man's feminine touches- the cabinets' blue and pink colors and the new, female main character- were aimed to lure more female players to the game. The familiar yellow dot was dolled up with lipstick, a red bow, and a beauty mark to transform it into Ms. Pac-Man- Pac-Man's significant other. However, the changes that truly made Ms. Pac-Man a success were the changes made to the gameplay. The game now featured mazes in four different colors and layouts. The mazes rotated every few screens instead of remaining static. Additionally, the fruits were not static anymore either; they bounced around the maze creating a greater challenge for players trying to acquire them. The ghosts- Sue now replaced Clyde- no longer had preset patterns of movement. Players could no longer predict the movement of the ghosts or memorize the mazes.
The faster, more challenging play of Ms. Pac-Man attracted gamers of both male and female gender. Gamers chose Ms. Pac-Man as the decisive test of video gaming skill. Ms. Pac-Man was ported to virtually every home and computer system of the day. In addition, it has been ported to PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Game Boy Color. Ms. Pac-Man continued the work of Pac-Man by breaking stereotypes associated with video arcade games and entering into mainstream culture.

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  • Title: Arcade game:Ms. Pac-Man
  • Date Created: 1981, 1981
  • Location: USA, USA
  • Subject Keywords: video game, electronic game, arcade game, video game, electronic game, arcade game
  • Type: Arcade Games, Arcade Games
  • Medium: plastic, metal, glass
  • Object ID: 109.17273, 109.17273

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