May 22 marks the 30th anniversary of Namco’s famed arcade game Pac-Man and to pay homage Google have transformed their homepage logo with a fully playable version of the game, becoming the first fully interactive Google logo
Pac-Man was first released in Japan on May 22, 1980, Pac-Man is universally considered as one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of the 1980s pop culture. Upon its release, the game and, subsequently, Pac-Man derivatives became a social phenomenon that sold a bevy of merchandise and also inspired, among other things, an animated television series and a top-ten hit single.
When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, in particular Space Invaders and Asteroids. The most visible minority were sports games that were mostly derivative of Pong. Pac-Man succeeded by creating a new genre and appealing to both genders. Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and is among the most famous arcade games of all time. The character also appears in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs, as well as in numerous unauthorized clones and bootlegs. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them. Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., (along with Pong and Dragon’s Lair).