Pac-Man Creator Says Today's Games Are Too Complex
Toru Iwatani, famed creator of Pac-Man, spoke to the audience at GDC and revealed the inspiration behind his very first Pac-Man title. "The reason why I created Pac-Man was because we wanted to attract female gamers," said Iwatani. " The game designer stated that at the time, gaming was done primarily in male-populated arcades. Pac-Man's purpose was "to include girls or female players so that [dirty and smelly arcades] would become cleaner and brighter."
While his focus was certainly in the right place and did actually manage to bring a wide audience of female gamers to arcades, Iwatani's creation of the actual Pac-Man game might not appeal to some women. "I thought about something that may attract girls—maybe stories about boys or something to do with fashion? However, girls love to eat desserts—my wife often eats desserts," said Iwatani. "The verb 'eat,' that gave me a hint to create this game."
The former game designer also mentioned that cutesy and colorful design choices for the game's ghosts were influenced by the fact that he thought girls wouldn't respond positively to crude or aggressive-looking enemies. From there, Iwatani went on to discuss the modern realm of gaming, stating that Pac-Man got progressively harder and gave players a clear idea of the objective, while many of today's games are far too difficult and unclear in what they require of gamers. "Today's games, you don't see what the game is all about, what the goal is, and the controls are too complicated perhaps, and you're being sort of needled and persecuted sometimes," mentioned Iwatani. "The core game players want to have challenges, I understand that, but I think fun should be the first, most important point for any game."
In regards to the future of Pac-Man, the creator of the ghost-gobbling series stated that he hoped to take the series in a brand new direction: "So I'm thinking of a Pac-Man that's singing. I don't want to make it a musical, really, [like] Chicago the movie. The Blues Brothers, maybe ..."
Let's hope we get some more Pac-Man Championship Edition DX love before Pac-Man Sing and Dance Party launches for the Wii, Xbox 360 Kinect, and PlayStation Move. Oh, the horror.