First playable Google doodle marks 30 years of Pac-Man

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Internet giant Google marked the 30th birthday of Pac-Man by featuring the classic arcade videogame in the first-ever playable doodle on its home page. Web users who opened Google’s homepage after 1500 GMT Friday — which is midnight in Japan, where Pac-Man was born — were greeted by a small-scale Pac-man game set around a barely discernible “Google” in the middle of the game’s colorful maze.

The game designed by Toru Iwatani was first released by Japan-based Namco into arcades on May 22, 1980. The Google doodle Pac-Man comes complete with the arcade game’s trademark music and sound effects, and an “Insert Coin” button where Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” button usually is.

But even though Pac-Man grew to become the best-selling coin-operated game in history, the Google doodle was decidedly less popular with Internet users. Other online comments were more charitable, but wondered about the effect the doodle on productivity.

All the game details are spot-on, right down to the impulse to ignore work, friends, familiy and play for hours. The playable Pac-Man doodle will stay on Google for 48 hours.