essay 2 - Kevin Phipps Mickey Casad Revised Copy Ms Pacman...

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Kevin Phipps Mickey Casad February 13, 2009 Revised Copy Ms. Pacman : A Revolutionary “How do we analyze games? It all depends on who we are, and why we do it” (Aarseth, 6). It is difficult to discover a method that allows one to analyze any videogame. Videogames have become so diverse and people have so many different motives for playing them that one exact method may never exist. Instead, a different method may be found for every individual and for each game they play. In the case of the widely popular game Ms. Pacman , it is useful to determine how gender affects the game. Ms. Pacman was published in 1981 by Namco, just one year after the release of the original Pacman . The game really only differs from the original in that the protagonist wears a red bow on top of her head. The objective of the game is still the same; to eat all the dots while avoiding the ghosts. This one seemingly minuscule variation between two nearly identical games causes a much more noteworthy impact than one would expect. All it took to make an already popular arcade game appeal to an even wider audience was the addition of the prefix “Ms.” as well as a red bow to the protagonist’s head, as the game stripped down social borders and reformed the videogame world as we know it. For anyone who has not played the game, it is fairly basic. The entire game consists of just five characters: the protagonist, Ms. Pacman, and four ghosts named Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue (originally named Clyde in Pacman). Ms. Pacman is essentially the same as the original Pacman, a yellow circle with one pie shaped slice missing for a mouth, except on her head, she wears a red bow to differentiate herself as a female character. She chomps her way through the
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maze gobbling down the mysterious dots while the player maneuvers her with a simple joystick or directional pad. Four larger dots can be found with one in each corner of the maze. When eaten, the roles change as each ghost becomes blue and can now be devoured by Ms. Pacman. Mazes change every few levels and are different from those in the original Pacman . After every few levels are completed, a cut-scene appears depicting Pacman and Ms. Pacman’s rather cheesy love story. With such simple controls and the most basic objective, people of all ages and genders can play and enjoy themselves.
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This note was uploaded on 09/18/2010 for the course COM L 1126 taught by Professor Casad during the Spring '09 term at Cornell.

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essay 2 - Kevin Phipps Mickey Casad Revised Copy Ms Pacman...

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