Pac-Man Declared "Game of the Century" at Tokyo Game Show; Florida Man Crowned Video Game "Player of the Century"
FAIRFIELD, IOWA - November 9, 1999 - Pac-Man is the "Game of the Century" -- more popular than chess, jigsaw puzzles, Monopoly or Scrabble -- that is, according to a special award presented at the recent Tokyo Game Show to Mr. Masaya Nakamura, founder of NAMCO Ltd., the Tokyo-based game manufacturer that created Pac-Man in 1980.
As part of a strategy to inform the world that Pac-Man is the "Game of the Century," Walter Day, chief scorekeeper at the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard -- a Fairfield, Iowa-based organization that tracks record scores for the worldwide game industry -- flew to Tokyo to present the award to Mr. Nakamura as the first step in a campaign to bring attention to the historical significance of the video game -- whose influence may have surpassed the combined power of both TV and Hollywood in recent decades.
"On behalf of the worldwide video game industry," says Day, "I am throwing down the gauntlet and proclaiming that video games affected the culture of the 20th Century more than any other single mode of entertainment -- and Pac-Man, the "king" of video games was the most important title." And, according to Day, Pac-Man may have been played the most, too. He says: "Though conclusive proof is still being gathered, it is possible that more man-hours in the 20th Century have been spent playing Pac-Man throughout the world than any other game -- even including those which have been popular for the entire century, like Chess."
The award was first announced at the recent Classic Gaming Expo’99, held at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, August 14-15, 1999. The Classic Gaming Expo, which is the industry’s only annual event that celebrates the history of electronic entertainment, co-sponsored this award as well as another one which crowned a Florida man, Billy Mitchell, as the “Player of the Century." John Hardie, a co-founder of the CGE, who signed the awards on behalf of the CGE, says: "Video games completely dominated the entertainment culture of the last 25 years and Pac-Man was the "King" of video games. Though we are the first to be bold enough to proclaim this fact, we will not be the last. Its obvious that Pac-Man was the game of the century and its just a matter of time before everyone else agrees with us.
Day believes this claim is realistic because the amount of Mankind’s leisure time has increased exponentially during the last 20 years. "It can be explained by a study that the printing industry conducted in 1977," states Day. "They discovered that due to the exponential growth of the printing industry, the total output of printed items produced throughout the world during the 25 years between 1951-1976 was equal to the entire world output produced during the first 500 years of printing (1456-1951). This example suggests that Pac-Man players throughout the world could have logged more man-hours during the last 20 years of playing than chess players did in 100 years of play."
Also receiving an award at the Tokyo Game Show was history’s most successful video game player, who is also one of those people who has logged hundreds -- if not thousands -- of hours playing Pac-Man during the last 20 years. Billy Mitchell, a 33-year-old Fort Lauderdale hot sauce manufacturer who recently grabbed worldwide headlines when he achieved history’s first "perfect" score on Pac-Man, shared the stage with Mr. Nakamura at the NAMCO booth as he was inroduced as the "Player of the Century" before a crowd of thousands. Mr. Nakamura presented Mitchell the award and then cited Mitchell’s many career accomplishments, which included world records on Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Burgertime and Donkey Kong, Jr.
In the early 1980s, Mitchell dominated the video game section of the Guinness Book of World Records, and, as early as 1984, was recognized as the "world’s most famous video game player." Among his hundreds of media interviews were a 1983 appearance in LIFE magazine as well as a stint as a star performer in an "Electronic Circus."
"Today, Pac-Man is the most recognizable figure in the world -- even more well-known than Mickey Mouse and Coca-Cola," says Pac-Man champ Mitchell. "Its only fitting that Pac-Man be crowned the "Game of the Century."
Twin Galaxies has been keeping score for the world of video game and pinball playing since 1982. Its most well known product is the Twin Galaxies’ Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records (ISBN 1887472-25-, which contains record scores from players in 31 different countries compiled since 1981. The Classic Gaming Expo(tm) is the video game industry's only annual event that celebrates the history of electronic entertainment. It is a production of CGE Services, Corp. and can be viewed on the internet at . To contact Twin Galaxies, call (641) 472-1949. The current world records can be viewed on-line at https://www.twingalaxies.com