PAC-MAN and ARS ELECTRONICA work together to create a PAC-A-THON

Celebrating the history of PAC-MAN since 1980, PAC-MAN and ARS ELECTRONICA festival bring together creative talent to inspire future generations, test prototype concepts and educate for the future…

BANDAI NAMCO Holdings and BANDAI NAMCO Studios are pleased to share details of a collaborative project in association with ARS ELECTRONICA Festival in Linz, Austria. Experienced teams from Japan and Europe came together to bring their creative ideas to life around the world-famous PAC-MAN character which was then exhibited recently at the well-known technology art festival in Linz.

PAC-MAN was featured at the ARS ELECTRONICA Festival with an objective to inspire many of all ages, and give visitors an insight on how education in the future could evolve by taking PAC-MAN into new untested areas. The exhibition takes people through a historical journey starting with PAC-MAN’s birth in 1980s through to 2017 which was called the ‘EduCreation Lab’. The ‘EduCreation Lab’ featured iconic moments that would see PAC-MAN become the symbol of a generation of gamers. The exhibition enabled visitors to experience new educational possibilities, take on new challenges, solve puzzles, express feelings, meet new people and teach children and adults how to work together.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As well as the ‘EduCreation’ lab, the teams worked on a number of experimental projects using ‘Microsoft Hololens’ to create a new version of the classic PAC-MAN called ‘PAC in town’ which connected to the real world as if PAC-MAN was playable in a street, and a new table-top PAC-MAN called ‘PAC-CONNECT’, allowing multiple PAC-MAN to meet in-game and then introduce themselves in real life. A brand new PAC-MAN experience was also created in the famous ‘Deep Space 8k’ screening room at Ars Electronica called ‘Funguage’. ‘Funguage’ allowed players to interact with a new form of language, inspired by ‘Emoji’. This new language allowed players to walk onto chosen imagery (language) and send these signs and feelings into the PAC-MAN universe. What this did was give players the opportunity to express their feelings of fun, unhappiness, cheekiness and love. All of these prototypes helped create a social experiment, bringing digital and real world together in a positive way. All projects were prototype and experimental to test new possible areas for the character in the future.

“PAC-MAN is an icon, and the first ever videogame character that has made millions of people happy for almost four decades. The character has an incredible-rich-history since 1980 and it’s fascinating how history, music, fashion and cultures have changed over the period, yet the character remains the most known and loved by people of all ages. History has changed so much in nearly forty years and there is an incredible story and world-records that are associated with the character, so as an entertainment company we are thinking much broader, as well as how our famous character can support education, social interaction and help the future with new technologies and experiences. We have great games, a great character and a rich history and it’s a great opportunity for us to explore new prototypes to support a positive future.” (Lee Kirton – UK Marketing and PR Director & Chief PAC-MAN officer EU)

About no1phil

PR Manager & Editor for XLC Gaming Network. I have been gaming since the ZX Spectrum days growing up through many generations of consoles. A bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to gaming genres. When I'm not either being shot at, dancing, scoring for the other team or racing I am trying to become a guitar God with Rocksmith 2014.