The 1980's
Pac-Man Meets Game Boy

Pac-Man Meets Game Boy
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.59

     challenging words:    blinky, Gamers, pakku-man, teen-agers, latter, popularity, hemisphere, arcade, worldwide, inexpensive, mobile, based, successful, rage, highly, creator
     content words:    In North America, Space Invaders, In Pong, Namco Company, In Japan, Puck Man, United States, Killer List, Donkey Kong, Game Boy

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Pac-Man Meets Game Boy
By Jane Runyon

1     Video games entered the entertainment scene in the latter half of the 1970s. In North America, all ages could be found in arcades playing shooting games such as Space Invaders or Defenders. The player hit a firing button and tried to destroy as many "space ships" as he or she could. If the player was more interested in sports, games based on Pong were the rage. In Pong, the player moved a bar back and forth across the bottom of the screen. A ball would hit the bar and bounce back toward the top of the screen. Another bar moving across the top of the screen would hit the ball back. The second bar could be moved by the computer or by a second player.
2     In 1979, an employee of the Namco Company in Japan introduced a video game to his countrymen that would change the way video games were played all over the world. In Japan, the game was called pakku-man, or Puck Man. The main character in this game looks a lot like a pizza with a slice taken out. It was the goal of this character to go around the maze on the screen "eating" dots and prizes. To make the game a bit harder, four ghosts start from the center of the screen. Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde can trap pakku-man and take away his lives.
3     Pakku-Man didn't cause much of a stir in Japan. A few teen-agers tried the game. Some liked it. Some didn't. It was a year later, in 1980, that the game was introduced in the United States. Gamers in the states were getting tired of the pong and shooting type games. Pac-Man, as it became known in the western hemisphere, became very popular. Pac-Man quickly outsold any other arcade game on the market. The Killer List of Videogames puts Pac-Man at number one on their list of most popular video games. Later games such as Donkey Kong and Frogger can say that their popularity came directly from the introduction of Pac-Man to the video game scene.

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