Published: Sep 27, 2022 | Updated at: Sep 27, 2022

Is it possible for a simple internet game to instantly sweep the nation and eat up nearly 5 million hours of people’s time? Well, on the PacMan 30th Anniversary, a Pac-Man doodle did exactly that. This was a genuine sensation that stands out in the domain of internet history. 

So, what was this famous Google Doodle? Why did it have the impact that it ended up having? Read on to find out more!

Google Doodles

Before diving into the famous PacMan Google Doodle, it is important to understand what Google Doodles are and a little bit of the history behind them. This information will make the impact of the PacMan Doodle more understandable. 

In the years before the PacMan Doodle, Google’s homepage was static. It featured the Google logo, a search bar, and two buttons. This minimalist layout was effective but got a little boring after seeing it day after day. 

So, Google decided to mix up their presentation every now and then. They didn’t want to disrupt the layout entirely, as the simple and effective approach had become part of their brand. Instead, they decided to change the visuals a bit. 

On a few occasions, Google started changing the logo displayed on their homepage. It always remained a version of the word “Google” but in a redesigned fashion. Sometimes, this meant adding a simple piece of art to the traditional logo, while, other times, it meant redesigning the logo entirely. 

However, these early attempts were very simple. Google Doodles started as an easy and fun way to mix up the classic Google homepage. They weren’t initially intended to be full features all on their own. 

This was true until the Pac-Man Doodle. 

The PacMan Google Doodle

2010 was the year of the Pac-Man 30th anniversary. This was a significant milestone for one of the world’s most famous games. So, Google decided to celebrate the milestone in a unique way. 

Google Doodles and Pac-Man met in May of 2010. On this Pac-Man anniversary, Google changed its traditional logo into a redesigned Pac-Man game. In this game, the layout was altered so that the barriers spelled out “Google”. 

However, besides this change, the game was shockingly similar to the traditional Pac-Man arcade game. The PacMan Doodle 30th Anniversary game featured the same art style, the same sounds, and the same characters. Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man returned as the two main characters and each of the ghosts maintained their color scheme. 

The gameplay was also exactly the same. Players would move around collecting dots while deadly ghosts chased after them. The player could even use the “Power Pellets” sprinkled across the map to turn on the ghosts and gain the power to eat them. 

When it was released, anyone visiting the Google homepage was presented with this Pac-Man game. 

How to Play the PacMan Google Doodle

At the time it was released, the Pac-Man Google Doodle was released directly onto Google’s homepage, where it was playable. Now, different Doodles appear on the homepage each day. However, the Pac-Man Google Doodle is still playable. 

Those wondering where to play the Pac-Man Doodle should know that the process is quite simple. Today, if you want to play the Pac-Man Google Doodle, go to the Google Doodle Archive. From there, all you have to do is search Pac-Man and the PacMan Doodle will be there. In addition, at the moment, simply searching “PacMan” on Google works as well. 

Once you get to the Doodle, you have to hit the “Insert Coin” button. Doing this will start the game. To play, simply use the arrow keys to move Pac-Man around and play as you would normally play. 

To unlock the two-player mode, simply hit the “Insert Coin” button twice. This will allow one person to control Pac-Man and the other to control Ms. Pac-Man. One character is controlled via the arrow keys and the other is controlled via the W, A, S, and D keys. 

The Impact of This Google Doodle

Pac-Man on Google was an instant success. This led to a number of short-term and long-term impacts. 

The immediate and short-term impact of the Pac-Man Google Doodle was that tons of people began playing the game. At the time, anyone who went to Google’s homepage would see the game and have access to it. Plus, word of mouth is an incredible way to boost organic traffic and this game had plenty of people talking about it. 

This led to people worldwide spending 4.82 million hours playing the game. When this time is added up and compared to the hourly cost of global productivity, this means $120 million worth of productivity was spent on the game. These numbers perfectly highlight the impact this game had on the world. 

When it comes to long-term impacts, this Google Doodle also plays a big role. This was one of the first interactive Google Doodles. Before this point, the Doodles were mostly just images that reflected something taking place that day. 

After the Pac-Man Doodle, Google Doodles became more and more complex and interesting. Many of them began to include links to articles or searches that related to the day’s Doodle. In addition, more and more were interactive.

The PacMan 30th Anniversary Doodle

The PacMan 30th Anniversary Doodle was a genuine sensation. It instantly grabbed the public’s attention, changed the landscape of future Google Doodles, and is still fondly remembered today. All of this together makes for a wonderfully unique moment in internet history. 

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