"Pac-Can Man vs Jello Ghost", a Pac Man game of cans, is displayed during Construction at the …
Fri May 21, 4:42 pm ET
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Internet giant Google marked the 30th birthday of Pac-Man by featuring the classic arcade video game in the first-ever playable doodle on its home page.
Web users who opened Google's homepage after 1500 GMT Friday -- which is midnight in Japan, where Pac-Man was born -- were greeted by a small-scale Pac-man game set around a barely discernible "Google" in the middle of the game's colorful maze.
The game designed by Toru Iwatani was first released by Japan-based Namco into arcades on May 22, 1980.
The Google doodle Pac-Man comes complete with the arcade game's trademark music and sound effects, and an "Insert Coin" button where Google's "I'm feeling lucky" button usually is.
But even though Pac-Man grew to become the best-selling coin-operated game in history, the Google doodle was decidedly less popular with Internet users.
"WHAT IS WITH THE ANNOYING PACMAN AUDIO PLAYING ON YOUR SEARCH PAGE TODAY?" wrote one of more than 200 visitors to Google's help page, most of who were complaining about the Pac-Man doodle.
"Have you guys been hacked? I thought I had contracted a virus," wrote another.
Most of the messages contained too many expletives to repeat.
Other online comments were more charitable, but wondered about the effect the doodle on productivity.
"All the game details are spot-on, right down to the impulse to ignore work, friends, family and play for hours," wrote Lance Ulanoff of PCMag.
The playable Pac-Man doodle will stay on Google for 48 hours.