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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Player of Games, #104: Pac-Man

The concept of a game wherein the protagonist is a featureless yellow ravening maw, intent on devouring everything in its path, appeals to me. I mean, wacka-wacka-wacka, how isn't that pretty much our daily lives? Mouths open, we eat and move and eat and avoid the ghosts that pursue us around the labyrinthine maze of our world. Jesus, Pac-Man is allegory, reducing the struggles we rail against down to a single screen, zeroes and ones in their binary simplicity representing all of our hopes and dreams. Can we eat it all before the ghosts get us? Can we get a cherry, maybe once in a while? And if we do, it all resets and we're asked to do it again. And again. And again.

Pac-Man is Russian angst-lit, Dostoyevsky or Chekhov or Tolstoy, pain given voice, or pain given digital expression. The little yellow guy strives against the crushing weight of expectation, of relentless pursuit, of unending appetite. Pac-Man is us, hungry and pursued and never, ever at rest.

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