Teaching Video Game History

"From Get Tough to Get Cute": Pac-Man and Women in the Early Video Game Industry

Toru Iwatani sought to change the face of arcades in Japan by developing a colorful game with a simple control scheme that would be more welcoming to women—Pac-Man. Meanwhile, in the United States, the release of Pac-Man led to more women both in the arcades and behind the scenes. From its release in 1980 until the crash of the video game industry in 1983, Pac-Man created a shift away from primarily marketing to men and boys, while also inspiring creativity and innovation in video games. Women and girls began to play both home consoles and arcades, and they had an economic and creative impact on the types of video games created. This webinar will explain the influence of Pac-Man on game development and how more women engaged with gaming in the early 1980s in the US, as well as how we can use video game history in the classroom.