Google brought back the 80s arcade game Pac Man to celebrate its 30th anniversary last May 22nd in the form of a fully-working Google Doodle on its homepage (it’s been since moved to a dedicated page where people can still play it). The “I’m feeling lucky” button gets replaced by “Insert coin” and clicking on it lets you play. Click on it a second time and Ms. Pac Man joins in the fun.
Apart from hearing collective 8-bit cheers of delight upon discovering what could be Google’s most viral web toy yet, the Pac Man doodle was another display of its massive influence, both the good and the bad.
The Good: HTML5 evangelizer
The Bad: Procrastination enabler
On the other hand, people are now questioning if Google should’ve put such a major distraction on what is supposed to be a tool for getting things done. RescueTime reports that as people spent several more time on the Google homepage to play the game, millions of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars were wasted. I wouldn’t be surprised if lawsuits started popping up, blaming Google for allowing such a thing to happen.
“With great power comes great responsibility” or “Geeks just wanna have fun”?
I’m just glad Google still knows how to have fun depsite how big it’s grown. And due credit must be given to advocacies it gets behind. Two years ago it was Chrome, last week it was web fonts. The Pac Man doodle just happens in between these achievements.