In the arcade game Pac-Man, what was the inspiration for the Pac-Man character?
"Pac-Man" is a maze arcade game developed and released by Namco in 1980. The original Japanese title of "Puck Man" was changed to "Pac-Man" for international releases as a preventative measure against defacement of the arcade machines. Outside Japan, the game was published by Midway Games as part of its licensing agreement with Namco America. The player controls "Pac-Man", who must eat all the dots inside an enclosed maze while avoiding four colored ghosts. Eating large flashing dots called energizers causes the ghosts to turn blue, allowing "Pac-Man" to eat them for bonus points. It is the first game to run on the "Namco Pac-Man" arcade board.
The development of the game began in April 1979, directed by Toru Iwatani with a nine-man team. Iwatani wanted to create a game that could appeal to women as well as men, as most video games at the time were war or sports-themed. Although the inspiration for the "Pac-Man" character was, reportedly, the image of a pizza with a slice removed, Iwatani has said he also rounded out the Japanese symbol "kuchi", meaning "mouth". The in-game characters were made to be cute and colorful to appeal to younger players. The original Japanese title of "Puckman" was derived from the titular character's hockey-puck shape.