As I was growing up I can recall my Grandparents telling me something over and over again – that at a certain age time begins to fill like it is flying by. Now for what little it might be worth I did actually listen to them and believed what they were telling me – that doesn’t mean however I was exactly ready for that feeling of time sort of slipping by. Which is why I was a little taken aback when Earl Green shared a new music video, one that has been released by Bandai Namco Entertainment America – a request to get us to Join the Pac – a heads up as it were for the upcoming 40th anniversary of Pac-Man. When that legendary game… and can you describe Pac-Man as being anything other than legendary? When it was originally released to the arcades of Japan on May 22nd and then North America on October 10th of 1980 – I was all of seven years old. As I have shared on the Diary of An Arcade Employee Podcast – I most assuredly was swept up in the Pac-Man craze of the day – collecting the lunch box, multiple glasses and of course that Atari 2600 port of the arcade game. It’s such a bizarre feeling though my friends to think that for nearly 40 years a game has continued to entertain through re-releases and multiple reworkings of that now classic maze game concept – that it and the video game icon it spawned are still a strong part of pop culture.
I would be lying if I said that back in my youth, while I was hungrily chomping my bowl of Pac-Man cereal while watching the Saturday morning cartoon series on ABC, that I ever thought the icon would go away. How could it? At every single arcade, bowling alley, grocery store, and gas station – you could be assured that a Pac-Man arcade cabinet could be found. Or at the very least one of it’s many sequels or unlicensed bootlegs was easy enough to find – even when the video game crash of ’83 helped to kill off most of the arcades.
While I will have to say that when it comes to video game related music – my favorite has to be 1982’s Pac-Man Fever album by Buckner & Garcia – Join the Pac by Ken Ishii is a delightful toe-tapping and head bobbing tune.
Throw in some incredible dancers who are humorously called The Coffee Breakers, Ms. Pac-Man, and the Pac Steps and you have a music video to help put a little boost in your day. I personally was most impressed by the Pac Steps – but I would love to hear which group you most enjoyed in the comments section. So without further ado, enjoy Join the Pac, the official theme song for the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man!