Background: Ms. Pac-Man is a 1982 maze arcade game developed by General Computer Corporation and published by Midway. It is the sequel to Pac-Man (1980), and the first entry in the series to not be made by Namco. Though originally going to be called Super Pac-Man, the name was changed due to the fact that female players had responded so well to the original game. The game is widely considered better than the original, with improvements to everything from animations to the gameplay itself.


Plot: Much like the first game, Ms. Pac-Man’s story centers on one brave protagonist’s struggle against diabolical and uniquely colored ghosts that chase after them. This game stars Pacman’s lover, however, instead of himself.


Bechdel Test: Still no.


Gender and Media Relevance: Ms. Pac-Man is the first majorly successful game to feature a female protagonist. As stated above, the game was changed to feature a female version of Pac-Man as a response to the fact that the original did so well with female consumers. Ms. Pac-Man is a amalgamation of many traditionally feminine traits that men perceive, such as a bow, makeup, and high heels on the games cover. The game’s title is another example of male perceptions of women dictating the content of the character. Shortly before release, they realized they had a cutscene in between levels that shows her with a baby. Concerned by the idea of having the character appear to have a child out of wedlock, they changed the name to Ms. Pac-Man.

Shared by: John Horan
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