The father of Pac Man has died at the age of 91. He officially passed away on January 22.

Masaya Nakamura thank you for bringing so much simple joy to so many children and adults alike. Thank you for being one part of the reason a little girl, all the way in the US, fell in love with gaming through a simple design that would captivate her for life.

Mr. Nakamura founded Namco, the Japanese company behind Pac Man, in 1955.

Can you imagine what an incredible day it was when Pac Man as unleashed into the world in 1980? People may say games don’t matter as a whole, but I have more friends than enemies over games. I have stayed out trouble because of them. I even found common ground with people I might otherwise have had nothing to say to because of video games. And, Pac Man represents an almost a universal connection among gamers.

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I mean, guys! Pac-Man has been played more than 10 BILLION TIMES!

Fun fact: Pac-Man is said to have been inspired by pizza.
Fun fact #2: I love Pizza!

In the U.S. we are having a resurgence of arcades in the form bar-cases, and Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man is in almost every single one I have come across. It was beautifully designed–simple to jump into and incredibly difficult to master–the perfect game to captivate you forever.

I can remember going to Nickel Nickel arcade and hanging in the back with the free games to play Pac Man and Frogger for hours. More recently, I can recall going to Ohio to visit my now husband and playing Asteroids and Pac Man with a stiff whiskey in hand and a goofy grin on my face as we built memories together.

It stands out as a game that has always been there in good times for me, and for that Mr. Nakamura, I thank you for the joy you brought to my life.

Rest In Peace Mr. Nakamura.

What has Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man meant to you?