Article Thursday, July 22
   
 
Courtesy Pat O'Malley
Star Worlds Arcade, 1234 E. Lincoln Highway, will host numerous events in celebration of Pac-Man's 30th anniversary. The events will be run by employee Pat "Pac-Man Pat" O'Malley (pictured). O'Malley has been selected to present birthday cards addressed to the video game icon upon his induction into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa on August 7.
 

Local arcade celebrates Pac-Man

Publish Date:07/20/2010
By Chris Krapek

The only cure for Pac-Man fever is more Pac-Man.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the maze-roaming, dot-eating, ghost-avoiding pop culture icon, Star Worlds Arcade, 1234 E. Lincoln Highway, is collecting birthday cards for Pac-Man. Star Worlds’ own Patrick “Pac-Man Pat” O’Malley will deliver the cards when the yellow video game icon is inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame in Ottumwa, Iowa on Aug. 7.

“They said ‘you guys are perfect for this,’” O’Malley said. “It’s cool. It’s an honor to me that they thought highly enough of Star Worlds.”

O’Malley and his fellow employees were selected by the Hall of Fame to run a Pac-Man booth at the event, complete with tournaments, more birthday card-making and debate about whether Blinky was the red or pink ghost. Representatives from NAMCO, creators of “Pac-Man,” will be on hand to accept the induction and partake in the celebration.

Michelle Brennan, who works part-time at Star Worlds, says she hopes to reach a target goal of 500 birthday cards. So far, Star Worlds has about 75.

“The cards are very simple, just a piece of white paper and what comes from the heart,” she said. “And the crafts right now are Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man puppet sticks. We are having a great time with these.”

Birthday wishers can turn-in store-bought cards at Star Worlds themselves, or stop by, play a little pinball and use card-making supplies available there.

Although it’s technically been 30 years since the Japanese version of “Pac-Man” changed video games forever, the American version’s birthday is in October. To celebrate, O’Malley will be having Pac-Man-themed events and parties for the next few months, including a huge 80s party on July 31. Star Worlds, which has been in operation since 1985, houses decade-spanning video games from Burger Time to Crazy Taxi. O’Malley attributes its success to its loyal customers and the desire to revisit those nostalgic memories of having a pocket full of tokens, joystick in hand.

“People want to go back and see where video games started,” he said. “Now, you pop a game out of the box, play it for three or four months, beat it and then it’s gone. On the old games, you had to reach the kill screen before you were a master.”
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