Google Pac-Man Cost the Economy $120 Million Last Week

Flickr photo by El Gran Héroe Americano
If you played Google's Pac-Man game last Friday, you were in good company -- about 505 million people worldwide joined in on the fun.

The game, which went live on May 21 and stayed up for 48 hours in honor of Pac-Man's 30th anniversary, took about 4,819,352 hours of employee time, according to an article in the Hindustan Times. In dollars, that is more than $120 million.

Wow. Too bad no one thought to cash in on this particular wave of nostalgia.

So, I will admit that I tried it out on Friday myself. And it makes me feel less alone to know that so many others did as well.


Maybe I'm just a Luddite, but I couldn't enjoy the game without the joystick (and the loud, booming arcade noises with the added bonus of a vague musty urine smell), so I spent about four minutes, if that, before giving up and vowing to play Pac-Man at the local movie theater instead.

I may be alone in that, though. Because of the game's popularity, Google has opted to make the whole thing permanent. Great. So now our economy can collapse. Because of Pac-Man.

I am pretty sure this is what all the early 1980s doomsayers were predicting anyway.

Did you play Pac-Man? Did you enjoy it?

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