PacManhattan - LARPing an arcade classic.

Some folks just can’t let go of the past. This explains a lot of things such as the popularity of those retro video game collections where you can play all the arcade classics from your youth on your living room console. For some people that’s still not enough. They have to take their love of old video games to a whole new level.

When that happens you get things like Pac Manhattan where folks dress up as Pac-Man and the various ghosts from that classic arcade game and chase each other around Washington Square Park in pursuit of power pellets.

Pac-Manhattan is a large-scale urban game that utilizes the New York City grid to recreate the 1980’s video game sensation Pac-Man. This analog version of Pac-man is being developed in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications graduate program, in order to explore what happens when games are removed from their “little world” of tabletops, televisions and computers and placed in the larger “real world” of street corners, and cities.

A player dressed as Pac-man will run around the Washington square park area of Manhattan while attempting to collect all of the virtual “dots” that run the length of the streets. Four players dressed as the ghosts Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde will attempt to catch Pac-man before all of the dots are collected.

Using cell-phone contact, Wi-Fi internet connections, and custom software designed by the Pac-Manhattan team, Pac-man and the ghosts will be tracked from a central location and their progress will be broadcast over the internet for viewers from around the world.

The videos are hilarious. I think this one is my favorite. Listen to the guy sitting on the sidewalk yelling at Pac Man.

The site includes photos, videos, rules, press info, schedules of upcoming games, a mailing list, and high scores (natch). If nothing else at least the players of this Pac Man game won’t get fat in the process.

Link via Boing Boing.

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