Take part in the world's biggest PAC-MAN game courtesy of Microsoft - and play it on whatever HTML5 browser you want to.
Microsoft seems to have had some sort of nervous breakdown earlier in the year because it commissioned a website that is mostly just fun. The idea for the World's Biggest PAC-MAN (WBPM) site seems to have been to showcase HTML5 and IE9 but to be honest it doesn't really do either as everyone is focused on playing the game - so much so that since it was opened in April 1 Billion PAC-DOTS have been eaten.
Various blogs try to stress the link with IE9:
"Internet Explorer 9 users who pinned the site to their taskbar were treated to one-click access to the game and a quick-view of their personal stats."
But the fact of the matter is that the site works just fine with any HTML5 browser - FireFox and Chrome both work. Of course this is the whole point of HTML5 and if it didn't work this would be a big shock.There are some stats which show that IE9 users spend longer on the site and this is taken to be a sort of proof of the value of pinning - but who knows as there are also more IE9 visitors in total.
You can find out more about the game from the video below:
The game itself is interesting because it not only lets you play PAC-MAN on a large number of different mazes it also lets you design your own mazes. Hence the current 43.000 plus mazes you can play with. The live stats shows that just over 1 million mazes have been completed in the eating of 1 Billion PAC-DOTS.
The site is now working its way towards 2 Billion PAC-DOTS eaten and there is also a competition to keep your interest. You can win a complete old style PAC-MAN arcade machine with some PAC-MAN T Shirts for the runners up. Al you have to do is eat as many ghosts as possible and send in a screen shot to prove it.
Nice though the site is, the real mystery is what Microsoft hopes to gain from it? This really does make clear the problem of attempting to appear different and attractive in a standards-based world. Whatever - enjoy the biggest PAC-MAN in the world, at least until Microsoft realizes that it is not doing it much good.
One of the highlights of the programming year is SIGGRAPH and particularly the video trailer that showcases the work that is being presented. This year's is well worth the three minutes it takes [ ... ]