BANDAI NAMCO Holdings and BANDAI NAMCO Studios are pleased to share details of a collaborative project in association with ARS ELECTRONICA Festival in Linz, Austria.
Experienced teams from Japan and Europe came together to bring their creative ideas to life around the world-famous PAC-MANTM character which was then exhibited recently at the well-known technology art festival in Linz.
PAC-MANTM was featured at the ARS ELECTRONICA Festival with an objective to inspire many of all ages, and give visitors an insight on how education in the future could evolve by taking PAC-MANTM into new untested areas. The exhibition takes people through a historical journey starting with PAC-MANTM’s birth in 1980s through to 2017 which was called the ‘EduCreation Lab’. The ‘EduCreation Lab’ featured iconic moments that would see PAC-MANTM become the symbol of a generation of gamers. The exhibition enabled visitors to experience new educational possibilities, take on new challenges, solve puzzles, express feelings, meet new people and teach children and adults how to work together.
As well as the ‘EduCreation’ lab, the teams worked on a number of experimental projects using ‘Microsoft Hololens’ to create a new version of the classic PAC-MANTM called ‘PAC in town’ which connected to the real world as if PAC-MANTM was playable in a street, and a new table-top PAC-MANTM called ‘PAC-CONNECT’, allowing multiple PAC-MANTM to meet in-game and then introduce themselves in real life. A brand new PAC-MANTM experience was also created in the famous ‘Deep Space 8k’ screening room at Ars Electronica called ‘Funguage’. ‘Funguage’ allowed players to interact with a new form of language, inspired by ‘Emoji’. This new language allowed players to walk onto chosen imagery (language) and send these signs and feelings into the PAC-MANTM universe. What this did was give players the opportunity to express their feelings of fun, unhappiness, cheekiness and love. All of these prototypes helped create a social experiment, bringing digital and real world together in a positive way. All projects were prototype and experimental to test new possible areas for the character in the future.
“PAC-MANTM is an icon, and the first ever videogame character that has made millions of people happy for almost four decades. The character has an incredible-rich-history since 1980 and it’s fascinating how history, music, fashion and cultures have changed over the period, yet the character remains the most known and loved by people of all ages. History has changed so much in nearly forty years and there is an incredible story and world-records that are associated with the character, so as an entertainment company we are thinking much broader, as well as how our famous character can support education, social interaction and help the future with new technologies and experiences. We have great games, a great character and a rich history and it’s a great opportunity for us to explore new prototypes to support a positive future.”