A new theory has surfaced on Reddit, and it concerns a retro game we all know: Pac-Man. The principle of Namco's arcade game is certainly not unfamiliar to you: a head with an open mouth that we stroll through a labyrinth in order to swallow small points, while avoiding ghosts. All of this would likely have a pretty dark meaning.
Internet users have indeed expressed themselves on Reddit, claiming that the principle of the game is in fact a kind of metaphor, a video game image of what people experience with mental illnesses , coupled with a pejorative representation of the business of companies. pharmaceuticals .
According to the theory advanced on Reddit, the game Pac-Man would therefore represent the experience of a character perpetually struggling against depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. The game would also tell the story of a Pac-Man chained up in the immutable cycle of the capitalist consumerist model.
An illustration of the situation of people with mental disorders
Maybe you don't make the connection? According to the comments on the platform – taken up byCBR – the labyrinths of the different levels of the game constitute what the small pictogram playing the role of main character has in his head.
Throughout the game, regardless of the level, Pac-Man will wander between walls to escape ghosts and, on his way, swallow small dots all over the maze. This is where the "metaphor" seems most poignant, because in this reasoning, the ghosts would be the inner demons that Pac-Man desperately tries to escape in his head.
As for the small points that he swallows, these are the drugs that are used to face these inner demons, and sometimes to overcome them. However, these drugs are only effective for a short time. And he will have to swallow more small points (drugs) so as not to lose the game (or the head).
Another theory centered on the capitalist model
Another Reddit affiliate puts forward a theory that answers this time to the “Meal Bonus”. The labyrinth would then be the image of an environment that never changes and where Pac-Man does the same work over and over, without ever receiving any promotion or new attributions.
The only reward for hard work: a meal bonus. Then Pac-Man returns to this same job with the only expression of the “new level” a faster pace of work.
Thanks to the concept and the simple design of the game, Pac-Man caught the attention of arcade players in the 80s, and the simplicity of its gameplay has continued its success with the public for these successive generations.
The theories expressed on Reddit seem to reveal a rather raw new side of this classic and essential game. For clarification, Namco has not ruled in this direction and until proven otherwise, the theories remain theories.