I’m a Classic Era Gamer when it comes to video games. I was four years old when Space Invaders landed, and seven when Pac-Man began its relentless quarter-munching campaign. I vividly recall the first time I saw a Pac-Man cabinet at Straw Hat Pizza in Malibu. I thought it was the coolest thing ever invented, like a cartoon come to life with a joystick attached.
Pac-Man and its sequel Ms. Pac-Man remain my games of choice to this day, with Dig-Dug right behind. These are the only video games I can play that will cause people to come over to watch.
Over those many years of playing Pac-Man and its sequels, I’ve given serious thought to Clyde, one of the four multi-colored ghosts in the original game. Clyde is the orange ghost. Aka “Pokey.” The “random one.” The “stupid one.” No matter what nicknames he may attract, I adore Clyde and his twin sister Sue, who takes his place in Ms. Pac-Man—probably because Clyde was reluctant to show up a second time. I’m going to dress up as Clyde for Halloween. If I buy a Pac-Man T-shirt (bound to happen one day) it’s gonna be a Clyde shirt.
Only recently have I started to grasp fully why I like Clyde the most of the four ghosts. I know how his programming operates, but watching his behavior in the game has given me something to contemplate. So let’s have a little talk about him. Caution: I’m going to take a bit of a serious direction with this eventually.
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