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Pac-Man: 11 Potential Disadvantages / Downsides (Addictive, Old-Fashioned,…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

large balloon in the shape of pac-man
Roberto Galan / Shutterstock.com

Are you part of the Pac-Man fan club? If you aren’t, you might feel a little alone. The simple reality is that everyone seems to love playing Pac-Man. Most adults who were teens in the 80s fondly remember the game, and their children and grandchildren are presented with modernized versions of it, which they seem to love. 

There’s no denying that for many years, millions of people have sung the game’s praises. But, what if there’s a downside to playing the game? What if playing Pac-Man isn’t all it is trumped up to be? If you have an open mind and want to consider both sides of the story (and all aspects of the facts), you might want to learn a few of the downsides and disadvantages of playing the game. 

Pac-Man isn’t the perfect game for some people, and that’s okay. If you’re not a fan of the game, you might be interested to know that many other people believe that there are downsides and disadvantages to playing the game. If you’re wondering what could be so bad about Pac-Man, consider the brief list of disadvantages linked to playing the game below. Let’s jump right in.

These are 11 downsides and disadvantages of playing Pac-Man:

1. Playing Pac-Man can get boring.

Yup, you read that correctly! Pac-Man can get a bit boring. Of course, it has evolved over the years, and a few nifty new features have been introduced; but in essence, it is still the same game that came out in the 1980s. Players who are looking for a challenge probably won’t feel challenged for very long by Pac-Man. 

2. There’s no storyline to the Pac-Man game.

Modern gamers like to immerse themselves in a story, and that’s why players often seek out first-person games where they become the character immersed in a whole new world. In Pac-Man, there is no backstory or storyline for a player to immerse into. With Pac-Man, what you see is what you get, and after a while, that can become a bit boring. 

3. Playing Pac-Man supports a product where the creator wasn’t paid accordingly. 

When the game was created in 1980, it was the brainchild of Toru Iwatani. He worked for a company called Namco. When the game became a hit, Toru received no additional bonus or reward for his contribution to the game. This could be seen as a negative thing to support.

4. There’s a lot of concentration required in exchange for minimal reward when playing Pac-Man.

To be successful at Pac-Man, you really have to concentrate and focus on the game. You cannot look away from the game for a second…it could result in your demise. You can learn to concentrate by playing Pac-Man, but because the game doesn’t offer immense reward in return, often players lose interest in putting in the effort in the first place. 

Most gamers want to have a challenge that results in a big reward, such as leveling up to something with a whole new concept and a new challenge to match. 

5. Playing Pac-Man often can lead to a lack of hobbies and other activities in your life.

PAC-MAN app in play store
Premio Stock / Shutterstock.com

Let’s face it; some people get bored with Pac-Man, and some people love it so much that they become addicted. If you’re the type that becomes addicted, you may find that you pass up the opportunity to participate in other hobbies and activities. More and more screen time, obsessively playing Pac-Man can lead to you isolating and losing touch with other important activities in your life. 

6. Playing Pac-Man can become addictive over time.

As mentioned above, playing Pac-Man can become addictive. You may find yourself spending considerable amounts of time playing the game instead of doing things that you are meant to be doing. 

For instance, you might start skipping healthy meal prep and you could even spend hours at work playing Pac-Man on your mobile phone. Unfortunately, some games are addictive to some people. If you get hooked on Pac-Man, that’s not considered an advantage. Try to set responsible gaming times and stick to them so that you don’t forget about participating in real life. 

7. Spending too much time playing Pac-Man can lead to too much screen time, which can affect eyesight.

Every parent worries about the amount of time their child spends sitting in front of a computer, the TV, or staring at their phone. This is because their eyesight could be at risk. 

The more time you spend staring at a screen and playing Pac-Man, the more risk there is of your eyesight deteriorating. With a bit of research, you will find that screens emit a blue light that can reach the inner lining of the retina. This light can cause damage to the light-sensitive cells in the retina. The result of this can be macular degeneration and potentially early loss of eyesight.

8. Pac-Man players might find that they often get insomnia.

People who get hooked on playing Pac-Man or other games often find that they cannot simply unwind and go to sleep after a long gaming session. If you have experienced this before, you already know how excruciating it can be to struggle to get some sleep. The game may play on your mind, and you might even experience insomnia. 

It’s important to spend a healthy amount of time away from your digital devices. Players prone to insomnia should avoid playing Pac-Man and other games at least an hour before bed. 

9. Playing Pac-Man regularly can lead to a lack of productivity.

If you happen to thoroughly enjoy Pac-Man, you may find that your productivity levels in other areas of your life start to suffer. You might try to squeeze in a game here and there when you would otherwise be working or doing something productive. You could also find yourself rushing through tasks so that you can go back to playing your favorite game. 

If you have a lot of things on your to-do list, you might not want to get hooked on playing Pac-Man. 

10. Pac-Man is an outdated game.

Vintage Pac Man console
Tinxi / Shutterstock.com

How do you feel about outdated games? Chances are that most children are interested in other, more advanced games. Pac-Man just doesn’t interest every gamer. Some say that Pac-Man is a game with a timeless concept, but is it really? There’s a reason why certain themes and concepts go out of fashion, and that’s because the world changes and develops. 

While Pac-Man has evolved and a lot has been done to modernize the game over time, it cannot take away from the fact that Pac-Man is an old-fashioned game that could potentially belong in the past. 

11. Pac-Man is not mentally challenging (you can learn to play it in minutes).

How long did it take you to learn to play Pac-Man? You probably picked up on the game rules and strategies quite quickly, didn’t you? One thing about Pac-Man is that it is a game that is quick and easy to play. There is nothing complicated about the game at all. 

Most players learn to play the game in a few minutes, and players who are looking for a mental challenge may find that Pac-Man just isn’t challenging enough for them to continue playing long-term. 

All things considered

If you have been wondering if Pac-Man is a great game or a tired concept, the abovementioned points should provide you with some insight. These 11 disadvantages of playing the game can be considered definite cons.

Pac-Man can be a fun game, but there are some disadvantages and downsides to consider before you become hooked on it (or let your kids get hooked on it). Keep them in mind when you’re faced with whether to invest in the latest version of the game or not.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.