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June 18, 2007

Tonight's Question of Immense Cultural Signficance, Part Deux


Is Pac-Man a mammal?

Show your work. Defend your thesis.

Posted by john at June 18, 2007 05:38 PM

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Odbasta | June 18, 2007 05:52 PM

The biological answer to this question is most simply stated as a counter-question: Does Mrs. Pac Man wear a brassiere? Sure, she may wear high heels and have a bodacious booty, but last time I checked there were no tatas.

No mammary glands = Non-mammal.

JJBird | June 18, 2007 05:57 PM

A Mammal, of course not!

Pac Man is clearly a bacterium, and the video game environment in which he is presented has skewed your perception of his scale. Pac Man operates at the microscopic level, chomping his way through the carrier's bloodstream, avoiding the killer white blood cells (aka "ghosts") in his gastronomic journey.

Every 20,000 points he has consumed enough material to reproduce through binary fusion - thus the "free man". Because we humans have limited perception we need to present the multiple copies of the bacteria serially, but in reality they proceed in parallel to ravage the system until they are all eliminated.

BTW - Pac Man CE on the Xbox 360 is an AWESOME re-visitation and revitalization of the Pac Man experience.

John Scalzi | June 18, 2007 05:57 PM

Odbasta, this makes the (erroneous) supposition that human mammary glands are normal among mammals. In fact, they are quite unusual and outsized, relative to most other mammal species. So Mrs. Pac-Man's lack of bra would not be, in itself, a negation of her possible mammalian nature.

Mike G | June 18, 2007 06:00 PM


Ms. Pacman has hair. Therefore, mammal.

John Scalzi | June 18, 2007 06:03 PM

Mike G:

Insects have hair too. So do furry lobsters. But they are not mammals.

Also, do we all agree that Mrs. Pac-Man and Pac-Man are the same species? Could they not be examples of parallel evolution?

Nathan | June 18, 2007 06:05 PM

I have no idea about Pac-Man's mammalhood (mammalness? mammalitiousness?), but I have it on good authority that he is NOT a religious icon .

Cassie | June 18, 2007 06:18 PM

My teen-age writer daughter wanted to know just how bored you are today, John.

I don't think that Pacman is a mammal. The obvious requirements don't seem to be apparent on Ms. Pacman.

Ardaniel | June 18, 2007 06:23 PM

Pac-Man appears to be pretty yellow on a standard NTSC CRT. The color temperature involved there would be around 4000 degrees Kelvin, give or take a couple hundred, or 6740 degrees Fahrenheit.

I assume that counts as "warm-blooded," for some theoretical value of same involving creatures made of phosphor.

Mike G | June 18, 2007 06:29 PM


Very true. I should have taken that into account. I also should have referenced a source. I still hold my position. As time goes on and the graphical interpretations of Pacman become more detailed we can clearly see a tongue, and eyebrows. Two very mammalian traits. Although I suppose that Pacman could be a semi anthropomorphic insect, crustacean, or other form of exoskeletoned invertebrate, but assuming that Pacman, as he appears, is not a caricature of a less evolved creature, I would still default to mammal.

My resource material

An Eric | June 18, 2007 06:30 PM

No, although in the "Pac-universe" Pac-Man occupies an ecological niche analogous to homo sapiens and the larger class of Paccalia appears to correspond to mammalia in our universe.

That said, the basic building blocks of physics and chemistry are a bit different in Pac-Man's alternate universe, and so comparing Pacland's biological history to Earth's is a bit like comparing apples to things that are sort-of fruit-flavored in a kind of generically artificial way but absolutely nothing like fruit and not flavored like apples, either--Red Vines, for instance.

I recommend this article as a good source for laypersons, although (like anything in wikipedia) it shouldn't be taken as final authority:


Mike G | June 18, 2007 06:31 PM

I would also like to apologize for my horrendous display of rushed html.

John Scalzi | June 18, 2007 06:33 PM

Fixed it, Mike G.

DavidS | June 18, 2007 06:34 PM

Pacman and Ms. Pacman are differently the same species -- they reproduced. Also, Ms. Pacman has eyelashes as well as the well known hairbow.

An Eric | June 18, 2007 06:35 PM

How did my entire post become Mike G's link? That's so weird! Like... like Mike G is Pac-Man and I'm a ghost....

Don't eat me! Please don't eat me! Aggggh! Mommy!

Mike G | June 18, 2007 06:40 PM


Don't you worry about that! When I do something dumb it affects everyone! That is how good I am (at screwing up).

John, thank you for the fix.

zachary.wilson | June 18, 2007 06:44 PM

I once read an interesting essay that put forth the notion that Pac-Man (the game itself) was an allegory for capilatism. He consumes and consumes and consumes - never satiated or satisfied. He consumes out of fear of the unknown (ghosts) and the disruption of the status quo (loss of life)

probably a crock but it makes me smile.

kurt | June 18, 2007 06:45 PM

I have often felt that "Man" and "Woman" were two seperate species that co exist in a symbiotic relationship that results in the procreation of both.

How else can you explain men are from mars and women are from venus and a whole bunch of other stuff that defies explanation??

Why should Pac man and Mrs Pac man be any different?? Does he get hen pecked for leaving the seat up?

As to whether he is a Mammal or not......Like I said, I am still not sure women are the same species!!!

But, I sure am glad they are here and seem willing to put up with us!!!

zachary.wilson | June 18, 2007 06:45 PM

sorry about the egreegus misspell on capitalism

Dan | June 18, 2007 06:50 PM

Now, insofar as I'd love to say Pac Man is a marsupial for no other reason than I happen to LIKE the word marsupial, I think logic dictates that Pac Man is, in fact, a pernicious, unstoppable, parasitic, masticating member of phylum Gremlin.

Chuk | June 18, 2007 06:54 PM

Pacman is obviously a mammal. Check out this photo of his skeleton: http://streetanatomy.com/blog/?p=91

Note the heterodont dentition common to mammals.

Oh, wait a minute, looks like he doesn't have enough vertebrae. (None of these are defining characteristics of mammals (there are some homodont and some with different numbers of vertebrae), but they're good indicators.) Now I don't know what the hell he is.

hugh57 | June 18, 2007 06:57 PM

I think Pac Man is a mammal related to the bear family, i.e., a Godless, Killing Machine!

lazybratsche | June 18, 2007 07:01 PM

From this skull, it is clear that Pac Man is a mammal. There are three clear diagnostic features here. First, it has a synapsid skull, which exists only in mammals and their immediate ancestors. Secondly, note the secondary palate: this feature (at least primitively) evolved in mammals to allow the young to suckle. I can't say whether or not this is how modern Pac-men raise their young. Finally, and most tellingly, this specimen has the same number and type of teeth as all eutherian (non-marsupial) mammals.

Therefore, Pac-man is a mammal.

lazybratsche | June 18, 2007 07:08 PM

Ah, Chuk beat me to it. Still, that's clearly a mammalian skull, even though it's so heavily modified.

Odbasta | June 18, 2007 07:24 PM

John: Perhaps I was erroneous in assuming that, if Mrs. Pac Man was indeed a child-feeding mammal, she would naturally have huge human knockers. However, given her penchant for luxury cars, exotic furs, and pearl necklaces, how could one not assume that this fine example of a lady wouldn't "augment" her womanly features? I mean, a woman of her stature would be the first in line to get a little nip/tuck/inflate. The only clear conclusion is that there's really nothing there.

Hence, I stand by my original thesis: Until Pac Baby can suckle on Mrs. Pac Man's sweet dandelion areolas, the entire Pac Clan can be considered non-mammalian. Or, as Johnny Cochran would say, "If the breast don't rain, you low on the food chain."

Jon R | June 18, 2007 07:47 PM

During Ms PacMan "Act 3 - Junior": A stork drops off a bundle containing a tiny Pac-Man. In Western culture a stork represents childbirth to avoid a direct discussion of sex. Most mammals give birth to live young, and while not a 100% differentiator, natural childbirth is a mammalian trait. Mammalia is defined as all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of monotremes and therian mammals (marsupials and placentals). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammal#Classification) The majority of today's living mammals are placental. So if PacMan Jr was delivered by stork, this is an allegory for sexual reproduction with a resulting placenta, thus a mammal was born. Mammals begat mammals. Therefore PacMan is a mammal.

Additionally, PacMan and Ms PacMan are also omnivores. During the game they eat fruit, milk, pretzel ice cream, cookies, etc. Considering that majority of omnivorous creatures are also mammal, it again is most likely that PacMan and Ms PacMan are mammals.

Anyone buying this BS?

MWT | June 18, 2007 08:04 PM

Heh, this reminds me of the time I tried to taxonomically classify my beanie baby fish ("well, it has a dorsal fin and a caudal fin and pectoral fins, but no anal or pelvic fins... but eels are long and skinny while this is short and round...").

Also, I wanted to point out that just about all vertebrates have tongues, not just mammals. The presence of a tongue would not identify the Pacs as mammals.

Also also, there are non-mammals that give live birth, such as some species of sharks and (for those familiar with aquariums) guppies and mollies.

I like the bacterium thesis best. :)

AliceB | June 18, 2007 08:20 PM

Pac Man is a pie, wishing it were Pi--since Pi is cooler--which has led to its self-destructive eating disorder. Which means I come down on the "not a mammal" side. [If I were smarter I'd figure out how to tie this into Schadenfreund pie...]

Hannah | June 18, 2007 08:33 PM

Well, if Mrs. Pacman nurses her young, which are born and not hatched, then we would have an answer. However, it has been known for decades that the mating and breeding habits of the Pac-People are notoriously dfficult to document, as they tend to come chomping after anyone attempting to obtain footage.

I will say this, however: the People of Pac are known to be able to strategize their feeding habits so as to turn the tables on their ghostly enemies. This higher level thinking is typically found among mammels.

QED: The People of Pac are mammals.

Christian | June 18, 2007 08:41 PM


For the love of God!


Flashback Goodness

Steve Buchheit | June 18, 2007 09:17 PM

Okay, I'm going to have to go with reptilia. First off, PacMac needs an external heat source to display mobility. Without said heat source, PacMac becomes dormant. Also, PacMan swallows pellets and fruit whole (which is a characteristic of lizards). Then, when normally touched by ghosts, which as everyone knows cause cold spots), this kills PacMan (again supporting the "does not generate internal heat").

milchman | June 18, 2007 09:31 PM

Well, we here at the Creation Institute and Museum have biblical and historical evidence as to the shocking and diabolical REAL origins of this so-called 'Pacman'.

1) He mercilessly devours all he is directed to.
2) The more he consumes, the more 'Life' he gains.
3) Only the All-Powerful Ghosts can stop him.

(We have a host of other references in the Underground Archives, but brevity limits my response).

Pacman is Satan.

1) Satan devours all. (Genesis, Leviticus, etc.)
2) As he consumes, he extends his life. (Genesis)
3) Well, obviously the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy GHOST, plus one, or in some cases, two, others; much debate continues on this topic. Believe me, there are some real sticklers out there) are the Ghosts most feared by the Great Deceiver.

As for Ms. Pacman; Satan's little sister.

Don't forget our Motto: "Creationism: Still not quite as loony-sounding as Scientology"

milchman | June 18, 2007 09:39 PM

Sorry for the double post. Can anyone remove the post from 9.29pm...oh, and I guess this one too, dangit.
Mea Culpa

Stegve | June 18, 2007 09:56 PM

Is he not a man? And is not Man a mammal? He's a man -- so, he's a mammal. Q.E.D.

Kate | June 18, 2007 10:03 PM

There is a difference between fur and hair as discussed here.

So using hair as a species identifier would be completely unscientific as humans have hair and they are mammals, but chimpanzees have fur and they are also mammalian.

Also you can not account for live birth as your answer either because sharks (which are barely homeothermic) give birth to live offspring. Also, duck billed platypuses which are warm blooded mammals lay leathery eggs.

The only thing I would suggest that would give any weight to classification would be clear intelligence.

If you look at Whales, Apes, Humans and Dolphins all three of which are mammals, there have been extensive studies on their intelligence and their ability to communicate on a level far above their reptilian counterparts.

Considering Mr. & Mrs. Pacman run around a maze from ghosts all day, and repeatedly die after being caught, I would classify that behavior as basic fight or flight and survivalist.

A smarter species would have devised another way to gain pellets and fruit in a safer way.

Granted, one can argue that you have the Jerry Springer aspect of mammalian population, however have you seen some of the redneck inventions involving beer and stolen cable?

Scott | June 18, 2007 10:34 PM

He's Pac-MAN. Not Pac-Protozoa, or Pac-Lizard. If he wasn't a man, they wouldn't call him one (score one for truth-in-advertising).

Men are mammals, therefore Pac-Man is clearly one as well.

The Ms. Pac-Man arguments are red-herring's, as Ms. Pac-Man's mammalian status has no bearing on Pac-Man himself. Maybe she is, maybe she isn't - doesn't matter. One could make the claim that Ms. Pac-Man is also called a man, and yet she clearly isn't, thus possibly indicating that my argument is flawed. In response, I say that "man" is being used as a term for the species rather than the gender (which also makes Ms. Pac-Man a mammal, but, as mentioned before, that is actually beside the point).

Annalee Flower Horne | June 18, 2007 10:41 PM

clearly, he's a primitive positronic life form.

-PacMan is yellow. Data is yellow.
-PacMan and Data both eat random things for no particular reason except to eat them (do you remeber Diana's Data-cake? I do).
-Geeky teenage boys hang around Data. They also hang around PacMan.
-Did you play PacMan when you were a teenager, Scalzi? If so, that's a clear indication that, as with Data, teenage boys who hang around PacMan can grow up to be talented writers and popular bloggers.
-Both PacMan and Data smile without any grasp of the emotion behind the expression.

Therefore, PacMan=Positronic.

Matt Jarpe | June 18, 2007 10:50 PM

He can't be microscopic because he eats cherries that are smaller than he is, so not a bacterium. He has no spine because he's all head, so you can't tell that way. He's a product of technology trapped in a maze, working for subsistence wages for a joystick wielding overlord and he's made of pixels. Therefore he's a pixel stained technopeasant wretch.

John Scalzi | June 18, 2007 10:52 PM

Annalee Flower Horne:

"Did you play PacMan when you were a teenager, Scalzi?"

As IF. Tempest, baby. And I rocked it.

milchman | June 18, 2007 11:28 PM

Tempest and Joust and Dig-Dug...fun for the fundamenalist.

Oh, and by the way...apparently I am instructed to state, in no uncertain terms.....

"I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the Creationism Museum/Institute and all posts made were for the purpose of humor, and not inteneded as use for factual reportage."

Sorry, but that's their wording and not mine.

'Reportage'? Oh my...

GSLamb | June 18, 2007 11:44 PM

I would have to throw my vote in as some kind of shark. As stated previously, sharks give birth to 'live offspring' (technically, even eggs are 'live', but I digress). Both sharks and the Pac-Clan are "remorseless eating machines." Also, it is relatively hard for both Pac-Man and the average shark to survive long without moving.

Scott Elyard | June 19, 2007 12:15 AM

Without more diagnostic data, it's impossible to say whether Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, or their descendants are mammals. As has been pointed out, mammary glands are not synapomorphic of Mammalia, since they (the glands) do not fossilize consistently well.

Since the scientific definition of what constitutes a mammal is at some variance with commonly accepted definitions (i.e. an homeothermic vertebrate which gives milk, and, less frequently, possesses solid mandible with three ear bones), some workers have favored an apomorphy-based definition (most recent common
ancestor of extant mammals possessing a single lower jawbone and all of its
descendents) for clade Mammalia, but the current working definition remains particular to a a given worker's needs at hand (to say nothing of annoying if one is trying to write a quick paragraph defining fricking mammals, since most discussion on this point quickly devolves into something with a more diapsid bias).

But this is all moot, since no skeletal features are distinctive enough to warrant an attempt at classification. In virtually every case, Pac-Man is rendered two-dimensionally, and a mimimum of three dimensions are required for a type specimen. (Even 3D iterations of the Pac-Man franchise such as Pac-Man Versus, Pac-Man World &c. only reveal a single planar represenation presented in succession, typically 60 or 50 fields per second for NTSC and PAL displays respectively; it remains to be seen if HDTV will ever deliver enough clarity to resolve skeletal characters in such a way as to render them unequivocally suitable for an holotype--even setting aside that Pac-Man is almost never displayed as an animal, but, rather, geometry).

Without this information, the taxonomic status of Pac-Man will remain incertae sedis. (Very much so.)

However, one thing is certain: Pac-Man is made of math.

CosmicDog | June 19, 2007 01:44 AM

No, the Pac-Man (pax mandibÅ­la, ironically "jawbone of peace") is not a mammal. It is an archetype of relatively new strain of super-bacteria that feeds upon nickel and copper, and sometimes silver.

No one has ever witnessed Pac-Man and the so-called Ms Pac-Man engage in the reproductive act, with either each other or anyone else. As for their 'child', it was delivered by stork, which is not a metaphor. This smaller Pac-spawn is formed from the same cellular mitosis that previousely spawned the larger specimens. It has been demonstrated, however, that depositing 5.670 grams of nickel and copper (or silver) into the Pac-Man's colony will instantly create three new Pac-Man cells. More cells can be created if a Pac-Man consumes enough material.

The evolutionary balance to the this super bacteria is the super-antibodies that sweep through a system to completely remove all traces of the Pac-Man strain. If a Pac-Man consumes a particular amino acid, it can potentially consume these super-antibodies. However, these anti-bodies are quite virolent and it will not be long before a new batch is sweeping through the body, looking for Pac-Man bacteria to consume.

Christopher Hawley | June 19, 2007 02:20 AM

Hmmm, lessee now: (delves into bio texts & OED)
* Nursing of infants: none.
(Baby Pac-Man is an obvious creationist bastard,
so the pinball 'derivative' is disallowed.)
* Umbilici: none.
* Warm blooded:
less so than any frustrated player (majority of
which are demonstrably mammalian). Nyet.
* Amniote: don't think so.
* Four-chambered heart:
Nope, not even a four-core processor.
* [typically] viviparous:
progeny spend no observable developmental time
within parent; hence, no.

Pac-Man is not a mammal.
Ms. Pac-Man (sheesh!) is not a mammal.
Peg-Man is an alien (cf. Rudy Rucker).

Thanks for forcing me to look up "viviparous."

- Chris

JH | June 19, 2007 02:48 AM

Pac-Man is not a mammal. Pac-Man is not not a mammal. Pac-Man is Pac-Man.

Pablo Defendini | June 19, 2007 08:35 AM

Pac Man is a post-singularity avatar which started life as a bot charged with cleaning up malicious code on the net, and whose duties now encompass considerably more than just that. What we see is barely the tip of the iceberg, my friends- the Pac Man takes on many forms, depending on how he is mediating his interaction with our primitive, meatspace senses, so deconstructing its physical form is an excercise in futility. It just happens to like big, round, yellow bodies because they're pleasing to children. Why it wants to be aesthetically pleasing to children is anyone's guess.
One can only assume that his ghost-chomping antics are a simplistic analogy for a much more complex role within the nascent noospheric environment in which the Pac Man thrives. We can only hope that one day we'll be sufficiently enthralled by the singularity to be able to fully appreciate the Pac Man's role in keeping our tubes safe.
That day we'll give him and his lovely consort a medal, Star Wars style.

Greg | June 19, 2007 09:09 AM

I'm with CosmicDog on this (well done, sir!). I'm not sure why Pac-Man metabolizes nickel, copper and silver, but I think it might relate to the Pac-Man's unique means of locomotion. Pac-Man moves while simultaneously flexing its cellular corpus. While this has yet to be confirmed in the laboratory, I would suggest that this indicates an internal cell skeletal structure. This structure and, indeed, movement, is likely created through a system of skeletal microtubules.

Now, it is a bit of a stretch, but materials scientists recently have created nickel and copper microtubules in the laboratory. If, somehow, this organism was able to metabolize these metals and incorporate them into its skeletal structure, then we might see in Pac-Man the same combination of strength and flexibility that we see in the microtubules created in the laboratory. The continual flexing of these microtubules could also account for the perceived "wokka wokka wokka" sound that the Pac-Man creates while in motion.

I'm going somewhere with this, really.

It all relates to my theory on how the so-called ghost antibodies kill Pac-Man -- and could describe the resulting disintegration of the Pac-Man.

If you'll note, the projections at the bottoms of ghost antibodies look similar to the active group of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta inhibitors. These inhibitors bind to corresponding type-II TGF-beta receptors on the Pac-Man cell surface.

The resulting chemical cascade activates the Fas receptor, which in turn mediates the function of the Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) and programmed cell death, a.k.a., apoptosis. (Drug companies are currently exploring the TGF-beta kinase active group to induce apoptosis in certain cancers.)

During apoptosis, the nuclear material condenses and the cell itself forms irregular buds called blebs. These blebs usually form in a variety of sizes, with the smaller blebs bursting first.

Inside each of these blebs is a corresponding length of microtuble -- smaller blebs have smaller microtubule pieces and larger blebs have larger microtubule pieces.

As each bleb ruptures, there is a rush of gas through the microtubules. This results in a distinct note -- like blowing across the top of a beer bottle -- whose tone is dictated by the length of the microtubule.

Since the blebs rupture from smaller to larger, we can actually hear the Pac-Man's death through a descending series of notes. Since this "death song " is created by the dissolution of Pac-Man, the creature is literally played out of existance.

True story. Swear to Crom. Sorry for the length.

Tor | June 19, 2007 09:45 AM

Viviparous and omnivorous - That would mean mammal or shark. But are mammals truly omnivorous? They've pulled license plates out of the stomachs of tiger sharks - I don't remember anyone doing that for a cheetah. The immense amount of random crap that Pac Man eats (fruit, snacks, dots etc.) point to an indiscriminate omnivore - which isn't any mammal that I know about.

Which lead to his environment - he lives in darkness and hunts things that look like ghosts. So he either lives in underground caves, or in some abyssal trench. The ghosts would probably appear that way due to some sort of phosphorescence used either for defense (protective coloration) or a lure.

I don't believe we've seen cave dwelling animals of any type use phosphorescence for either, while it is common in the deep ocean, which is a point for shark. Also, I don't know if we've found any mammals in subterranean caves - just fish and insects. Another point for shark.

How does Pac Man get around? No legs or hands or tail. I don't believe there are any legless handless mammals that as a species, have managed to survive.

But Pac Man *could* be some sort of abyssal gulper, that takes in water through its mouth and pushes it out its gills for motive power. Also, if he is circular, as opposed to spherical (he was originally 2D) his entire body could be a fin.

So I believe Pac Man to be an abyssal gulper-shark, chasing ghost-like prey though the unending darkness of some abyssal trench. Prey that uses its phosphorescent lure to attract smaller prey, but when threatened, the phosphorescence blinks due to the stress of flight, or possibly attempts at concealing an always-on type lure, such as phosphorescence created by bacteria that is 'farmed' on the lure.

Mfitz | June 19, 2007 09:54 AM

On initial observation I was inclined to say that PacMan is a monotreme, and therefore a mammal, but on further thought I believe that members of the PacMan species belong to a previously un-classified family of creatures who have mammal-like features, hair, high metabolism, and certain cranial skeletal structures.

This group of creatures has branched off from the pre-mammal base group, and undergone some major morphological changes so they now possess only a vestigial spine, and have lost both shoulder and pelvic girdles and all limbs but vestigial rear limbs in the female (Retained possibly for reproductive purposes?) They have also developed a radical new means of locomotion by floating, (possibly due to large internal gas bladder full of lighter than air gas?) This, their taste for cherries, and their constant grazing would seem to indicate that they are herbivores, who will opportunistically eat meat. Despite the occasional ghost in their diet most of their calorie intake must come in the form of high roughage vegetable matter that is internally ferment to provide gas to allow them to float.

Kell | June 19, 2007 10:31 AM

Pacman is not only not a mammal, it's thermodynamic impossibility. It consumes but produces no waste or heat.

Watchman | June 19, 2007 10:42 AM

Kell, I'm not so sure about that whole "produces no waste" thing...where do you think the pellets for the next level come from?

marciepooh | June 19, 2007 10:46 AM

I'm not sure about the skeletal requirements for mammals (although fossil mammals are often classified by thier teeth and jaw structures) but mammals produce milk. Monotremes don't have nipples (milk is secreted directly onto the skin and the young lick it off), so the presence or lack of obvious mammaries is not definitive.

In at least one picture (from a pinball machine, on a wikipedia page) Pac-baby is seen drinking a white liquid from a bottle. This would suggest that baby pac-men need milk (and that Ms. Pac-man has nipples, since the bottle appears to have a nipple like our baby bottles) and are therefore mammals.

Are non-mammalian babies capable of digesting milk? (Many mammalian adults can't, hence the need for Lactaid)

ajay | June 19, 2007 11:06 AM

"It's ridiculous to say that children are influenced by playing video games. I grew up in the 1980s. If I'd been influenced by the games I played, I'd be running manically around a darkened room, eating vast quantities of pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."

John Scalzi | June 19, 2007 11:20 AM

Er, you'd be Moby?

Greg | June 19, 2007 11:28 AM

Kell, I'm not so sure about that whole "produces no waste" thing...where do you think the pellets for the next level come from?

Talk about a circular argument, ick. Coprophagia?

Tor | June 19, 2007 12:34 PM

Hey! He's got a few legal troubles, but that doesn't mean that he's not a mammal!


Jeff R. | June 19, 2007 07:52 PM

Pac-Man's purpose in life is to eat a power pill, flip out, and kill people.

Thus Pac-Man is a Ninja, and ergo, a mammal.


John Scalzi | June 19, 2007 08:43 PM

What about ninja turtles?

Jon H | June 19, 2007 09:01 PM

Pac-Man is, of course, one of the angels who rebelled against the Lord.

Fin | June 20, 2007 07:12 AM

Pac-Man is married to Ms. Pac-Man, and since we all know that marriage is a special institution set down by God, bestowed to the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, we can safely assume that Pac-Man is human, and therefore a mammal.

Ann Vallier | June 20, 2007 10:30 AM

I'm going with some sort of insect or crustacean due to the exoskeleton or shell-like coating he seems to manifest. When pricked or punctured by the ghost or jellyfish-like beings the hardened outer coating rapidly disintegrates, leaving little or no trace behind.

booklegger451 | June 20, 2007 04:39 PM

Per the worlds leading expert on Pac-Man, his creator Toru Iwatani, Pac-Man is not only a mammal, but a human-being.

"To give the game some tension, I wanted the monsters to surround Pac Man at some stage of the game. But I felt it would be too stressful for a human being like Pac Man to be continually surrounded and hunted down. So I created the monsters' invasions to come in waves." - Toru Iwatani

Ref - _Programmers at Work_; Susan Lammers, 1989, ISBN 1556152116; Pub: Tempus Books.

Kelson | June 22, 2007 10:33 AM

Clearly, Pac-Man is a mammal because I've seen his TRUE FORM on a t-shirt, the ultimate dispensary of truth here:

Capt. Johnson S. Richerkos | June 22, 2007 02:57 PM

The Pacs are clearly not a mamel. Mamels all eat other beings to get energy. While Pac people do eat "Ghosts", they do not get any energy from them (due to them being dead), only points.


An Eric | June 23, 2007 12:34 AM

Mammals all eat other beings to get energy.

Captain Richerkos, the cows of your world terrify me.

TikiHead | June 25, 2007 03:38 PM

Pacman and his family belong to their own Kingdom, hitherto unnamed:


So therefore, not a mammal. The differences between Pixelia and Animalia (of which kingdome mammals are members) are vast and numerous -- the resemblances can be explained by mimicry and parallel evolution.

hugh57 | June 25, 2007 04:04 PM

kingdome mammals

These existed only in Seattle, WA, and are now, sadly, extinct. ;-)

TikiHead | June 25, 2007 04:27 PM

Oh dear. Thus does a typo undo all vaidity in my comment... sigh...

Shawn Powers | June 27, 2007 09:44 AM

What a fun thread -- I'm sad I was out of town. :)

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