first_imgSometimes it’s nice to take a day and not think about Google as a massive information gathering company in an age when personal privacy is up for political debate and information is power. I call those days “weekdays,” and today is one of them. Luckily, the massive conglomerate that is most likely to become Skynet is helping me forget my woes by programming browser-based fun into its Google Maps web app.Head on over to Google Maps and search for your home town. Or, if you happen to be located somewhere that wouldn’t make for a good Pac-Man map — like a lone country road, private luxury island, mountain apocalypse shelter, are constantly in motion, or are chasing the sunset on wax wings your father made you — you can start with somewhere like Manhattan.Google has provided a Pac-Man icon to mark a good location to try this out.To start the game on your current map, click on the box in the lower left hand corner with a Pac-Man screenshot on it .The app will flash through a quick control tutorial on the left.Now, whatever map you were looking at has been transformed into a level of Pac-Man!Get ready for a showdown.Use your keyboard’s arrow keys to turn Pac-Man around tricky corners and move through diagonal streets. The map doesn’t scroll, so if you reach the edge, Pac-Man will reappear at a street on the opposite side of the screen, just like the arcade game.Now you can gobble up yellow bubbles on the streets of your hometown while avoiding Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde. Get the big yellow bubble and turn the tables on them for extra points (I know, I’m just explaining Pac-Man, but I have no idea how old you are).This isn’t the first time Google used Pac-Man to distract you from work you should be doing (or general fear of the omnipotent Google). On May 21, 2010, the company made its Google Doodle a playable game of Pac-Man — which ended up costing businesses 4.8 million lost work hours This is something they remind you of every time you search for Pac-Man, like it was a landmark event in the history internet:Never forget.last_img