The best Ms. Pac-Man fan art (that we drew)

Ms. Pac-Man, among the very first playable female characters in computer game, initially emerged in 1982, using a fur took and heavy phase makeup in a piece of cover art that explained her as “the new femme fatale of the game world.” She was yellow. She was round. And she was memorable.

Pac-Man’s playable spouse had in fact been produced as a benefit for all of the female players who had actually moved the initial Pac-Man to fantastic heights. Midway Games spokesperson Stan Jarocki put it by doing this to Electronic Games in 1982: “Pac-Man was the first commercial videogame to involve large numbers of women as players. It expanded our customer base and made Pac-Man a hit. Now we’re producing this new game, Ms. Pac-Man, as our way of thanking all of those lady arcaders who have played and enjoyed Pac-Man.”

Did those “lady arcaders” value that a person of the extremely first representations of a playable female in a video game included lipstick, a hair bow, and interstitial cutscenes portraying the love and ultimate children of Mr. and Ms. Pac-Man? I understand I wouldn’t have! Naturally, Midway had just numerous pixels with which to interact the concept of womanhood, so the outcomes were simplified and stereotyped — however the video game played fantastic, offered well, and got crucial praise for its enhancements over the initial Pac-Man.

Therefore, in 2021, we review the tradition of Ms. Pac-Man, and we commemorate her through the power of our creative skills. Without searching for any of the initial art portraying her, the staffers of Polygon did our finest to keep in mind what she appeared like, drawing her based upon those memories — and a few of us even tried to offer her a makeover for a brand-new age.

MATT PATCHES

A crayon drawing of Ms. Pac-Man celebrating her victory, with the collapsed form of a blue Ghost in front of her

Image: Matt Patches

“I reimagined Ms. Pac-Man as a combination of Christine Baranski from Mamma Mia and Christine Baranski from The Good Fight.”

MIKE MAHARDY

Ms. Pac-Man, wearing a pair of Timberland boots, baring her teeth

Image: Mike Mahardy

“In retrospect, the teeth were a bad idea. The Timbs, however, were not.”

JULIA LEE

Ms. Pac-Man, wearing black fishnet stockings, chases a black Ghost

Image: Julia Lee

“So I was going to do a sultry booba Ms. Pac-Man as an ironic joke, but then I got worried that people wouldn’t be able to tell it’s a joke and I would just look like a weird pervert. So here we are. Waka waka.”

NICOLE CARPENTER

Ms. Pac-Man

Image: Nicole Carpenter

“Untitled, 2021 (Water-soluable wax pastels on paper)”

PETRANA RADULOVIC

Ms. Pac-Man reaches in vain for a cherry power-up as a tear rolls down her cheek

Image: Petrana Radulovic

“I wanted to capture Ms. Pac-Man forever yearning for what is just out of her reach, as she battles societal expectations and the constant reminder that she will forever be in Pac-Man’s shadow, without an identity of her own.”

ANA DIAZ

Ms. Pac-Man shatters a literal glass ceiling while wearing a flower crown and preparing to eat an apple power-up

Image: Ana Diaz

“The title of this piece is ‘Ms. Pac-Woman,’ due to the fact that I don’t understand why she took Mr. Pac-Man’s surname. This piece, when seen in combination with Petrana Radulovic’s, highlights the duality that comes with being a lady in video games. In it, we see Ms. Pac-Man consuming a fruit power-up, and after that shattering the glass ceiling.

I made this piece with the very first web-based illustration app that showed up after a Google search. I included the flowers due to the fact that it was a pre-loaded shape on Sketch.io, and I’d be lying if I stated I didn’t consider Ari Aster’s Midsommar when drawing it.”

PATRICK GILL

Ms. Pac-Man, wearing thigh-high fishnet stockings, kicks a frightened Ghost

Image: Patrick Gill

“I feel like this speaks for itself.”

RYAN GILLIAM

Ms. Pac-Man in profile, wearing a red bow and red high heels with white polka dots

Image: Ryan Gilliam

“In this Polygon Draws, I chose an easier — however attempt I state improved? — Ms. Pac-Man. I attempted to integrate a few of the more comprehensive, 3D variations of the character with the sprite individuals understand and enjoy. And I believe I’ve achieved that here.

However then I screwed up. I worked truly difficult to put those polka dots on there, just to discover that she constantly uses solid-colored pink or red boots with a matching bow. And now we simply have Ms. Pac-Man by method of god damn Minnie Mouse. I are sorry for the mistake. However I will not repair it.”

OWEN GOOD

With her eyes closed and mouth open, Ms. Pac-Man prepares to consume some power pellets and a box of Franzia wine, while a couple of Ghosts look on in terror. At the bottom of the drawing, a caption reads, “Ms. Pac-Man — Super Turbo WINE MOM Edition”

Image: Owen Good

“I drew a lot of Ms. Pac-Man in third grade (1981-1982, if you must know), picking up her traits from a series of trading cards and stickers that I stuck all over the inside of my school desk. So after attempting a more anthropomorphic Ms. Pac-Man — who did not turn out well at all — I went back to what I knew, tossing in a rather hacky joke about box wine.”

— Owen, Mrs. Miles’ class, Elkin Main School

JAMES BAREHAM

Ms. Pac-Man

Image: James Bareham

“All I could remember about Ms. Pac-Man is that she was yellow, round, had a red bow, and her eyes were drawn in a retro ’30s style. However, I completely forgot that she also had hands and red boots. This basically my excuse for why my drawing of Ms. Pac-Man is bad.”

CHRIS PLANTE

Ms. Pac-Man except she has no eyes

Image: Chris Plante

“I asked myself, ‘What if Ms. Pac-Man began a path toward human evolution, like the first sea creatures to gasp for air on land?’ From there, the pen took over.”

CASS MARSHALL

Ms. Pac-Man with blue hair and a gun

Image: Cass Marshall

“This is a strong Ms. Pac-Man who is saving Pac-Man with the power of gun and empathy. A Ms. Pac-Man who tests well with the action movie market.”

SADIE GENNIS

Ms. Pac-Man with long black hair and eyeliner, purple lipstick, and purple platform boots

Image: Sadie Gennis

“Imagine what Ms. Pac-Man would look like on a sexy CW adaptation from the creator of Riverdale. You don’t have to, because this is it right here.”

NICOLE CLARK

A winking Ms. Pac-Man runs away from a Ghost

Image: Nicole Clark

“They kissed.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.