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Microscopic Pac-Man

by Paul Strauss

Earlier this week, I read about a tiny Pac-Man discovered with an electron microscope. But that was just a random scientific anomaly. Turns out there’s a real microscopic Pac-Man out there, and you can actually play it!

microscopic_pac_man_1

Developed by Japanes design professor Kotoro “dotimpact” Tanaka, the microscopic Pac-Man[JP] uses a small video projector, combined with the original Pac-Man arcade hardware to allow play of the game through the optics of a microscope.

microscopic_pac_man_2

The tiny rig reflects its image through a mirror to produce a 1cm square image at a resolution of 1439-ppi (way denser than Apple’s retina display!) Once magnified through the eyepiece of the microscope, it’s just like playing the full-size game. Dotimpact also encourages visitors to try playing with the zoom and focus controls on the microscope for some fun effects.

microscopic_pac_man_3

Blogger Francesco Fondi came across this special version of Pac-Man while he was at the 30th anniversary Pac-Man exhibition[JP] in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, which ends on October 11th. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to figure out a way to photograph what you actually see through the microscope, but if you happen to be in Tokyo, you should go check it out for yourself.

[Thanks for the tip, Francesco!]




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