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Satirical Commentary


I designed “MR. PAC-WOMAN” as a satirical commentary on gender inequity in video game design.

The final project consists of a demonstrative gameplay video I created and a playable application

developed in collaboration with David M. García.

I designed, created the assets, and animated this parody of the classic MS. PAC-MAN game.

​​​​​​​Audio: Original music composition by Emmanuel E. Lugo

All additional audio clips are either recordings I created myself,

Creative Commons 0 (acquired through FreeSound) or original to the PAC-MAN game.



As theorized in Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins’ 1998 book From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games, computer and video games operate under the assumption that male is the dominant audience gender identification.

MS. PAC-MAN is an example of this; by creating a “girls’ version” of the classic PAC-MAN game, the original becomes firmly a game for boys.  The girl version of the game consists of a few color changes and the addition of a bow, lipstick, eyelashes, and a beauty mark.

To point out the meager attempts to make the game appeal to girls and to make clear that the original was designed with boys in mind, MR. PAC-WOMAN demonstrates the opposite.  It shows what the classic game might look like if it had been designed stereotypically for girls originally and then adapted minimally for boys.


Mood Board

Visual Research


I used the look of the
8-bit game to imply
was the original game

Implementation, Version 1

- Pink character
- Eats little hearts
- Cries when caught by ghost
- Lots of pink, lavender, white


My original intent was to cross-stitch the maze and project the characters/movement onto it.


This would incorporate both technology (essential to video games) and fabric arts (traditionally associated with women).

After some proof-of-concept testing, I decided that this method was not as clear as I'd like and that the medium was not similar enough to the original to be an effective satirical parody.


Implementation, Version 2


I next explored the possibility of creating a working video game
- Researched editing an existing game ROM

The Atari 2600 MS. PAC-MAN would possibly be editable, but doesn’t look like the most widely-recognized version of the game (which I want to use, more iconic).

The Arcade version of the game requires ROM editing, which is beyond my scope of skills given time constraints; not feasible


Final Implementation

Part 1: Create an animated motion video emulating MR. PAC-WOMAN gameplay
- This method gives me the most control to convey the concept, look, and elements of the game

Part 2: Collaborate with David M. García to create a working computer game
- David will program the game in Unity and I will provide the texture atlas / imagery, concept, and sound effects


Research: Texture Atlas Examples

Logo Development


Imitate MS. PAC-MAN logo (instead of original
PAC-MAN, because this is supposedly the
MS. PAC-MAN of an alternate, female-centric
design world)


Version 1: Pink elements since the game “was originally designed
for girls,” blues because this version has been “adapted for boys”


Version 2: Changed color scheme to more “girly” colors in order to make clearer the concept that the game was originally intended for girls (at the expense of alienating boys)


Final Version: Tightened imagery, more closely replicated the MS. PAC-MAN logo, added final details

Asset Development

Final Assets
- More pink and “girly” than original mockups in order to drive home the commentary on the “male as default” theory




Video Design


- Originally used Lust Script as the typeface because it embodied the flourishy, “girly” style I wanted, but switched to Ganache because it maintained the same tone but was more legible


- Instead of fruit, the reward icons are of stereotypically female imagery like rings, hearts, shoes, etc.


Crying and Patronizing Language
- When PAC-WOMAN is caught by a ghost she cries, reflecting a stereotype of women
- The prompts on screen are either cliché (“You Go Girl / Boy”) or patronizing (“At least you tried!”); this emphasizes the attitude designers generally apply to girl gamers and pink software

Audio Design

Voice-Over Effects
- I recorded myself using a high-pitched voice, imitating the intonation of the Barbie computer games I played as a child
- I edited this audio to raise the pitch of my voice by 16%, making it even more obnoxiously “girly”

Background Track
- The original PAC-MAN features audio that sounds like sirens in the background; this seemed too “high-stress” for a girls’ game, so I wanted to replace it with more bubbly music
- Emmanuel E. Lugo composed an original music loop based on my guidelines for the background music of MR. PAC-WOMAN; the track is written to match the beats of the “waka waka” sound, the notes of the PAC-MAN intro music (which I also used for its iconic melody), and the lighter, more bubbly tone I wanted

Additional Sound Effects
- Additional effects were added; some were original PAC-MAN effects (like the “waka waka”) while other, Creative Commons 0 licensed, effects were used to add to the pink software feel (like a bling when PAC-WOMAN eats a heart icon)

Playable Game

I collaborated with David M. García to create a playable version of MR. PAC-WOMAN
- David programmed the game in Unity to replicate the gameplay I demonstrated in my motion media piece


Texture Atlas I Created                         Screenshots of the MR. PAC_WOMAN Game by David M. García

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