Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

Summary: Google gets creative with its logo by turning it into an interactive Pac-Man, but some sort of glitch is driving me crazy.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Google, Mobility
19

updated below:

Have you all seen the interactive Pac-Man game, made to look like the Google logo in celebration of the 30th birthday of the video game?

Fun, right? Yeah, I tried to play a couple of times this morning - realizing quickly that I should stick to the full-size arcade version. But in the middle of a game, the phone rang and I hit the mute button on my keyboard and went back to work.

A couple of hours later - and numerous browser windows and browser tabs later - I clicked on the link for a news video and had no audio. I hit the volume button, taking the machine out of mute mode, and was surprised to hear what sounded like a siren coming from my machine.

What the heck is that, I wondered? I have a Mac so the idea of some anti-virus pop-up warning going off in the background was unlikely. Plus, the computer wasn't slowing down or showing any other signs of malfunctioning. So I started to shut down completely - but when I quit Firefox, the siren suddenly stopped.

With the problem solved, I halted the complete shutdown and went back to work, still unsure of what exactly had happened.

Later, I opened a window on Chrome, which is set to open directly to Google, and within seconds, I heard that familiar tune that tells me that Pac-Man is about to start. When the familiar wah-wah-wah-wah-wah sound started shortly after, I recognized the siren sound from earlier. And then it all made sense - kind of.

It's cool that there's an interactive game on Google's logo - a first, I understand - but did Google have to make it auto-start? And where's the mute button on the game?

I know... boo-hoo for me. Just click away and the game goes away, right? Not exactly. And here's where it gets weird - at least for me. When I launch Firefox, the browser does just as it should - it opens a window to this blog, which I've set as the default home page. But then, within seconds, there was that Pac-Man tune again. There were no other windows open and no other tabs open. And yet, Pac-Man sound is still on.

Here's what I did determine: Pac-Man auto-started on Chrome, Safari, IE and Firefox on both systems. But the glitch, with the noise running in the background only, is only happening on Firefox on the Mac.

Am I losing my mind? Has anyone else experienced the same glitch? It's enough to drive this blogger insane.

updated, 5:11 pm PDT: Apparently, I was not losing my mind - and I was not alone. Better yet, there have been some changes. There is now a mute icon at the lower left part of the screen and, by default, it's in mute mode for the auto start. If you click insert coin to manually start the game, the audio is automatically on. As for the weird glitch in my version of Firefox for the Mac, it turns out the CoolPreviews add-on for Firefox is the culprit. Disabling it takes care of the problem. And I only have that installed on my Mac, not on my Windows machine.

Topics: Google, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

19 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Hit the insert coin button twice

    and you get one player as Pacman the other as Mrs. Pacman. Multi-player!
    isamuelson@...
    • <a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/f82.html">iphone</a>

      @isamuelson@... Does anyone remember "Microsoft Arcade?" I saw that when I am surfing for games in--I think it's "Microsoft Plus! for Windows 98 or something, but I couldn't remember. Yeah, so I saw the video and I remember that "Microsoft Arcade" comes with Pac-Man and some other arcade games that you can play without using up your quarters.
      frank dib
      • <a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/f81.html">blackberry</a>

        @frank dib I found it distracting for just once but I was like "oh, that's Pac-Man" so I went ahead and play it. I remember that game back during the 80s and early 90s.
        frank dib
  • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

    I read elsewhere to disable the coolpreviews add-on. I did this and it went away for me. Not sure why that add-on is making it play pacman music.
    hazelleosu
  • google pac man

    shear stupidity on Googles part. Please get rid of this foolish game...annoying beyond belief.. Bing is starting to look good
    ronfernandez908@...
    • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

      @ronfernandez908@...
      you sound like scrooge from the Dickens classic... 'bing humbug, Ebenezer!'

      Work up a sense of fun, after which, report back your top score :-)
      rikasa
  • There's a mute icon on the game itself.

    ... it's to the left of the maze.You're welcome. Now shaddup and enjoy the game.
    dave.leigh@...
  • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

    A very cute idea. But poorly executed, so that I spent over an hour today trying to get rid of what I thought was a virus on my computer. Oh, wait--it was one.

    Google owes an apology to me and others. And isn't this the stuff that class action lawsuits are made of? What would be happening now if it wasn't Google behind this, but a 17-year-old high school student?
    Mikerman
    • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

      @Mikerman
      You are such a whiner. Just close your window you cretin.
      Droid101
  • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

    Also if you put 2 coins in the slot it converts to TWO player mode with PACMAN (arrow keys) and MISS PACMAN (ASDW keys). This way two can enjoy and chomp multiple ghosts. ;)
    jperg2tami
  • Cool coding wise, kinda fun user wise, but sounds needs to be off and...

    .. it is a system hog.

    I just went to Google's page and found the logo before reading this article and I have to say, it made my jaw drop.<br><br>Its really neat looking, fun to play with etc but really? Did they have to make the sound be on by default? I did not turn down my speakers after listening to music earlier and the siren blared out of my speakers at 11pm when my house mates are sleeping.<br><br>Also, the coding is super cool. I can't copy the logo to my computer at all. Even by click and drag on a mac which normally bypasses most image security! <br><br>I'm going look at the source code and see what I can find but, I sadly don't know a lot of HTML.<br><br>Looks like Google might be premiering a new web technology to go head-to-head with Adobe Flash!<br><br>Oh and sadly, it made my old school 1ghz, 1gb memory freak out by sucking up all the system resources. (Just like good old Flash does).
    etrit
  • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

    You guys complaining about this are all probably young (i.e., under 35 years old). It's really the bee's knees for us older hipsters who remember digging this outasite trip. Right on!!
    ftleejerry@...
  • Google PacMan with high score on Facebook

    Google Pac-Man with high score on Facebook -
    http://apps.facebook.com/scoreplugtestapp/
    talmele
  • I switched to Bing, just to spite them

    The thing drove me crazy as well..... I deliberately switched to Bing, just to spite the buggers. Luckily it'll only last for a day, so I can switch back to Google soon. Bing looks nice, but yields far less results....
    pjotr123
  • Change is not taken well by everyone

    Today my dad called me and complained that when he opens the browser, a "Game with creatures" comes up and he wanted to close it. Although I had seen the google home page by that time, initially I thought it was some advertisement popup. I asked him to look for an "X" button in the corner and he couldn't find one (other than the close button of the browser window)! After he explained more about the "game" only I realized he was in the Google home page as I have set the home page to google on his browser. I told him to ignore the game and carry on his work.

    Google's changing icons are cool. But they have to do it in a subtle way without distracting users. Although we geeks barely notice any inconveniences caused by these things for other's who haven't even heard of PacMan, they are very distracting and often panic-causing situations.
    ravinsp
  • Cute

    Cute. Clever.

    *yawn*

    Back to Farmville...
    klumper
  • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

    I found it distracting for just once but I was like "oh, that's Pac-Man" so I went ahead and play it. I remember that game back during the 80s and early 90s.

    I remember playing Pac-Man in an arcade terminal while we (with my dad) are in a laundrynaut (Google Chrome offers suggestion that I don't think it matches what I meant--it's like a public laundry room with a bunch of washer machines and dryers) near the Movie Gallery and Win-Dixie in Tallahassee (located near N. Monroe Street). I enjoyed that moment while we live in the motorhome (Chrome catches "motorhome" as a misspelled word except for Google Search, so I added it to dictionary).

    Does anyone remember "Microsoft Arcade?" I saw that when I am surfing for games in--I think it's "Microsoft Plus! for Windows 98 or something, but I couldn't remember. Yeah, so I saw the video and I remember that "Microsoft Arcade" comes with Pac-Man and some other arcade games that you can play without using up your quarters.
    Grayson Peddie
  • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

    Can't wait for the anniversary of DooM or Duke Nuk'em.
    AndyPagin
  • RE: Google's Pac-Man logo: Friday fun or insanity?

    Great!!! thanks for sharing this information to us!
    <a href="http://www.yuregininsesi.com">seslisohbet</a> <a href="http://www.yuregininsesi.com">seslichat</a>
    yarinsiz