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Toru Iwatani is a former Japanese video game designer and creator of one of the most popular arcade games of all time, Pac-Man, as well as the most influential racing game, Pole Position. He was self-taught, without any formal training in computers, graphic design, or visual art.

Pac-Man meets Mario
Pac-Man meets Mario

Iwatani was born in Tokyo, Japan. He joined the computer software company Namco in 1977, where he started his career in pinball machines. There, he came up with the idea for a game called "Puck-Man" and in 1980, and assembled a team to release the game within the same year. Puck-Man became a huge success and eventually Midway bought the United States rights for the game and released the game as "Pac-Man". The name change was from fear that kids would possibly deface the cabinet by replacing the "P'' with an "F".

Iwatani went on to create a few other video games, including Libble Rabble, but none of them were as successful as Pac-Man. Namco promoted Toru Iwatani and became the overseer of the company's administration. He eventually left Namco to become a lecturer at Tokyo Polytechnic in 2007.

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