Pac-Man chases ghosts. Courtesy Comic-Con Museum

San Diego pop-culture fans are invited to watch Pac-Man‘s induction into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame in a virtual event on Thursday afternoon.

The Japanese icon, which is the main character in the highest-grossing video game ever, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its introduction in Tokyo in 1980. Pac-Man will join Batman, who was the first character inducted into the Balboa Park museum in 2019

“Recognizing the impacts of comics and popular arts through the museum character hall of fame is a way to demonstrate how characters both reflect and shape our cultural landscape,” said Eddie Ibrahim, senior director of programming for museum. “By recognizing the work of creators, which includes gaming, we aim to inspire a deeper appreciation of comics and the popular arts.”

Dennis Lee, director of brand marketing at Bandai Namco Entertainment America, said the Pac-Man character’s “enduring popularity and relevance speak volumes to his position as an icon in the video game and pop-culture worlds,”

The induction from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 17 will feature Toru Iwatani, the Japanese game designer who created PAC-MAN; fan videos; an announcement about the future of PAC-Man; and music by Japanese DJ and producer Ken Ishii.

The event is free and open to the public, though donations are encouraged and go toward the museum’s renovation of the former Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Registration information is available at the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame web page. Museum charter memberships are also available.

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