For April Fools' Day, play 'Ms. Pac-Man' on Google Maps

Source: Google Maps
Source: Google Maps

April Fools' Day is a good time to stay off the internet. The tired jokes, outrage-baiting hoaxes and humorless "pranks" are bad enough in the best of times, but in an era where we deal with fake news on a daily basis? No, thank you.

Luckily, this year Google is offering something a little bit different: wholesome fun. For the next day or so, if you open Google Maps, you'll have the option to play the arcade classic Ms. Pac-Man with real-life streets serving as your maze. To toggle the game, just look for the "Insert Coin" icon in the bottom left corner of your screen, and whatever part of the world you're looking at will be instantly transformed. 

Source: Google Maps/Mic
Source: Google Maps/Mic
Source: Mic/Google Maps

The gameplay is pretty much exactly as you remember it, though since your laptop/smartphone doesn't have a joystick, you use the arrow keys to move around — and by combining two different arrows, you can move diagonally. My advice? Play in a city where the streets actually approximate some kind of grid. Because if you play out in a rural area, there's nowhere to hide from ghosts.

When you return to the map, your game will be waiting for you.
Source: 
Mic/Google Maps

As the Verge pointed out, this is basically a repeat of what Google did in 2015, when they let users play Pac-Man on their maps. But, just as Ms. Pac-Man struck a blow for gender equality in 1981, she has once again shown us that a female, bow-wearing yellow circle in heavy makeup is every bit as capable as her dude counterpart. So have fun gobbling dots across the globe as this pixelated feminist hero. And don't forget to turn on the sound effects.

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Miles Klee

Author of the novel Ivyland and the story collection True False. Words in Electric Literature, Lapham's Quarterly, Vanity Fair, The Awl, Guernica, Motherboard, Vulture, McSweeney's and elsewhere. Probably eating tacos right now.

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