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Pac-Man

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Kyle Orland

Sure, every game has an ending of sorts. For a certain class of classic game, though, that ending was always of the "You Are Dead Ha Ha Ha!" variety. From Robotron 2084's ever-increasing robot hordes to Missile Command's memorable "THE END" explosion, you went into these games knowing that failure was not just an option, but really the only option.

Then there are the games that seem like they should go on forever but, for one reason or another, just don't. Whether it's because of a coding error leading to an unintentional "kill screen" or a simple design choice stopping an otherwise never-ending series of loops, a lot of games that seem unbeatable at first glance can actually be conquered in one way or another.

To be clear, these aren't just games that are hard to beat (though most of them are incredibly difficult). These are games that, by all rights, shouldn't have a victory condition yet eventually reach a point where it's technically impossible to keep playing even if you don't fail in any way. Enjoy.

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Canabalt

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced what it calls the "seedbed" of a video game collection: 14 classic titles spanning the last three decades. The games, including Pac-Man, Myst, EVE Online, Dwarf Fortress, Portal, and Canabalt, were picked as "outstanding examples of interaction design," whether because of the way they encourage certain behaviors in the player, play with space, time, and technology, or provide a unique aesthetic experience. They'll be installed in March of 2013, and MoMA says it plans to eventually bring the total collection to about 40 titles. Currently, Minecraft, M.U.L.E., Grim Fandango, and several others round out the wish list. It's an echo of the Smithsonian's temporary Art of Video Games exhibit,...

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MrSeb writes "An Italian researcher with a penchant for retro games — or perhaps just looking for an excuse to play games in the name of science! — has used computational complexity theory to decide, once and for all, just how hard video games are. In a truly epic undertaking, Giovanni Viglietta of the University of Pisa has worked out the theoretical difficulty of 13 old games, including Pac-Man, Doom, Lemmings, Prince of Persia, and Boulder Dash. Pac-Man, with its traversal of space, is NP-hard. Doom, on the other hand, is PSPACE-hard."



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Click here to read These Video Games Aren't Just Art, They're Masterpieces

Guillaume Colomb has taken ten classic works of art and made them a little more current, dropping the likes of Mario, Pac-Man and Princess Peach into the paintings. Some may be a little inappropriate, but that Goya-meets-Shadow of the Colossus piece looks like it's always been that way. More »

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