For all you Gen X youth pastors out there who grew up playing Pac Man in an arcade…your dream just became a reality: you can mix your faith with the little yellow monster. Here’s what you do.
This game works almost exactly like the video game Pac Man. It takes a little bit of set up, but you don’t have to have a bunch of kids to play.
This may be the ONE TIME that you are thankful your church has pews. You can also use rows of chairs in a multi-purpose room, too. Get your hands on a copy of the Pac Man maze (available on the Internet). If you are using pews, just place duct tape across the pews at the appropriate places to resemble the “dead ends” and “walls” that the game needs. Don’t forget to make a boundary around the entire playing area, and the “holding cell” in the middle! If you are using chairs, you can just set it up like the maze.
When you have the set up of the maze completed, you must make the “pellets” that Pac Man will be after. You can just you pieces of chopped up paper, say 5” by 5”. Place them in the maze like the classic game. Also place a couple pieces of colored paper in the maze for Pac Man to pick up so he can defend himself against the ghosts. Now you’re ready to play.
Choose one person to be Pac Man and make him or her wear a yellow shirt or sheet. Choose 3-5 ghosts and make them wear different colored shirts or sheets, just like in the game. The object of the game follows the video game. Pac Man must pick up all of the pieces of paper without being caught by the ghosts.
Give Pac Man a 20 second head start on all of the ghosts. Then, every 20 seconds, release a ghost into the playing area. If Pac Man is about to tagged by one of the ghosts, he can hand the ghost a piece of colored paper and the ghost must return to the holding cell for 20 seconds. Note: The ghost must be in the same “lane” to tag Pac Man…in other words, the ghost can’t reach over the back of a pew and tag Pac Man.
Pac Man gets three lives to accomplish his goal of clearing all of the pellets off the map. One final rule will help balance the odds a bit. Pac Man can run, but the ghosts must walk. If Pac Man is tagged three times before he collects all the pellets, the ghosts win. If Pac Man collects all the pellets before he/she is tagged three times, Pac Man wins.
Make it your own. You may need to alter this game a bit to make it fit you and your setting. If you have more players, you will need a bigger space, and possibly several Pac Man’s. You could also play several rounds using a different Pac Man and ghosts.
Idea by Micah T.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.